In our previous article we talked about how to create a marketing plan for your business. But what about online marketing?
The fact is, more and more people don’t go to the yellow pages or their local business directory, they go to Google. That’s why, as you develop a marketing plan for your business, you’ll want to develop your online presence
The good news is that creating a digital marketing plan doesn’t require a degree in computer science. Just a little time and a willingness to learn. Here are six tips to get you started.
1. Google Yourself
One of the first things you can do to assess the strength of your online presence is to research yourself. Imagine that you’re a project owner or general contractor who is new in your area and has no preconceived notions about you, or your competition.
Ask yourself, how would they go about finding your business if they’d never heard of you before? Start searching on Google, or your favorite search engine. Ask yourself the following:
- Does my business appear among the top entries on the page?
- Does my competition appear there?
- If yes, what language appears in the listing?
- Do they appear in the sponsored ads at the top of the page?
- What kind of language do they use in their listings that stand out?
The goal should to see what is working and where there is room for improvement.
2. Refresh Your Website
A good business website is like any construction project; it requires regular maintenance and upkeep.
Take the time to review your website in full. Ask yourself the following:
- Is all the information listed up-to-date?
- Does the design look clean and inviting or does it seem outdated?
- If you are presenting examples of past work, is it up to date, or do you need to include recent projects?
- Is the information easy to find? Ideally, every page on your website should be accessible with three clicks or less.
- Is there a contact form? When responses are sent, is there a clear system for responding to them?
- How does it look on a cell phone or tablet? More people reach for their phone when they do research. If your website is hard to access on these devices, you run the risk of losing business.
Ideally your website should look good, have up to date information and be easy to access. If not, it may be time to refresh your site or get a new one.
3. Google Ads
Once you’ve assessed your website and your online presence, it’s time to take what you’ve learned and put it to use. Consider investing in Google Ads. The cost per month can be small, but it can help you to stand out from the crowd.
This is also where determining your niche will help. While it might be hard to stand out from hundreds of plumbers, it’s easier to create ads that focus on your particular niche. That will help you to rise to the top of the search rankings.
4. Social Media
Having an online presence can help improve your search rankings, and demonstrates to the world that your business is alive and active. Remember that you should tailor your content to specific channels. Services like Facebook or Twitter are public facing; this is where you can include daily observations, fun happenings at your business, etc. LinkedIn is designed to be a professional network, so this is where you want to demonstrate your professional side.
If you choose to hand responsibility for social media to a member of your team, make sure that there are guidelines about what should and shouldn’t get posted. Otherwise you run the risk of inappropriate content being connected with your business.
5. Demonstrate Thought Leadership
Many businesses now maintain a blog that is connected to their website. This serves two specific functions. One, by regularly updating your website with content about the industry you work in, it allows you to improve your search engine optimization. Second it improves thought leadership.
Thought leadership means that you are demonstrating the ability to explain what you do, talk about issues in the industry and provide value to the public. Thought leadership is now an integral part of any digital marketing strategy.
This can improve your reputation, and make you stand out as someone worth working with.
6. Get Professional Help
If you’re uncertain about how to do this yourself, consider working with a digital marketing agency. Often, they can take charge of many aspects of your business, and maintain and troubleshoot issues as they arise. When talking to them ask them how what they do can provide a return on investment over the long term.
Looking for more ways to grow your business? Ox Bonding can help. Our Contractor Credit Program is designed to fully assess a contractor’s potential, both on the job site and in the back office.
Our team of construction experts can determine a bonding line that works for your business, our Project Accounting Service can help you to better organize and manage your back office, and our Requisition Cash Advance service can help you to better manage your cash flow issues so that you have the funds you need to get the job done.
This improves the strength of your business, and gives you the time you need to build and execute your marketing plan.
Ready to put Ox Bonding’s experience to work for you? Download an enrollment application or call us today at (877) 55-THE-OX.