I speak at a lot of events for business owners and entrepreneurs and regularly get asked how to grow a business and get found online. While there are many ways to do this, I’ve found that these 5 items are the best way to get started. And the good thing is that these items don’t take a lot of time.
1. Add Regular Content to Your Website
Every company wants to get leads and sales from Google searches. Since Google wants fresh and relevant content pulled up on the top pages of the search results, it makes sense to post regular content to your website. Don’t make this complicated. This could be in the form of Latest News, Blogs or other content. You don’t have to write a novel but you can write 200-300 words every week. Google will greatly reward you if you add content to your website. If your website is outdated and you can’t easily add content, let us know, we also create awesome websites. Think of your website like a fire…the more wood you add to the fire, the larger the fire becomes and it’s seen from a distance. But, if you don’t add wood to the fire, it dies down and no one sees the fire. Your website is the same way. The more content (wood) you add to your website, it will be seen from a further distance. But, if you don’t regularly add content your website traffic dies down and no one sees it. Google and your audience want you to add content to your website.
Here are some topics that you can write about:
- Your latest company news
- Industry news
- Location based info (add your city and state to your blog content…Google LOVES locally based info)
- Product info
- Tips and Tricks
- Updates from the owner/president of your company
- Newsletter content (if you write a newsletter, also post it on your website)
- Current Projects
- Promote your clients
- Case studies
- How To’s
2. Use Social Media
It’s 2013 and there are still people who are skeptical about social media. We’ve gotten some of our largest projects through social media and the relationships that it creates. Yes, there are some people who use social media to post about their cat or sandwich…but that is very rare. Most people use it to build relationships, help people, share content, build their platform, or share their content (like the awesome blog post they just created). If you don’t know which platform to use (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc), just find out where your audience is and go there. Get involved and server others. Remember, social media is just like a networking event…you don’t want to be “that guy” who only talks about his company. Go in and ask questions, serve others and add value.
- Facebook: use this if you are a b2c (business to consumer). Give value, share content and build trust…just like you would in real life.
- Twitter: use this to get industry news, share content, add brief updates about your company, join “Twitter chats”, follow people in your industry and add value to others
- LinkedIn: this can act as your “digital Rolodex”. Join some groups and get involved. Connect with others and add all your business card contact info into LinkedIn.
- YouTube: this might be the one you forgot about but might be the most important to help you get higher in Google search results. See point #5 for more info
3. Get Interviewed
This has gotten us some good recognition. Look for industries that are looking to create content. It could be the local news, newspaper, bloggers, podcasters or other people who need to create content for their audience. Usually they would welcome a chance to interview you. We’ve been on the news when we were a part of a business networking group. We have also been interviewed in the newspaper and on podcasts. Podcasts are a like DVR for radio shows. There are an lot of podcasts about topics that probably related to your industry. Go on iTunes, which currently has the largest selection of podcasts and search for key words that have to do with your industry. Find a few podcasts and their website. Contact the podcast creator and briefly share the value you can create by being interviewed on the podcast. This strategy also applies to guest blogging, getting in the newspaper and other forms of media.
4. Start a Podcast
While you may be new to podcasting, it’s been around for years. You may have noticed radio shows like NPR advertise their podcasts, which are just the recording of their shows for you to download and listen to at your convenience on your smart phone, tablet or computer. You can do an audio only podcast, much like a radio show, or you can make a video podcast. We’ve done both for clients. Starting a podcast is an easy way to build your platform, generate leads, garner an audience and have worldwide audience. You might be skeptical, but I personally know a lot of podcasters who have audiences ranging from several thousand people to over 200,000 people. And it does generate sales and leads. You can interview people, give industry news, answer questions, share your thoughts and much more. In fact, you can create similar content as to what you would blog about. If you don’t know how to start a podcast, let us know and we would love to help you start a podcast.
5. Create Videos
YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine (Google is #1) and YouTube is owned by Google so you want to make sure you have a presence here. You can start with short videos shot on your iPhone. But keep in mind, the quality of your videos will reflect on your business. Some businesses are able to show lower quality videos, while others types of companies it would be detrimental. Here are a few ways you can use video.
- Answers to FAQs
- How To’s (30% of all YouTube searches involve the words “how to”)
- Updates to your products
- Thoughts on your industry
- Behind the scenes
- Marketing videos
- Product demos
- Explainer Videos
- Tips and Tricks
Then, you can hire a video production company (like Exit Row Productions which is in the Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus, Ohio area) to make high quality videos for you. I’ve seen companies add a few videos to YouTube and embed them on their website and they get a bump in their Google rankings. Consider the stats below about the importance of video for your business.
- E-commerce sites like OnlineShoes.com and Zappos.com which use product videos sell up to 45% more. – ReelSEO, Internet Retailer
- A website with video is 53x more likely to get ranked higher than a text only website. – Forrester Research
- 55% of people who view a video visit the company’s website and 24% make a purchase as a result of watching. – Kelsey Group