If you are running your own small business, it is only right to have a website. With everyone being on the internet it is almost impossible not to take advantage of it. Unless you do not want your business to grow and succeed it is essential to build up your online presence and having a website is one of the ways to do it. Thanks to the evolution of technology and free website builders like Webflow, building your own personal website has never been easier. You do not need to be a computer engineer or know computer programing. Free website builders enable you to build a personal website to your liking. There are so many positives to having your own business website.
So, here are the benefits and advantages of having your own website:
Having your own website will help improve your credibility and consumer satisfaction. We already know that you can post ads on social media which is also great but once somebody clicks on your ad it is important to link them to your website. This will help the potential customer feel more comfortable. With 56% of people stating that they won’t trust a business without a website. So, visiting a well put together website with great content and reviews will automatically improve a potential customers opinion about your business. Making them more interested in what you are offering and creating a good first impression.
A website can help you keep track of important information about your marketing campaigns. By looking at stats like how many people have visited your page, engagement, where your traffic is coming from and etc. You can get an idea on how people are finding your business which can be very helpful when you are running online marketing campaigns. This will give you an insight on how successful they are and what needs to be improved.
As mentioned in the beginning it cost nothing to build a website thanks to free online website builders such as Webflow. Thanks to these new web design tools which help you create your own personal website with a simple editing interface. Which also makes it easy to keep your website up to date with new content and information. So, there are no more excuses not to build your own website.
This gives you the opportunity to design and create the perfect image for your business. Creating the best visual representation of your business through a website is the best way for you to showcase your business to your potential customers. This can help you build a close relationship with your audience with the help of blogs, pictures, videos and much more. This is a place for you to show off and represent your brand and business to everyone.
Even though you won’t be available 24/7 your website will always be there for people to visit, make purchases and find out information. This can also boost sales and marketing because you are not only depending on your local customers but your global ones too. A lot of people and businesses depend too much on social media profiles but it is important to have your own website which you have complete control over. This includes being able to sell your products or services on it. Another thing that could happen is if a certain social media platform had to ever go offline so does your profile. That is something you don't have to worry about with a website.
Building a website will help you reach a global audience. This can turn your local business into a global one. The internet is full of potential customers who may be looking for what you are offering. So, having a website makes it easier for them to find you. Which in return will help your business grow and expand.
With 81% of shoppers conducting online research before buying it is easy to see why it is important to have a website and appear in the search results. By having good content and using keywords on your website you increase the chances of appearing higher on the search engine results page. Without a website, there is no chance of people finding you through search engines which makes you less visible and can damage your business growth.
There are key things to look out for:
· Keep your website up to date with the times.
· Keep adding relevant information and content.
· Make sure your website is optimized and mobile friendly.
· More than often simplicity is key, don’t overdesign your website.
· Make sure your products are up to par, so you don’t have negative reviews.
· Offer good customer service.
· Don’t spam your customers who have signed up by email.
· Target the right audience.
In conclusion, a website is a necessity in this day and age. With everyone being on the internet it is important to have an online presence. You need a platform to update and promote what you are offering. A website will help you do that and help you reach new customers not just locally but globally too. This will help your business grow and succeed.
I know, I have been there too… You are about to create a piece of content — a nicely done cappuccino in your café or a beautifully pictured house that you want to sell. But how the heck do you begin? With no professional equipment or experience — you want to produce the best content for your social media profiles, business website or email campaign, right?
Well, how do you go about it? The key is you don’t have to be perfect, in fact, that’s part of the magic of this medium! Be natural, be spontaneous, and be active. Your new audience will expect funny, educational, engaging and UNPROFESSIONAL content. In a world where marketing aims for the ideal, your audience wants someone or something that they can relate to. A picturesque cappuccino is nice to look at, but what about a customer savouring their morning drink, only to burst out laughing because they have foam on their upper lip? Capture it and share it! Sometimes less is more. And something is always better than nothing…
In this article, I will show you how you to use a (relatively new) medium that not only allows you to share your unprofessional and spontaneous content, but REQUIRES IT! This medium is called Instagram Stories aka Instastories. As the name says, it can be used on your Instagram profile (both personal and professional). Below see an example of what an Instastory looks like:
Let us first clarify what Instastories are. They are vertically shared pictures, videos, animations that were originally used by Snapchat. After some period of time, Instagram and Facebook implemented them and extended their platforms. Instastories disappear after 24 hours which makes them an instant, spontaneous and engaging piece of content.
But why should you actually care about them? How are they relevant to your business? As we regularly discuss in other articles, webinars and private Facebook groups, ask yourself a question before you get started: Can I reach my audience on this channel? Instagram is used daily by one billion users and Instastories by more than 500 million people. That truly means 500.000.000 people. Every. Single. Day.
Going back to where we began. You are probably asking yourself: “Do I need professional equipment, a best-of-breed creative studio with the best of the best?” Not at all. Be natural, be spontaneous, and certainly, go ahead, and be unprofessional! This platform requires it. Your audience expects you to be natural. They expect to see what’s going on behind the scenes and what your daily updates are — share with them the best moments that can describe you or your business. Tell STORIES! Because that is what this platform is about.
Let’s break the stereotype: You do NOT need to be a professional to create great, engaging content for Instastories.
Let’s get practical. How do you really begin?
You know how to get started. Get inspired before you jump into the content creation. See a series that shows some examples of really nice — BUT STILL UNPROFESSIONAL — Instastories which you can do within a few seconds.
There are plenty of cool features that you can use to make your content visually more appealing. Amongst them, there are live streams (even shared streams with other coworkers, partners, and followers), galleries of Gifs, options such as slow motion or boomerang effects, coloured backgrounds, many text fonts, polls, quizzes and questionnaires (ways to engage with your audience), chat windows and tons of emojis. Again, choose what correlates with your business image (branding). I may be repeating myself, but less is sometimes more…
Customers are already searching for your product. Every second, there are 75,000 search queries managed by Google. That's just one search engine. Now add Youtube, Bing, Amazon – the greatest marketplace – and thousands of forums…. That means you can get in front of their eyes – to offer what they need or desire.
How can you attract the attention of as many people (your potential customers) as possible? Be excellent at SEO and constantly mine as many relevant search terms (keywords) as possible. In order to do that, you need to choose the right tool(s). We've tested many tools to generate high-quality organic traffic to our website. Now we'd like to make your life easier by sharing the 9 best-in-breed tools for keyword research so that you can boost your business in 2020 + 1 hint (really low hanging fruit)!
Before we jump into that, we would like to point out that there will be a HUGE paradigm shift in 2020. Voice search is predicted to be used for 50% of all searches done online! That means that your strategy needs to be aligned with that in mind. Creating voice content will continue to be more relevant over time.
Let's jump into what you are truly interested in, shall we?!
Spyfu is a complex SEO tool that allows you to track the activity of your competitors or market leaders. When it comes to keyword research, it allows you to show the average search volume of keywords, get suggestions on what else people search, it gives ranking history that shows what domains occupy the top positions and how they do over time. Besides that, you can find domains that - if they link to your website – will help you rank high on a desired keyword. Yes, it has a plethora of great tools! Spyfu, nonetheless, is not a free tool. Their pricing plans start at 33 USD a month. Besides keyword research tools, which we mentioned, Spyfu offers a variety of other features.
Google owns all the data from searches on both Google and Youtube. Google Keyword Planner shows you precise volume of searches for a certain period of time. This data can be segmented by either country and region or device. Besides historical metrics, Google Keyword Planner shows you a forecast of how your ads may perform when using certain words. Your paid campaigns can be, thus, perfectly planned. The great news is that this tool is free. The only constraint is that you have to have a Google Ads account.
The great thing about Google Keyword Planner is that it shows you a search volume trend. Thus, you can look at how often your brand was searched at some point in the past versus today. This information shows you the awareness of your brand (or product) over time.
Similarly to Spyfu, Ahrefs offers more features that you can use to boost your SEO. The great thing about Ahrefs is that you can research keywords by platforms (like Google or Youtube). Besides main features like Keyword Research or Backlink Research, Ahrefs offers so called Content Research, that allows you to catch the buzz around certain topics. The pricing starts at 99 USD per month. You can, nonetheless, start with 7 USD for a 7 day trial and see what you can get out of it.
This browser add-on that works both with Chrome and Firefox is a great tool to see similar keywords everywhere! If you type a query on Google, this tool shows you similar keywords and its search volume. If you type a product name on Amazon, guess what… Keywords Everywhere shows you suggested keywords that may appear in your SEO or PPC plan. According to those, you might want to create content on your website, adjust the description of your product or trigger a paid campaign. This extension offers both free and paid features.
Moz is an all-in-one SEO tool that not only gives you a plethora of free features, but also educates you on the complicated SEO industry. Its keyword research offers similar features like the ones from Ahrefs or Spyfu. What makes Moz great – especially for small businesses – is the “MOZ Local” feature that distributes the information about your local business across all important search platforms. Moz is a paid tool that has a few free tools available. The pricing for MOZ Local starts at 129 USD a year, while a basic version of MOZ is available for 99 USD a month or more.
Owned by Neil Patel, an SEO guru, who helps both small businesses and enterprises grow their organic traffic, Ubersuggest is a tool that shows you the search volume for a particular keyword that can be divided by country and language. Moreover, this tool shows you a trend throughout the year so that you can see when certain keywords achieve their peak (like winter jackets do in winter). Metric “SEO difficulty” helps you uncover a potential to rank high for a particular expression. Thanks to this data, you are able to optimise content on your website so that more people discover your business. You can use this SEO tool free of charge.
Are you still with us? Because here is a Google tool that is totally free! Google Trends is all about, well, trends. Shocking, isn't it? Do you want to know the 3 key topics on Youtube in 2019? Sorry, Ted Talks and Baby Yoda moments (he made the chart below ;)), but the topics at the top were Music, Songs and Fortnite…Predictable? Perhaps, if you're an avid fan of Fortnite. Google Trends helps you uncover trending topics that, again, can help you create engaging content and rank high on search engines.
Let's get back to the tools for which you'd have to pay a bit. SEMRush offers an all-in-one SEO tool that differentiates in a few ways from Moz or Ahrefs. Amongst others, this tool gives you a so called, “Keyword Magic Tool” that helps you find relevant keywords, it then groups them to separate them further by topics, picks the most valuable keywords and saves them into the Keyword Analyzer and exports those keywords so that you can play with them on other platforms like Google Ads. The pricing starts at 99 USD a month, so the cost is also similar to Ahrefs or Moz.
Another great tool for in-depth keyword research. The good thing about KWFinder is that it shows you search queries divided into groups: related keywords, autocomplete and questions. Nowadays, people are using whole questions for their online searches, not simply one or two-word phrases. In fact, the average search query has 4 words.
With KWFinder, you can find so called long tail phrases – the ones that have a low search volume, but a higher probability of a user's intention to buy or complete any action you desire. If I search for a “family car”, I probably haven't decided yet, if I truly want to buy a new vehicle or not. Whereas, if I search for a “BMW X7 2019 Black xDrive40i”, I may be much more into making my final decision…
We've presented many tools (free and paid) to mine keywords that people type in when they search on Google, Youtube or Amazon. But what we haven't covered – until now – are forums! You'd be surprised to see how many questions and topics forums, like Reddit or Quora, gather. Is this a relevant source for your keyword research? You bet it is. When you create your keyword list and want to find out what catches people's attention, use the forums. Go through the trending sections, read the questions and answers that are considered the best ones to get a complete idea of what to cover in your web content, ad copy or even product development – yes, what people search may guide you on how to create your product roadmap.
We promised you 9+1 best-in-breed tools for keyword research to boost your business in 2020. 9 tools have been mentioned. Let's finalise it with one last suggestion. The easiest and most obvious one...
Yes, you are right. This is exactly what I have in mind:
Try to type something into Google, Amazon, Bing, Youtube or any other platform that uses a similar algorithm and see what it suggests. These suggestions are not randomly generated. On the contrary, they are based on similar searches (according to relevancy and search volume). Google places these suggestions into two parts: the search field and the bottom of the page:
All in all, you have a complete tool stack to get started with your keyword research! Keep in mind that it is a crucial part of your SEO activities, so make sure to do it properly. Happy searching! :)
Let’s be honest — some online ads simply don’t work. At least we think that they don’t. Or better put, we judge them before knowing the real reason they don’t… Now, there are almost unlimited ways to reach your target audience on the internet: targeting people who search on Google with your search ad, capturing people’s attention with your promoted social media post, direct messaging on LinkedIn or creating a short video on Youtube. There are many channels and many types of ads that can use to target your potential customers.
But why the heck don’t they work for you? Many businesses have rapidly grown thanks to online advertising and yours hasn’t. What is it that makes your campaign inefficient?
First of all, be clear on the problem you are facing. What metrics say that your campaign is not working? Is it the ROI (return on investment — easily put, how many dollars are you making out of 1 dollar you invest in the ad), cost per lead (in case of lead generation campaigns) or number of people your campaign reached? When reporting on your marketing efforts, make sure to be as precise on the desired metrics as possible. “Thoughts” are the worst reporting tool.
Secondly, who is running your ads? Is it you who has access to all the important metrics and reporting or do you outsource ad management to someone else? If so, are they fully transparent on the process of a campaign setting? Do they let you “watch the chef while cooking”?
Let us be clear: this point is crucial. Online advertising is not a black box. It truly works and increases the ROI if done well. But if not, there is no positive ROI, just money thrown out of the window… What I am trying to say is, that there will be plenty of companies charging you for the ad management who are not truly willing to help you. As a result, your campaign ends up being inefficient.
Let’s say you are running the ads on your own and still suffering from lack of efficiency. We won’t let you down. We’ve prepared a few points which — when done well — will increase your ad efficiency.
There are over 7,000 marketing tools you can use today. And I'm going to name them all. No, just kidding, Scott Brinker already did. Actually, he updates the database every single year, so I don't have to. ;)
If you are new to marketing and want to learn about the 10 most useful tools for small businesses, keep reading!
Did you sell a house? Tell people. It's not only a success, but also confirmation for others that you're an expert and can sell their properties.
Live stream house tours
You probably organize home tours. With a mobile phone, you can simply make a live stream through Instagram, in which you walk through the house, describe its advantages in your own words and show it to potential or current clients. The live stream, unlike a regular tour, reaches a larger number of people. Don't get me wrong, it is certainly not a substitute for real house tours. But it can help you reach people, who don't come, instead.
Live stream from the neighborhood
You will probably agree that the neighborhood of the house is one of the most important things to consider when buying a house. There is nothing easier than walking around with a phone in hand to show customers where the house is and what is nearby. Livestream that is done well can give them a real sense of the area.
Make quizzes and polls
It is a very simple and engaging thing you can do. Making quizzes and polls in Stories, or even as part of regular posts is a great way to increase engagement with people.
Chat in Stories
Now you can add the Chat feature to your stories. It means that everyone can join a group and chat with you or other participants. You can use it as a weekly FAQ and for a limited time to answer your followers' questions. It's personal and engaging.
Share existing content
There is plenty of interesting content on Instagram. And this is an advantage for you, because you can easily share the posts you like and show your followers interesting content that they enjoy. Sharing others content and mentioning their accounts alo increases awareness of your account.
Give people tips and ideas for interior design. People like this type of content. Take advantage of existing Instagram content and just share it on your network.
You can either follow a trend or go against it. The choice is yours. The truth is, nonetheless, that if you fall behind, your competitors may overcome you – steal your customers and offer a better service or product. Knowing that being a business owner is a tough job, technology is sometimes considered too hard to implement because it is costly to hire a strategic partner or IT support or time-consuming to learn new tactics yourself. These myths may not apply for your business – today's tools are made to be easy to implement and understood by non-technical individuals.
Technology influences every aspect of your business – IT, finances, logistics, sales, support or marketing. New approaches teach us constantly how to become more efficient at what we do. Saving money or time, increasing the scalability of our businesses or inventing new products and business models is backed by the evolution of technology. On the other hand, not everything that glitters is gold… We've written an article about the difference between trend and hype. Watch carefully what's going on in your industry and what your customers need or require (which is definitely the most important factor of all), but don't jump on every train that goes around. Not everyone will make it to the final station. There is a difference between what influences your business and what doesn't.
We will cover some trends for 2020 below, but before we jump into that, let's speak about the context. In 2018, 50% of the world's population was online. Today in 2019, it's more than 54%. Now, most people have jumped into the information age, where everything is moving at an unbelievable pace. Not only are things (goods and services) changing on a daily basis, but their costs are constantly decreasing. Imagine you bought a 3D printer 12 years ago. 40,000 USD is what you'd have paid. Today, the cheapest 3D printers cost around 100 USD. Yes, your math skills are up to par: 400x less.
Everything changes. We either accept it and do our best, or die.
The goal of this article is to encourage you to follow the trend and embrace the newest technology in 2020, not to speak about morbid scenarios.
Going back to where we began: YOU CAN EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY IN 2020, because it is meant to be available for you. When running a local business, you focus on what's really important, right? You don't want to spend time doing things that don't positively affect your bottom line. Being an entrepreneur, there are two key factors to go after:
To achieve one or the other, you might try tactics you haven't tried yet. To understand them, let's dive into a few trends to follow in 2020:
We are bringing you our marketing knowledge, not necessarily the overall business strategy. You know your business best, but we know what saves you time and generates more money when it comes to marketing. Automating routine tasks and delegating the costly work, that you or your agency needs to do, to tools like groost. allows you to manage your online campaign effectively and for a fraction of the price. If you rely on your sales team, CRM systems like Hubspot or Pipedrive strive to help you automate follow up emails or customer retention activities. There is a plethora of tools to use, which we have covered in this article.
"For more than 30% of small businesses is marketing the number one challenge” by Mailchimp
We keep repeating this, I know. But it simply is the Holy Grail – always put the customer in the center of your (not only marketing) activities. I can assure you this won't be relevant only in 2020, but will last for decades. The times in which Henry Ford kept saying “You can have any color as long as it's black” is over. In today's era, your customers' desires and preferences are what should keep you awake at night.
Does this apply to marketing only? Not at all. Imagine you market your product so that hundreds of people are waiting in line to buy from you. Once they approach the cashier they turn back and never come again – unwillingness to serve your customers nicely by one of your employees can be very costly. To give another example, say you run an ecommerce project. Everything from marketing to IT works great, until your logistics crash and the customer does not get what she ordered. Is this something that can badly harm your business? Absolutely! Customers have many touch points when dealing with your business – make sure every one of them is as customer-friendly as possible.
Let's stay in the marketing field for now. You probably run your profile on social media. Having 1,000 page likes brings you nothing if you only reach 20% of them. The organic reach is – and will be – decreasing constantly which we covered in our latest article. You will have no other choice, but to create truly engaging content that resonates with your audience and to invest in paid advertising. What you need to focus on is:
According to the Deloitte Small business technology trends, 80% of small businesses aren't taking full advantage of digital tools. Be the 20% of them.
There are two main communication strategies: inbound & outbound. Inbound makes the potential customer discover you by the content that you create – be it articles on your website, videos on your Youtube channel or podcasts on Spotify. Outbound is focused on push or disruptive strategies – you reach your potential customers while they scroll on their social media feeds, watch videos on Youtube or read articles. Working on your content brings you long-term results. Educating your audience, providing valuable content (and boosting your inbound marketing) is something you should be focused on throughout not only 2020, but every upcoming year.
We've come across a few basic tips to leverage technology in 2020. As stated, even small businesses can – and should embrace the latest technology (not only in 2020, but beyond).