They say the pioneers take the arrows and the settlers take the land. This is most certainly the case with the Internet. For the average small business, the last 20 years has been a roller coaster ride with hit and miss results online.
The landscape has evolved and the technology has matured. Along the way, a whole lot of information has been gathered. Now the data is in and the results are clear. The best practices for small business to succeed online are written. All it takes is well built website and five core ongoing activities.
1. Online Advertising – The most direct method to reach any target audience, online advertising is critical to any successful online program. While there are hundreds of options for advertising online, Google AdWords leads the industry in many regards and is the most effective starting point for any small business. Once an advertising campaign is up and running, it’s critical to analyze results and make adjustments to get the most bang for the buck.
2. Content Creation – This most frequently neglected requirement also happens to be the most critical item on this list. Google says “Provide high-quality content on your pages, especially your homepage. This is the single most important thing to do.” Businesses that continue to neglect publishing regular updates risk being out-published by negative reviews. Businesses who are publishing regularly make themselves increasingly more relevant with an ever-expanding collection of content.
3. Social Networking – The children are our future, and they’re carrying smartphones. There are over one billion smartphones in service today with five billion more coming in the next five years alone. And that’s not to mention the billions of PCs and tablet computers in service today. Social networking is an integral part of the online experience across all of these devices. Small businesses have to participate in the conversation or go unnoticed.
4. Search Engine Optimization – This is perhaps the oldest trick in the book. It’s hard to have a website for very long and not be offered SEO services. The industry is saturated with SEO companies offering everything from sound solutions to wild claims of extraordinary results. It takes some due diligence to find a good provider. And if it sounds too good to be true, well…
5. Management – The final item emerges from the complexity of the first four items on the list. There are a lot of moving parts to manage. More importantly, there are business goals to achieve. A well managed online program will measure success by how well business goals are being served. For most small organizations success online means winning new business. It’s not about clicks or hits. It’s about the number of quality business inquiries that can be delivered each month.
At Jackpot, we use this best practice model to deliver new business and develop competitive advantages for our clients while protecting their online reputations and growing their social reach.
To learn more about Jackpot and how we may be of service contact us here or call 501-247-1009.
Win new business and develop competitive advantages while protecting your online reputation and growing your social reach. See How the Web is Won