To generate new leads in today’s online world, your business needs to be optimised for search engines – in particular Google.
Most small businesses know this and invest good time and money in their online strategy.
The challenge lies in achieving sustained search success and business map listings are a key part of this. Here’s how to achieve this with Google My Business. (more…)
Inbound marketing is an essential tool for any online business. By creating and distributing useful content, the aim is to attract potential customers to your products and services.
Ultimately the purpose of inbound marketing is to create sales. So, here we examine ways that you can hone your inbound marketing tactics to engage with more prospects and move them along the path to purchase.
When you are looking for ways to promote your new start-up or small business you will, without doubt, soon hear the words, “content marketing”.
There’s a lot of buzz about content marketing at the moment, but what does it actually mean and how can small business owners use content to help grow their business?
This guide answers those questions, and also offers useful, practical advice if you are considering incorporating content marketing as part of your marketing strategy. (more…)
Now that the panic-provoking headlines of “print is dead” have toned down to “well, not quite”, it’s safe to say that we all know there is value in both print and digital marketing.
The question that businesses are now asking themselves, is how exactly do we work out how to divide our budgets between print and digital marketing? (more…)
Digital marketing never stays static, and 2018 is going to be no exception.
As a small business owner, or the person responsible for marketing in a small organisation, what do you need to know at the start of this year to stay ahead of your competition?
We asked Tim Butler, founder of Innovation Visual, to reveal the key digital marketing trends that every business owner will need to get to grips with in 2018. (more…)
For many small business owners, the term ‘digital marketing’ could very well generate a concerned or baffled look, and the temptation to turn around and hide in a darkened room.
As an established small business, or even someone setting up a new business, you might know all about offline marketing like posters and billboards, flyers and direct mail, and word-of-mouth advertising, but when it comes to promoting your business online, it’s unchartered territory.
So to help you safely navigate the online marketing landscape, conquer new marketing activities and promote your business in the digital world, here’s a small business guide to the basics of digital marketing; (more…)
Video is a potent and wildly effective marketing tool, but only when it is part of a measured and considered content strategy.
It is no easy task to succinctly and effectively communicate your brand values and core messaging to an audience in a way that is original and compelling.
Before you even begin you need to have spent time seeking to understand who your customers are in the first place. (more…)
A website can be a very powerful marketing tool for start-ups and small businesses. An effective site helps smaller firms to reach out to a huge audience of potential new customers and take on bigger rivals.
However, the battle to be found online can be fierce, so if you want your small business website to be successful, you will need to look at search engine optimisation, or SEO as it’s commonly referred to.
With SEO becoming more complex and specialised, many small businesses look to outsource the work to an agency. But with so many practitioners and firms out there offering SEO services it can be tricky to find the reputable providers.
To help you sort the wheat from the chaff, here are the 5 questions you should ask an SEO agency before you think about hiring them.
Starting your own business means you suddenly become the owner of several hats – one for selling, one for bookkeeping, one for planning, one for looking after customers and one for marketing to name but a few.
The marketing element of a start-up is one of the most complex, especially given the changing ways small businesses need to reach customers in a digital world.
Digital marketing can be a bit of a mystery to many small business owners, so to help you explore how you make the most of the opportunities it offers, we’ve asked Tink Taylor, founder of dotmailer, to share some simple tips to get you started on your digital journey.
SEO has become an integral part of online marketing. If you want your business to be seen online, the general consensus is that SEO is absolutely essential.
Committing to a high quality SEO campaign can take up a lot of time and make demands on a startup’s budget that not everyone can meet. But seeking cheaper alternatives could mean you soon find yourself facing a Google penalty (the worst of which is your website being complete removed from their index), which can put your entire online presence in jeopardy.
The good news is that SEO need not always be a lengthy commitment and if you have some in-house capacity, it is possible to take on a large portion of the work yourself.
This in-depth guide explains what you can expect from a SEO campaign, and will help you determine if you can do some of the work yourself or whether you’ll be better off outsourcing everything from the start. (more…)
For a small business, email marketing offers an inexpensive but effective and efficient way to engage with your customers, and attract new ones – so long as the right planning has been put in place first.
It creates and maintains communication, helping to keep your brand front of mind and build customer loyalty. Campaigns can be designed around a specific purpose, e.g. to boost sales, or to increase website traffic, and they can be targeted – you decide who receives which email.
Most importantly, and unlike many other marketing options, its results are measurable – the best email marketing platforms will even provide you with reports outlining how successful your campaign has been, and what aspects worked best.
This makes it an excellent choice for small businesses with a limited marketing budget. As long as you take the time to really think about what you want to get out of it, it is also simple – follow these 6 steps for planning and implementing your campaign, and you won’t go wrong. (more…)
We live in a connected age where you can purchase pretty much anything you want at the touch of a button on your smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer.
With this in mind, you may find it surprising to learn that not all businesses are tapping into this, or even quite know how to.
In a world where over three billion people use the internet, and no one can put down their smartphone or tablet, it seems obvious that startups and small businesses would look to advertise their products and services online.
Paid advertising puts your brand in front of a defined audience, and encourages them to make a purchase or a decision of some kind. In addition to increased sales, it can increase social media followers, newsletter sign ups, and brand awareness.
To help you get to grips with online advertising, and to ensure you make the most out of every penny you spend, here’s a beginner’s guide to paid advertising online.
We’ve all heard it; “You just have to be using social media marketing.”
And the response from many business owners is; “I’m keen to try using social media to promote my small business but I’m not sure where to start.”
If this sounds like you, here are ten simple but effective tips that will help any business starting out with social media, no matter how big or small your budget.
No longer uniquely the home of shaky phone cam footage of comedy pets, YouTube has become a truly global broadcasting powerhouse. Sure, there are still grainy home videos aplenty, but these days YouTube is as much about film trailers, news channels, comedy sketches and even dedicated web series.
With one billion unique visitors every single month, it’s also an invaluable marketing tool, capable of reaching the kind of audiences that TV ads sandwiched between slabs of prime time soap can only dream of.
Of, course, if it were as simple as plastering the web with marketing videos and waiting for your inbox to fill with sales enquiries, everyone would be enjoying the fruits of their YouTube labours.
Ecommerce enjoyed a big year in 2015, with figures indicating that online retail sales in the UK topped £60 billion over the 12 months.
As consumers become increasingly comfortable with purchasing a wide range of products and services online, and with smartphone-based shopping expected to surge, the coming years are looking even brighter for e-tailers.
But, what does 2016 have in store for B2C ecommerce?
Following on from last year’s very popular 5 e-Commerce trend predictions for 2015 we’ve asked Ian Gordon of iWeb to take a look at the trends that will define the year ahead, and the opportunities that online retailers simply can’t afford to miss.
It’s estimated that almost one in every three small businesses maintain their own website, and with that comes a whole host of potential challenges to overcome.
Alongside the usual cost of building a new website, getting the right designer and managing your hosting prices, there are other factors which many small business owners do not consider when managing or monitoring their website.
In fact, there are a number of common mistakes which SMEs often make, but which are easy enough to overcome.
Here are the seven errors we most often see with websites designed for startups and small businesses.
As long as brands have existed, consumers have loved to talk about them. While 90% of conversations about brands are happening offline, today millions of people talk about companies on social media, and these online conversations now offer a new dimension in marketing.
Whether consumers are aware of it or not, these branded conversations are increasingly being watched by businesses.
Being faced with so many conversations happening in real time can be a daunting prospect, particularly for small businesses, but ignoring them can be a huge missed opportunity to influence how the world sees your brand.
Social media is widely hailed as the latest big thing in brand perception and reputation management. With the number of people using social media growing by the day, more and more businesses are recognising the need to connect with this audience.
Ever since social media became so prominent, companies have seen a huge online fan base as something of a marketing holy grail, with the number of Facebook fans and Twitter followers becoming a benchmark for success.
Unfortunately, lots of companies jump into social media with energy and enthusiasm but quickly get disappointed or frustrated when the results aren’t quite as big as their ambitions.
The road to building an online fan base that is both big, and crucially, of value, is a long and winding with very few shortcuts, but here are five steps to think about in order to succeed: (more…)
If you are looking to publicise your business website, but don’t have a blue-chip budget to promote it online, there are a number of ways to let people know about your new venture with very little cash (if any).
Here is our final set of web marketing tips to help small business owners compete on a level playing field with their larger rivals on the web.
These tips were written by the Bytestart team. We’ve been optimising and publishing content sites since 1998 – with some success (and mistakes made) along the way. Hopefully these tips will help small business people increase the visibility of their websites on the Internet and save you time along the way.
This is probably the most asked question by small business owners who have an online presence. They may well have created a wonderful, insightful site, full of information… but no one is visiting.
The internet is without a doubt the most exciting marketing opportunity your business will ever have.
It’s never before been possible to reach so many people with so little money or effort. The UK economy may not have emerged fully from the recession – but for those of us who invest our time and energy into smart online marketing, we have the best possible tool to beat this.