flower-1036651_960_720To remain at the sharp end of your sector, growth needs to be top of your business agenda. Without growth you won’t reach new customers and without new customers you can’t count on staying in business for too long. In order to stay competitive it’s vital that you attract new clients.

Getting the word out about your business is never an easy task. Marketing forms a massive part of any business, no matter the size, but it can be difficult to rise above competing messages. If you are a one man band or small business, chances are you’ll find yourself wedged in a catch 22 situation. It’s difficult to justify spending large on marketing efforts but without that activity you risk losing out on some valuable custom. However you don’t need to break the bank to spread your online message.

1. Widen your web presence

The most important part of your online presence is, of course, your website. You should think of your website as your virtual shop front, a hub, which everyone will see when they search for you.

To build a decent website requires a great deal of thought, it’s important to first consider your website layout and then how the content on your website links together. Before you begin to piece together your website you must first define the goals of what you want your website to achieve.

As a starting point you should have considered at least three goals. From here you should then be able to easily identify the top goal for your business. Is the goal for your website to differentiate yourself from the competition? Or is to score leads?

2. Optimize your website

Once you’ve got your website plan clear in your head next you’ll need to work hard at driving traffic to it.  Getting your website at the top of Google is no walk in the park. You’re not just locking horns with the competition but also with the search engine bigwigs that change and update their search algorithms at the drop of a hat. However, optimising your website is less about keeping up with SEO changes and more to do with about learning the fundamentals to optimise your site properly and maximise traffic from the search engines.

Tom McVey from Net Sixty Six SEO believes that in order to stand out in a crowded marketplace you must first put your customer’s needs above your interpretation of Google rules.

“To widen your web presence you should ensure that your website is firstly a good representation of your business. Having quality content presented in a user friendly manner is an absolute must to widen your web presence. No matter what information is available about SEO, Google wants your website to be built for users.”

Consider the following steps to increase your chances of ranking higher than your competitors:

-Find the right keywords for your area of business

Before you consider your website content, you’ll need to conduct keyword research to see what words your potential customers are using when searching for your business.

Stay well clear of keywords that are too generic like ‘electrician’ and instead choose relevant long-tail keywords like “emergency electrician in Manchester”, which will have a high search volume and lower competition.

-Create content based around your keywords

Don’t forget to write for your visitors first and the search engines second. If you just focus on adding keywords throughout your copy then you risk sounding stilted and robotic. On the whole you’ll have a greater chance of producing content that’s informative and interesting.

-Make it look pretty

According to research carried out by Adobe, given 15 minutes to consume content, two-thirds of people would rather read something beautifully designed than something plain. 38% of people surveyed again by Adobe said they will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive. So if you happen to have awe inspiring content, make sure the website appearance matches up.

3. Offer 5 star customer service

Wowing your customer is no mean feat but if you can achieve that it can completely redefine how potential prospects feel about your company.

Great customer care isn’t about having a well-trained customer care team either. It’s about ensuring absolutely everyone in your company feels empowered to use their discretion to go above and beyond the call of duty. Sure, there are times when our customers test our patience with seemingly impossible demands but remember that without them, your business wouldn’t exist.

4. Adopt cloud computing software

Sometimes the prime reason for why you’re not bringing new business in, is down to your working processes. If you’re buried under a mountain of paperwork, struggling to meet the expectations of your existing customer base, then what chance have you to forge new relationships?

Working with the right software can solve this problem. Juggling invoices, VAT and tax needn’t be complicated and by adopting intuitive cloud based accounts software you’ll find what are usually arduous tasks much simpler to manage. In a nutshell, it will free up time allowing you to pursue new business relationships.

Take handling tax as an example. At the 2015 budget, the government spelled out their vision for a modernized tax system and the end of the tax return. By 2020, most businesses will be required to keep track of their tax affairs digitally and update HMRC at least quarterly. By using software to handle your tax affairs, you can be rest assured your submissions are on time helping you avoid penalties.

KashFlow is easy to use bookkeeping and payroll software that can help streamline your work processes freeing up more time for you to bring in new clients, and keep your business competitive. To find out how we can help claw back more time for your business whilst helping you profit in the process, just call our Onboarding Team on  0844 815 5779  for a quick 1-2-1 demonstration of our software.

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