The primary way potential customers look for EVERYTHING has become the Internet. At the same time direct mail, the phone book and other traditional media are losing their effectiveness and becoming nearly impossible to use profitably. By far the most effective and affordable way to get new customers is by using online marketing, which includes your website, SEO, social media, and video and mobile marketing.

The question becomes what steps will you take to improve online marketing this year?

Here are my simple recommendations for small business owners…

1. Have a “Relationship Mindset”. Building relationships builds business, period. This means build your lists (email, sms, social subscriber, etc.). Provide value, entertain, engage, aggregate useful information, ¬†¬†whatever fits you, your business and gives your customers and potential customers a compelling reason to stay connected with you over time. In this increasing competitive space the ability to regularly engage with your customers, potential customers and referrers will help you maintain top of mind awareness and give you a definite competitive advantage.

2. Update Your Search Engine Optimization. Consistently getting thousands of high quality visitors to your website for free is a very comforting feeling… and it adds stability to your revenue. SEO has dramatically changed in the last 18 months but the basic foundation is still the same. Start by identifying the words and phrases your best potential customers will use when searching for you or the products or services you offer. Then write educational content on the subject of those search queries. Update your site regularly with timely blog posts. Make sure your site is mobile compatible. SEO is an ongoing process but that should get you started.

3. Get Crazy About Conversions. If your conversion rate is high enough everything else gets really easy. There are now hundreds, thousands, of places you can advertise online, some incredibly cheap! Your profitability is directly linked to how many (what percent) of your website visitors become customers. Nearly everything on your website will affect your conversion ratio, the look, the image placement, the headline, the content, and your calls to action- EVERYTHING!

4. Embrace Social Media. It’s time. I could go on and on with both client and personal stories about social media being responsible for huge increases in bottom-line profits. Don’t simply tolerate or acquiesce to Social Media in 2014- EMBRACE IT!

5. Use More Video. Keep’em short and use ’em a lot.

I’m incredibly excited about 2014. Never before have so many tools and channels been available to small business owners to VERY AFFORDABLY (and often for free) connect with potential customers locally, nationally and internationally.

Would you like a little help? Get a FREE 2014 Marketing Review Conversion and SEO Analysis CALL Ed Taylor 541-941-4840.