Creating a website for selling products

Woman shopping online

With more and more people choosing to shop online, having a website where you can sell your products is an invaluable way to increase your customer base. But, with so much competition on the internet, priority should be given to how you create and design your eCommerce website if you want it to succeed.

Always put the user first

When creating a website for selling products, step into the mindset of your users. Think about what you sell and who your target audiences are. Once you know who your users are, you should create your site with them in mind. Every style element you choose, from the fonts, to the choice of colours, images and text should be considered based on who you are trying to target. For example, if you sell beauty or fashion products, you should pay attention to the visual aspects of the design, creating a fun or informal feel, whereas if you’re selling something like financial products, your website should take on a more formal and informative tone.

Responsive design is critical

Gone are the days when consumers only use their desktop computers for purchasing items online. These days, smartphones and tablets have taken over, as more and more people use a variety of devices for internet shopping. In order to create a good user-experience when selling your wares online, responsive web design is key. This is where your website will adapt to suit the particular device that it is being viewed on so that it is easy to browse, scroll and navigate.

Create an easy, secure shopping experience

Make the online shopping process as seamless and straightforward as possible. Use text and images to accompany each product and state the prices clearly. Include your terms and conditions, and use a payment system that is reliable, safe and secure.

Include testimonials

Adding customer reviews and testimonials to your website helps to give your brand credibility, and these can prove a really worthwhile selling strategy. Try to include the reviews next to each relevant product you sell so that they are easy to spot by potential customers.

Make contact details easily accessible

Online shoppers like the reassurance of knowing that if they need to get in touch with a website business, they can easily do so. Make sure your contact details are easy to find on your website and are up to date. Include a variety of options for contacting you, including phone, email and an address. Good customer service is crucial, so always respond promptly to any queries you receive.

Building an eCommerce website is easier than you think. Go Sitebuilder has been created and designed with busy small businesses in mind – discover how you can create an online site today.

How to archive and reuse social media posts

Archiving and reusing social media posts

The organisation of your social media accounts is imperative. New updates, posts, and tweets are going to be happening all of the time, and often across numerous users and departments. This is why you need to make sure you keep an accurate record of all this activity and start considering how you can archive and reuse your social media posts. Not only is this pivotal in ensuring your social media marketing strategy is effective but it is also essential in terms of protecting your business should you be subject to legal or audit proceedings. So, read on to discover how to go about this.

Archiving your posts

To archive your social media posts, you need to find a good tool. Look for software that will capture daily activity with timestamps. The best solutions also migrate archived data from competitors, so that you can compare this with your own. You should look for a solution with keyword tagging and search capabilities as well. Historical posts and easy report generation are both also important.

Reusing your posts

You may also want to make the most of archived social media posts so that you can reuse them. This does not mean that you should simply repost the same thing again. After all, if you do this, you will be duplicating content, and this can work against you in terms of optimising your social media and website presence. Instead, you need to consider different ways to re-purpose your old content from your social media archives.

So, how can you repurpose your archived social media posts? Luckily, there are many different options here. You could build upon a past post, for example, or you could simply re-write evergreen content. In addition to this, you can turn older photos into backgrounds for visual quotes and graphics.

Other suggestions include creating an ebook or similar resource, creating summary posts, and turning survey results or stats into graphics or posts. Furthermore, you can re-share content that has performed well with different images and messaging, as well as creating a recap of a previous event. Finally, one of the easiest ways to re-purpose an old piece of content is simply to do a Throwback Thursday post.

Get started today

So there you have it: everything that you need to know about archiving and reusing your social media content. This is something that all businesses should be making the most of today in order to make their social media marketing campaign as effective as possible. To become successful, your business needs a website as well as social media. Sign up to a free trial of Go Sitebuilder to get your business online today.

Why you must have a menu on your restaurant website

Building a Restaurant Website using Go Sitebuilder

Many people consult a restaurant website first before deciding to book a table. It encourages people to book a table at your restaurant over others and attracts people to your website and establishment. For this reason, getting your site spot-on is crucial to winning potential customers over to visit your eatery. While there are plenty of elements that go a long way to ensure your restaurant website hits the right mark, including menus on your site is especially important.

Showcase what you’ve got to offer

Including menus on your website, whether as downloadable pages or within their own sections showcases what your restaurant has to offer. Your menus are your number one selling point, so without them, new customers won’t know what to expect. Many people also choose a restaurant based on price, so having your menus easily visible lets would-be customers know if the food you offer is within their intended price range. Your menus will also give a clue as to the kind of ambience or experience diners might expect, from casual meals to more formal, a la carte dining. This might be reflected in the type of food being served as well as the offers available. It’s also worthwhile including a gallery section on your site with images of some of the dishes off your menu, to whet customers’ appetites.

Catering for every taste

Lots of people have special dietary requirements, so providing your menus online lets people see what you offer to cater to different needs and tastes. It’s a good idea to include any relevant symbols next to dishes to denote any dietary options, such as gluten-free or vegetarian. If you cater to youngsters, don’t forget to include a children’s menu.

Easy to view

Since restaurant menus play such a big role in customer decision-making, when including yours on your site, ensure that they’re easy to find and access. If you add downloadable PDF menus, they should be fast to open, as well as properly configured for easy viewing on mobile devices.

Keep menus current

Having menus included on your site makes for a worthwhile opportunity to keep customers updated on any offers you have on or any new dishes. Keep your menus current, so that customers who visit your premises know what to expect. You’re unlikely to get the thumbs up from diners if you increase your prices or drastically change your dishes without reflecting these alterations on your advertised website menus. It’s also not good business to still be promoting your Christmas menu online when it’s almost Easter. Bear in mind that search engines rank sites higher that keep their content fresh and up to date.

If you’re looking for a new website for your restaurant check out Go Sitebuilder today! Get started for free and join over 9 million people already growing their business with Go Sitebuilder.


Four tips to help you turn your side job into your career

Side hustle tips

With the advent of the internet has come a whole universe of possibilities when it comes to business. In fact, more people than ever now have internet-based businesses, or “side hustles”, to boost their monthly income. If you’re one of these people, you probably want to turn your side job into your career at some point – but how do you do that? Here are some quick tips on turning your side-hustle into your full-time career.

Tip 1: Don’t make the change until you can afford to

One of the biggest mistakes people make when transitioning from full-time employment to self-employment is moving too fast, and there’s no need to rush. At the minimum, you want to be able to bring in the same amount, after-tax, as you do per month with your main hustle. Once you reach this figure, you’ll be in a great position to make the move.

Tip 2: Find the time for your side hustle

Another vital step when trying to make the jump to full-time self-employment is to dedicate some time aside to work on it. Putting time aside to manage your project is very important. Although, most of the time it won’t even feel like work when it’s something you love! 

Tip 3: Leverage the power of digital marketing

Another key to hitting the ground running with a new full-time gig is to be as established as possible when you go solo. The more clients you have, the more content you have on your website, and the more online visibility you have will be key factors in ensuring your new main gig can survive in the long term. Having a rock-solid website for your new business is the cornerstone to success in today’s digital world.

Tip 4: Don’t spread yourself too thin too soon

When you’re making this transition, you’ll essentially be working two jobs, meaning your time will be at a premium. This means that the time you spend on your side gig needs to be focused on quality. Your first few projects will be the starting ground for your business. This means you’ll need to be creating great material and maintaining healthy relationships with your client – in return getting amazing recommendations and excellent examples of the work you can do. Maintain focus, and keep it directed toward the best quality client you can find – and most importantly, don’t take on too much! It’s important you focus on maintaining your work/life balance.

If you’re ready to take your side-business to the next level with a beautiful website, try out Go Sitebuilder for free today – and see how far you could go.

Starting a hypnotherapy business

Starting a hypnotherapy business

Hypnotherapy is a life-changing form of therapy. It uses specialised techniques to help patients find the root of their anxieties and curb any unwanted impulses. If you want to start a hypnotherapy business as a guiding light to clients, then these are some pointers you should consider.

Draw attention to specific practices

People will have certain grievances that they want help with. Some of the most common issues include weight loss, smoking and sleep. Don’t just offer hypnotherapy as an umbrella practice. Talk about all the issues people might want help to demonstrate the specifics of your capabilities. If you focus on a particular specialism, for example, smoking addiction, you need to explain all the ways you can support an individual.

Gather testimonials

When you initially open your business, the most basic signs of your professionalism will be your credentials. But as you help more patients, you’ll have success stories to tell. As such, you’ll want to start gathering customer testimonials in which patients describe how their lives have been enriched by your treatment. Positive feedback can be what makes you stand out of the crowd, especially if you have competitors offering very similar services.

Offer discounts

Like any good business, everyone loves a bargain, so don’t be afraid to offer discounts. Encourage your existing client base to recommend other people to come to your practice by offering discounted sessions and free content. When your business is in its early stages, word of mouth is going to be the most powerful tool in getting your name out there.

Establish an online presence

Any business that wants to make a name for itself is expected to have some online presence. The best way to do so is with keywords relating specifically to your business that will improve your rankings in the search engines and of course, using the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so that audiences will get the message not just of what you’re offering, but who you are. This is an opportunity to build up your brand identity and separate yourself from the competition.

Establish yourself within the medical community

Wherever your practice is based, there will be healthcare professionals located near you. You should look at making yourself known to them. Imagine a patient checking out a medical directory and running across your name, then talking to the community and finding more positive information about you and your services.

If you’re looking for more inspiration on starting a hypnotherapy business check out our case study with Polly Evans, and see how she’s making her hypnotherapy business a success with Go Sitebuilder.


Since its humble beginnings, Go Sitebuilder has built up a dedicated following to benefit many up-and-coming entrepreneurs. If you want your own website and online presence, start your free trial – there’s no credit card required!

How to make your bar or restaurant visible on Google

If you own a bar or a restaurant, chances are that you operate in a highly competitive market. Getting your bar or restaurant visible on Google is one way to stand out from the crowd – and here’s how to do it.

Get on Google

If you want to be seen by Google, the first step you need to take is to get on Google itself. Register with Google My Business to increase your presence on the site, so that your name appears in local listings and on Google Maps.

Devise a local search strategy

Unless you operate a global chain of bars or restaurants, most establishments will have a localised presence, so use this to your advantage to enable your Google ratings to soar. Adding your name to local search listings will work in your favour with Google, but including relevant geographical keywords naturally within your website’s content can also help to boost your visibility online.

Mobile friendly

Any bar or restaurant that wants to earn brownie points with Google needs to have its website configured so that it is easily viewable on mobile devices. This also makes for a better user-experience, bearing in mind that the vast majority of online searches are now conducted using mobiles.

Focus on content

You’ll boost your visibility on Google if you focus on adding varied, quality content to your website that is useful to viewers. Menus are a worthy inclusion on a bar or restaurant website, but images of your food or premises also score top marks with search engines. If you do include photos, however, make sure that the image files aren’t so large that they’ll slow down the speed of your site. This could work against your Google ranking.

It’s also a good idea to keep your website up to date if you want to see it soar on Google. Add content on a regular basis, and consider starting a blog. Include relevant keywords within your content that will get your name visible on Google – but don’t necessarily opt for the most obvious ones. Choose keywords that are unique to your brand to boost your rating.

Add links

Another way to increase your visibility on Google is to feature your web link on other relevant websites. There are lots of options for this in the bar and restaurant industry, such as through an esteemed food blogger’s site, or an online magazine detailing local eating and drinking establishments.

Social media

Google favours those websites that have a presence on social media sites, so as well as owning a website, create pages on relevant platforms that showcase your bar or restaurant brand. Include buttons on your site that link to your social media pages to further boost awareness and appeal of your business.

We’ve created Go Sitebuilder to be the easiest website builder for small businesses. If you’re looking to give your business the web presence it deserves, check out Go Sitebuilder’s 14-day free trial and see just how easy it is.

Your guide to creating a landing page that converts

When you have your own business, an online presence is a must. And making sure yours is as good as can be doesn’t have to be complicated. With our simple tips, we’ll show you how to create a landing page that converts, so you can leave your website to do the hard work, whilst you keep doing what you do best.

What is a landing page?

A landing page is where a visitor arrives after clicking a link, usually from a search engine, social media or a marketing campaign. A landing page should turn a visitor into a potential customer, or a ‘lead’: your business offers something through its landing page and asks for something in return, often contact details. Landing pages are different to other pages of your website because their purpose is to encourage the visitor to take a specific action.

Six tips for creating a landing page that works

1. Define the purpose of the landing page and your goals
Being clear about the page’s purpose and what you want to achieve will help you get the best results. Do you want people to call or email you? Would you like to encourage sign-ups to your mailing list? Or perhaps you’re promoting a product and you’d like people to purchase via your page. Think about how many people you’d like to take action, so you’ll know when you’re near your target. This will help you determine if your landing page has been a success or if something needs to change (more on this in step six).

2. Use the right message and tone for your audience
You know your customers better than anyone. Write a message on your landing page that will appeal to them. Bear in mind the tone too: this is how your message comes across. The message and tone for an electrician looking for commercial contracts are very different from a craft business selling home décor. Keep your message short and to the point, so your visitors understand quickly what you’re offering.

Business owner planning a landing page that converts. Tone and messaging for her business

3. Create attractive layouts and design with no fuss
OK, now you know what you want to say and who you want to say it to. It’s time to design your page! Landing pages are a chance to be a little creative – after all, you want to make sure it helps you fulfil your goals. It should still look and feel like your brand, though you can play around with the layout and design to find what works for you. Text, images and buttons should be neatly spaced, and don’t forget to optimise for mobile! Luckily, Go Sitebuilder has a choice of pre-designed sections to help you. And all of our sites and landing pages automatically look great on all devices. So you can relax, knowing that wherever your potential customer is, they have a great impression of your business. 

4. Don’t forget to include a strong call to action
Your message is clear, your landing page design looks great…it’s ready to go, isn’t it? Not quite! A key part of any landing page is a powerful call to action. Your call to action is how you bring your page goals to life. While you don’t want to be patronising, it should be clear and prompt the response you’re looking for. If you’re stuck, think of it like this: a good call to action makes life easy for the visitor, like a takeaway menu with the phone number for ordering printed loud and clear, not small and hidden! Go’s library of designs, fonts and colours make your call to action stand out, so your landing page visitor will know exactly what to do next. 

5. How to improve landing page engagement 
You’ve built a fantastic landing page, and you can’t wait to share it with the world. Before you hit ‘Go!’ there are a few things you can do to boost the chances of visitors engaging with your page:

  • Videos are an effective way to communicate online. Make sure it’s not too long: around 60 seconds is a good amount of time to share information without taking up too much of people’s day.
  • Images are another way to keep people’s attention. Photographs of a product or images showing an event help people to picture what you offer, so it’s easier to understand what’s in it for them. If your business or product is a little more complicated, a diagram of how something works is useful.
  • Simplicity is key. From the design of your page to your message and even the form for capturing details – keep it simple and you’ll keep people’s attention. 

6. Finally, measure your landing page performance 
It’s important to keep an eye on how your landing page performs. Whether it’s tracking the number of leads generated or how many visitors have left without engaging, it’s all valuable information. If something isn’t working, you can make tweaks to the design, the layout and the message and see what difference it makes. On the other hand, if your page is successful, you’ll know what works for next time!

Landing pages that work – in a few simple clicks

A landing page is a powerful tool for collecting leads and turning them into customers. We hope that these tips are useful when building your own landing page. With a little thought and some clever design, landing pages are a great addition to your website and social media presence. Why not give it a go yourself? No upfront cost, no credit card required: sign up for your 14-day free trial today. Let us know once you’ve created your landing page. We’d love to hear about how you got on and the leads it generated for you!

Small business case study: Polly Evans Hypnotherapy

We love small businesses, and we love hearing from our small business customers! We’ve been sitting down with some of them lately to hear about their experiences with Go Sitebuilder so that we can keep improving and giving you what you need. Sometimes having a little insight into someone else’s experience with a product can make all the difference to people looking to use it themselves, so we’re sharing the first of our case studies with you here! Without further ado, meet Polly Evans, a Bristol-based hypnotherapist and proud owner of a Go Sitebuilder website:

Background 

Polly is a newly qualified hypnotherapist based in Bristol, England (our hometown!). After experiencing the benefits of hypnotherapy first hand, she decided she wanted to help others and took the exciting step of starting up her own hypnotherapy clinic. Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training (CPHT), where Polly gained her qualification, helped her set up her business. One of the things they suggested she invest her time in was a website (find out why a website is so important here!). It was especially important for her to have a website, as her audience is often comprised of people struggling with personal or mental health issues. These people may not want to call her or send an enquiry straight away, and so often want a way to get to know a therapist before taking these steps – a website gives them just that.

Finding Go Sitebuilder

Like many small business owners when they get started, Polly wasn’t technically savvy and was very limited on budget. She knew she needed a domain name so she purchased one online. The company she bought it from suggested a free trial of their website builder but Polly couldn’t quite get to grips with its interface. Fortunately, a friend recommended Go Sitebuilder and after a 14-day free trial, Polly decided to upgrade to a Go Premium subscription.

Getting started

Polly already had content, as CPHT had helped her with this. If you don’t already have content lined up, don’t worry! You can head to our blog to find out which key pages and information you need.

Understandably, with all the admin associated with setting up a small business, she hadn’t yet had a chance to think about imagery and branding. Fortunately, Go Sitebuilder’s onboarding meant that she could get pre-selected text and imagery to match her business in just a few clicks. It was easy to then carry the same theme throughout her website. She even used it as the basis for her business cards and posters!

“I changed the images by using the stock image library but I’ve actually kept some of the original text as I really liked it!” 

Expanding the website 

Polly started building her website on a friend’s laptop. Once she was happy with the way the website was beginning to look, she started to log in via her iPad to update her website on the go. Using Go Sitebuilder on her iPad and mobile phone, she has been able to add pricing and testimonial pages to her website. She knows she will be able to easily add more pages as and when she needs to.

“I don’t have an office as such and I haven’t owned a computer for a few years. I manage the rest of my business via my iPad so it’s been ideal to update my website from there too!”

Getting results

Once her website was live, Polly wanted to share it with the world. She used social media and Google Ads to get started, spending around £40 on Google Smart ads  and receiving around £500 back in client bookings. With a mixture of social media, ads and organic searches driving people to her website, she keeps her appointment slots booked out and is able to concentrate on her clients – leaving her website to do all the work!

In the future

Polly is planning to start a blog on her website. She wants to be able to share free information to help and support new and existing clients, and continue to build trust around her business. With any luck, the blog will attract more people to her website, build awareness and grow her client base.

As well as her website, Polly is also planning to grow her business. She is currently looking for a new clinic in a more central part of Bristol as she is steadily outgrowing the clinic she originally built at home – partly thanks to her website bringing in business!

To check out Polly’s website, head here, or try Go Sitebuilder for free here!

What pages do I need on my website?

When you’re creating a website, it can be hard to know where to start – and when it’s okay to step back for a while. There are loads of different pages you can have, and it can be overwhelming trying to imagine how you’ll find time to create them all. However, we’ve got good news for you: you can create a professional, complete website with just six essential pages. These pages will cover all the bases, from showing your personality to sharing your products. If you choose to, you can add any additional pages later!

Homepage

This is where your customers will land when they first come to your website, so make sure you make it engaging and clear! Give your company’s name pride of place, and follow it with a subheading or strapline to ensure it’s clear to every visitor what you do. Remember that not everyone will be there because they looked you up specifically! Maximise your chances of converting new customers by showing them that you can give them what they need.

Use call-to-action (CTA) buttons to provide clear pointers to other key areas of your website. The best way to do this is via a menu and short sections leading to these areas (e.g. a short introduction to you, followed by a link to the full About page). This will give your customers an easy path to follow and keep them engaged. They’ve come to your website for a reason, so make it enticing for them to stay there!

About page

People like to know they’re doing business with a human being, and this page gives you a chance to show them that you’re just that! Show your customers who you are with an insight into your motivations and personality. You could do this by telling the story of why you started the business; introducing your canine- or feline-in-chief; telling people a little about your background… just be yourself!

For another human touch, don’t forget to add a photo! If you’re a little camera shy, you could always use a photo of your four-legged-friend or your workspace. Just ensure it’s something that will inject even more personality into the page, while keeping it visually engaging.

For more advice on creating an effective about page, we love these tips from Moz.

Contact

There are countless reasons why a visitor to your website may want to contact you. It could be a query about a product or service, a business enquiry, or a collaboration request… the list goes on, so make sure you give them a way to get in touch! The simplest way to do this is a contact form, but if you have a bricks-and-mortar location, then use a map feature to show them exactly where you are. You can also include an email address and phone number if applicable. If you do, make sure your email address is something professional and in keeping with your wider branding.

Store OR product information

If you have products or services to sell, an online store is the perfect way to do this. Even if you also have a physical location, selling online means that you don’t ever have to miss a sale. You can sell without even being awake! Make sure your products are all clearly listed, with all the relevant information. This will save your customers having to ask for clarification or return items, and it will save you from having to answer questions or process returns!

If you don’t have products or services which can be listed in this way, you should still have a products/services page: this is a great place to show off what you do! Give all the information you think potential customers will need to make a decision, and, for extra impact, include your contact details on this page too – giving them a way to take the next step once you’ve won them over!

Testimonials

Until your customers have seen how great your products or services are for themselves, the best way to breed their trust is to show them how satisfied other people have been. If you don’t have testimonials already, why not reach out to some of your satisfied customers to see if they’d be happy to provide one? If you’re going to do this, just make sure you’re complying with GDPR. Don’t contact customers or share their data without their consent!

It’s up to you how you structure this page, but a good rule of thumb for any copy-based page is to keep it visually engaging with product images and an easy-to-read layout. For extra impact, you could also place testimonials or quotes throughout your website!

Blog

Just like the about page, a blog is a great way to show your personality and create a loyal following. As well as this, it’s also a place to share exciting news, from product updates to promotions. If you need any more persuasion, businesses with blogs receive 55% more traffic than those without!

If you can, it’s good to get into the habit of sharing regular (e.g. monthly) updates. This will help you to get into a routine and open up the lines of communication with your customers. If you don’t always have big developments to share, that’s okay! You can also update on smaller or more personal developments, such as plans, house moves, goals and more. Your customers will appreciate the insight into the human behind the company. If you’re stuck for ideas, articles like this have some great advice.

Once you have these pages, you’ll find that your website has a complete, professional feel to it. When visitors come to your site, they won’t be left wanting at all. Just these few pages will give them all the information they need to really engage with your business.

If you don’t already have a website, you’ll need a simple way to create these essential pages. We’ve designed Go Sitebuilder to be a simple and effective way to get online, giving you everything you need to grow your business, wherever you are – no technical skills needed! Try it free today.

A guide to digital marketing for small businesses

Research has found that almost half of all small business owners handle all marketing efforts single-handedly, but what does ‘marketing’ really mean? And how can you make it easier? In this digital marketing guide, we’ll be breaking down the most important aspects of digital marketing (marketing your company online) and providing some tips on how best to manage them – so you can start to benefit in no time at all! 

#1 Website

First of all, do you have a website? If you were searching for a company or service, would you be more likely to pick one with a website, which shows up on search results, or one that relies on social media or word of mouth? Probably the former!

A website is a great way to share your news (and increase your SEO ranking by updating your site regularly), give customers a way to reach you and build credibility. It’s also the best way to ensure that you have control over the way people perceive your business. It can help them to understand what you do, so you can grow your brand into something amazing. Here are a few of the main ways you can use your website for digital marketing:

Blogging

A blog is a brilliant way to get your personality across, which will keep your customers engaged. Use your blog to share exciting company news, new product announcements, ‘get to know us’ posts and more. For extra impact, you can also try to find guest blogging opportunities. These can help you to grow your audience and create valuable connections. If this isn’t for you, or you don’t have the time to post on other people’s blogs as well as your own, that’s okay! Just keeping yours updated regularly can make a huge difference.

Product and company information

If your customers have come to your website, they probably want to know more about what you do. ‘About us’ pages are a great way to show people a little more about who you are and what you do. If people frequently want to see your products in action, you might want to consider creating a demo video to engage them and encourage conversion. This gives your customers a better idea of how great your products and saves you having to spend too much of your valuable time explaining the same things. Everyone’s a winner!

eCommerce

If you’ve got great products, you obviously need a way to sell them! There are loads of easy and effective ways to promote your products with an online store. Try setting up discount codes to promote new products, organising your products by tag or category to ensure that the right people can find them, and adding new variations as soon as they come in. Make sure you share this on social media as well!

Contact forms

Encourage your customers to contact you and give them an easy way to do it with contact forms on your website. If someone has a query which might be a deciding factor for them, ensuring they have a way to ask it will ensure that you’re not losing business unnecessarily.

#2 Social media

Social media has become increasingly important in recent years, with more and more people using it to promote, sell and buy products. Having a presence on all the main platforms your customers are using ensures that you’ll show up wherever they search for you. This means they will also be able to contact you easily. In addition to the blog, it’s a fantastic way to keep your customers engaged, and to gain lifelong support for your business. Here are a few ways you can use social media:

Giveaways

Everyone loves a freebie, right? Depending on your product, giveaways are a relatively inexpensive way to engage your customers. You can give a wide audience the excitement of getting a new product, but you only have to give away one thing for free, so it shouldn’t be beyond your means. This is also a good way of widening your net on social media. See our social media blog for more information on how this works.

Making connections

Connect with similar accounts and meet potential prospects on social media. This will give you a good insight into what others are doing to market themselves, as well as opening up a large audience when you do start advertising. You can even promote other accounts in exchange for a promotion of your account – theoretically doubling your audience!

Showing off new products

This is especially effective on visual platforms like Instagram. In just a few seconds, you can upload a photo of a new product, tell people what it’s about, and use relevant hashtags to ensure the right people are seeing it. Simple! You can also share others’ photos of your products or services in action – or take some of your own. Keep it visually engaging and you’ll be sure to make an impression on potential customers.

An insight into who you are

Don’t be afraid to share a few non-product posts too! If you have a canine helper, a delicious working lunch or are simply taking a well-earned break somewhere beautiful, taking a few seconds to pop a post up will add to your online persona – boosting your brand at the same time.

#3 Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising

PPC (pay-per-click) advertising is one of the best ways to ensure that you’re reaching your target audience. It’s becoming increasingly important to use it these days, as more and more companies are using it. This has made it essential, if only to keep up with the competition on search engines. Fortunately, as the name implies, PPC doesn’t cost anything unless people click on your adverts. At least some of the people who do click on them should convert, which will ideally outweigh the cost of the advertising itself. In theory, it’s a win-win option! Available on search engines and on social media, it can be a brilliant tool.

There are some great guides to getting started with PPC available online, but here are a few of the key things to consider:

Keywords

To ensure you’re reaching your target audience, you need to make sure you’re using the right keywords. You can bid on certain keywords to make sure your ad shows up when potential customers type them into search engines. There are loads of great ways of making sure you’re using the right keywords and finding out how much they’ll cost, such as Google’s Keyword Planner. Perhaps surprisingly, it’s not always better to use the most obvious terms. You may find that to outbid the competition, you’d end up having to bid much more than you could afford. Instead, use planners to find the best balance between affordability and relevance.

Engaging content

Reaching an audience is only the first step; you need to make sure that you can engage them too. The best way to do this is to create engaging, relevant copy for your ads – so they’ll click through – and the page they end up on – so they’ll convert, and you’ll get a good return on investment from your ads. Think about what your customers want, what you can offer them, and why you’re better than your competitors. When you’ve defined this, try and state it clearly and concisely.

Content and PPC can feed into each other: if you have good PPC ads, people are much more likely to click on your content; and if you have good content to promote through PPC ads, people are much more likely to click on these ads. Check out these tips on creating great content to ensure you’re on the right track

Budget

Because you can edit PPC ads, change bids and more, it’s easy to stick to a budget. Ensure you never bid more than you can afford, however, and check in regularly. If you’re spending a lot, it probably means your ad has been successful, but you should still set an overall budget. On most platforms, this will stop the ad running once you hit your budget. You can then restart it if you decide the investment is working out!

Trial and error

As with most things, there’s a degree of trial and error needed with PPC marketing. Don’t be afraid to test two ads at the same time to see which performs better, or to take down an ad you’re finding doesn’t convert. If an ad really isn’t working, you won’t have to pay for it (as you won’t get clicks), and if an ad is working but not ultimately converting, you can make changes before going over your budget.

#4 Emails

Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with your customers. You can use it to keep them updated on new products, let them know about promotions, invite them to events and more. Here are a few of our top tips:

Newsletter

This is the best way to give your customers all the exciting facts in one go. By following a monthly or quarterly newsletter format, you can make your own life easier by giving yourself structure, and you can make your customers’ lives easier by saving them from having to search for new information on your company elsewhere. There are heaps of great tools to help you establish a system and format and execute newsletter campaigns; it can be really simple.

Don’t spam

Another great reason to have a newsletter is that it gives structure to your email marketing. The last thing you should do is spam your customers, or they’ll be hitting the ‘unsubscribe’ button before you can say ‘email’! Make sure you follow GDPR guidelines and check your customers actually want to be signed up to your mailing list. Once you’ve done this, create an emailing schedule to ensure you’re only contacting them from time to time, and not overwhelming them.

Branding

Wherever possible, match the colours of your email templates to your website. This will make your emails look more legitimate, while also ensuring that your brand will stick in your customers’ minds. Once you’ve created a template, you can use it again and again, so making the effort now will go a long way!

Personalised email addresses

If you’re going to email your customers, make sure you’re using a professional email address. This will make your emails look much more legitimate, and increase trust among your customers. Instead of using youremail@emailprovider.com, invest in an @yourbusinessname.com email address. There are several ways to get one of these, but the simplest way is to ensure that it’s included with your website and/or domain name.

#5 Customer service

Yes – customer service can be digital marketing! Responding to emails, social media queries and reviews…these are all digital marketing practices, and they’re all important! Ensure that you respond to customers promptly (when possible), and courteously. Give them a reason to want to buy from you! When you’re running a small business, it can feel like your personality and your business are intertwined, and in this instance that can be a very good thing! If you can consistently offer great customer service, you’ll make customers for life, not just for one terrible email exchange!

Be there for your customers

Replying to customers (across all platforms) can make a huge difference. More often than not, queries will be quick and easy to respond to. Taking a few minutes once or twice a day will help to build customer loyalty and trust. It might even be the difference between you making and losing a sale!

Respond to reviews and comments (even the bad ones)

Nobody likes a negative review, but responding to complaints and bad reviews can turn a customer’s negative experience around. It may be that you made a mistake, the customer misunderstood something or just that the product wasn’t for them. Whatever the case, this doesn’t have to damage your reputation or your customers’ perception of you! Stay calm and follow handy online tips like these to ensure you can come out of a tricky situation with your head held high – and even learn something from it!

Be human

Many people choose to support small businesses because they’re run by individuals, and that shows in their customer service. Don’t be afraid to show your human side with personalised emails, behind-the-scenes blogs and more. These small insights and personal touches are what set you apart from huge corporations in the best possible way, by reminding your customers that they’re buying from a human, rather than a faceless entity.

 

You might be surprised to see that all these activities count as digital marketing, but they do! Chances are, you’re already doing quite a few of them. If you’re not, some of them are really quick and easy to institute, so you can be an expert digital marketer in no time!

While these are all different areas of digital marketing, one thing most of them have in common is the need for a website. For most businesses, this is the glue that holds things together! If you’re looking for a way to tick several things off the list at once, why not start a free trial of Go Sitebuilder today? It includes up to 5 professional email addresses, social media functionality, a beautiful website builder and a blog, so you can really start to get ahead when it comes to growing your business online.