It's 2017, and it's likely that most business owners have the same resolution for the new year; increase revenues and profits for their business. However, just like that plan to lose 20 pounds, turning goals into resolutions doesn't make them any easier to accomplish. It will take strategy and effort to accomplish any resolution, so here are four tips for business owners who want to increase their traffic and profits in 2017.
Update Your Website
It's 2017, so if you're like most businesses, you have a website (if not, what are you waiting for?). In fact, odds are good that you've had the same website for several years. This can be a blessing and a curse, and is something business owners should address in 2017.
Websites that have been around longer have an SEO advantage over newly created sites. However, the longer a site has stayed the same, the more likely it becomes that certain information on the site is inaccurate or out of date.
A recent study found that the majority of consumers encounter multiple erroneous sites in their daily internet browsing. There are few faster ways to lose a customer than having them drive to the address listed on the website, only to find that the business has moved across town.
Updating a site is also a good time to upgrade security features, which are essential to building consumer trust. Similarly, improving the site's mobile friendliness can also lead to tangible improvements in business performance.
Utilize PPC and Social Media Ads
Many business owners have a false impression about the way that the internet and social media work. While it's common for large websites or popular social media business pages gained their massive followings organically, this is almost never the case.
While there are some cases of something just going viral, in most situations, things that get a lot of publicity and attention paid for advertising and promotion to get the ball rolling. True, all the money in the world isn't going to help bad content, but without paid promotion on the internet, getting noticed can be slow work.
It's important to realize that social media can be just as useful as Google in directing traffic to websites. While fans for a page don't necessarily equate to customers, Facebook's utility as content distribution network makes the platform as useful as search ads on Google or video ads on YouTube. Investing in both forms of paid advertising can produce good returns for a business.
Integrate Marketing Tactics
Another goal business owners should pursue in 2017 is using multiple marketing tactics in a coordinated way. A long time ago, the only way people learned about information was through gossip or the town crier. Now, there are a large variety of ways to get information to consumers, and the better these methods are used in conjunction, the more effective the results.
This integration can fall into two categories. First, businesses that use multiple forms of internet advertising should coordinate them to ensure that one consistent message is being sent to target consumers. Using email advertising, social media, PPC and video ads in tandem makes it hard for people to miss the message.
The other form of integration is when businesses coordinate their online marketing with their offline marketing. The methods mentioned before are effective on their own, but imagine how much more effective is when the online ads are reinforcing what they've seen on local billboards, TV ads, etc. Making an effort to coordinate all the various advertising and marketing channels can be tricky, but it is worth it for business owners to make the effort or to hire people who can handle this coordination and implementation for them.
Create More Content
While this may seem like an anticlimactic piece of advice for 2017, this may be the most important. Advertising still works, there's tons of evidence to support that, but consumers are becoming more capable of avoiding and ignoring ads if they want to. Content marketing is a good way to reach audiences while showcasing the knowledge base of a business.
For example, some consumer have begun using ad blockers to prevent them from seeing ads while browsing websites (though Facebook is designed so that these technologies don't work on their site). If people aren't going to see your banner ads about your plumbing business, writing blog posts about common plumbing issues would be a good way to attract your target audience without relying on ads. It may be indirect, but content marketing works.
And if there's one thing that business owners should strive to do in 2017 is use every available form of advertising and marketing to promote their business. For some more marketing tips that business owners can use in the new year, read this article on advanced Facebook advertising targeting.