Around this time of year, you read lots on about goals for the year ahead. The Telegraph published an article on the most common New Year’s resolutions. As you would expect, top of the list is exercise. Actually, the top four most common resolutions are along the same lines.
- Exercise more (38 per cent)
- Lose weight (33 per cent)
- Eat more healthily (32 per cent)
- Take a more active approach to health (15 per cent)
It seems we are fairly homogeneous in our goals to live a healthier life through diet and exercise. And no doubt this year will be no different.
While you set your personal goals this year, it’s worth setting some goals for the health of your business too. If you are a business owner, this is often the time of year when you reflect on the year that’s been and think about your business goals for the year ahead. Do you want to grow your business in the year ahead through new business, or drive revenue growth from your existing client base?
If you don’t currently have marketing goals. We can help.
We’ve written a checklist of small goals to achieve as you head into another busy year. Great goals are SMART. Specific, Measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. We want you to tick them off, feel satisfied and then go for that run you have been planning!
So let’s start with your Website.
Make it easy for people to find what they are looking for on your site, 57% of internet users won’t recommend a site that is poorly designed.
Getting the Basics Right on Your Website
✓ Home Page – This is the first page most visitors will see when they come to your website, a bit like your first meeting. And first impressions count. Your home page should look professional and portray your brand values well.
✓ About Page – If visitors are reading this page they want to know a bit about you. You could include the company history, a profile on the team and what your special areas of expertise are. Give them the reasons to choose you over a competitor. It may be your expertise in an industry or the way you work with clients. You know your company best, consider your strengths and share these. A client testimonial on this page is a great way to show evidence of this.
✓ Services/product pages – Visitors come to these pages with a problem to solve. Make sure your content on this page is ‘them focused’ not ‘you focused’. By putting yourself in the shoes of a client you are more likely to provide the solutions rather than just talk about what you do. Be informative and helpful.
✓ Contact – Have a dedicated page for visitors to find the ways they can contact you, in addition to the footer or sidebar of your website pages. Providing your phone, email and physical address gives visitors options on how they want to get in touch. Even if you mostly do business on the phone, your address shows you are a real bricks and mortar business. Include links to your social media channels (more on this later). You can also include a contact form on this page – so that visitors to your site can contact you directly from here.
✓ Blog/news – By posting frequently updated and relevant content on your website you give people a reason to visit your site multiple times and the content will also help improve your search engine rankings making your site more visible.
✓ Make sure your site is optimised for mobile – Can you easily read it on your cell phone? If not, this fix should be a priority as the majority of online searches are now carried out using our mobile phones.
✓ Cross Browser Compatible – Simply stated, your site should look good no matter what internet browser people are searching on.
✓ Speed optimised – With the average attention span of falling to 7 seconds, a website that loads slowly risks visitors clicking away before they even land on your site. To help improve the page loading speed work on the site configuration to ensure your website is optimised for speed.
✓ Set up caching – Every time a browser visits a page it retrieves the title and content. When you are exploring the internet, you’ll notice that pages you have already visited before load faster. This is because of caching. Your computer will temporarily store the page data to speed up your website experience so make sure to leverage browser caching on your website.
Don't Forget About the Social Media Networks
This is where your customers are, so you should be too. Unlike email, social media has a broader reach and by posting content that your audience values, and shares, you grow your reach.
Here’s a brief guide to the options:
Friend based networks
- Facebook is the biggest social media platform. It started as a friend networking site but has quickly been a place for businesses to communicate with their audience in a less formal way than their website. Facebook provides you with a non-selling environment – it’s all about personality, casual endorsement, being a proactive and responsive company.
- Twitter is for ‘micro posts’. This is a place to make short commentary and follow industry threads. You can use Twitter for pithy commentary or share a link to your long form content.
- LinkedIn is the business version of Facebook. It’s like a virtual networking event. LinkedIn helps you get in touch with others within an industry or across the industry. Individuals share their professional profiles and for this reason, the channel is often used to find new employment or employees. You can also have a page for your business. On LinkedIn, the opportunity exists to be a trusted authority or thought leader in your areas of expertise.
Media sharing networks
- Instagram is all about photos and videos. This platform is also for mobile rather than desktop. Depending on your business, this is a highly engaging platform when you use the right images.
Social media helps you reach new and different audiences. If you're not sure where to start thinking about the channels your clients use and if in doubt, ask them!
✓ Take it in stages, get comfortable and master it – Social Media is fluid, unlike your website. Because of this, it is more relaxed. You can be yourself there so choose the platform you are most comfortable with and dedicate some time each week to it.
✓ Create posts – Once you have opened an account, use it to build fans and followers. You can post news, advice, commentary and share or comment on content from influencers and trusted sources.
✓ Be responsive – If someone reaches out to you on social media you need to be there. Show that you are engaged and listening. You can post a comment back or sometimes a ‘like’ will suffice.
✓ Secure the social media accounts for your firm – before someone else does, make sure you own the account names for your business.
Let BOMA help your practice with multi-channel digital marketing and start the new year with the tools you need to grow your business.
…….. And now for those for those Exercise Goals!
About the Author: Liz Studholme is the Marketing Content Manager at BOMA.
BOMA takes the complexity out of digital marketing. Find out more.