So, you’ve already started your small business. It’s up and running. You have a few clients or customers already, mostly friends and family.
For many young entrepreneurs, the logical next step is to grow and expand the business. This might mean creating new products to sell in your online shop or offering additional services. And to succeed at growth, you’ll need to become a pro at growing your startup’s visibility. The more people who learn about your business, the more customers you’ll attract.
1. USE SEO BEST PRACTICES
SEO stands for search engine optimization. This is the hybrid of art and science that makes search engine algorithms put links to your business near the top of search result pages, but also uses language that attracts very real human beings to the product you offer.
Professional marketers spend years perfecting SEO. Companies spend money to make sure their SEO is designed to win those search engine results pages (or SERP).
Thankfully, young entrepreneurs don’t need an advanced degree in marketing or business to get the hang of SEO. Get started today by:
- Using impact words
- Imagining what sorts of words and phrases your target customers will type into the Google search bar and respond accordingly
- Show off the benefits of your product or service (how will this make someone’s life better?), not just the features
- Take advantage of free online keyword tools that can give you words and phrases to include in your written content
2. SIGN UP FOR A FREE GOOGLE ANALYTICS ACCOUNT
This is a fantastic tool for young entrepreneurs. Major companies use Google Analytics, or GA, to help them boost their visibility. In a nutshell, GA will tell you at a glance:
- What keywords customers are using to find your page
- How much time they spend on your page
- Where your customers are from
- Which part of the website is losing you customers
All these insights can, in turn, show you what’s working and what’s not. Do more of the former and fix the latter.
GA is a major tool with more features than you’ll need to use. Before you get too overwhelmed, start here to learn the basics. There’s not much you need to know for a small business, but what’s there can boost your visibility by a lot!
3. FIX YOUR WEBSITE
Web building is so easy that it can be tempting to simply throw all your information onto a page (or two) and hope for the best. At the other end of the spectrum, you might also decide you need a separate page for each item or section of your business. Either way, customers will be turned off and click away.
Your business’s visibility depends, in part, on how easy it is to navigate through your website. It’s part of a search engine’s rating. Ratings decide where your link will be placed on a SERP. The easier your website is to navigate, the higher your rating. The higher your rating, the better your position in a SERP.
As you build your website (and maintain it every few months), check the following:
- All links. Are any broken?
- Are your graphics optimized for both phone screens and PC monitors?
- What’s your load time?
- Is your main menu easy to find and use?
- Is your language clear, concise, and free of typos?
A great website isn’t just for your customers. It’s also for search engines. Keep that in mind as you build (and maintain) your business’s website. Here’s more advice on creating a website that boosts visibility and gets you more customers.
4. KEEP YOUR CONTENT FRESH
What would you do if your favorite YouTuber went months without posting a new video? Or disappeared off the face of the earth with no explanation? You’d probably stop following them, right?
It’s the same with customers and would-be customers. Like you, they want fresh content to consume regularly. How often you post, and the type of content you post, will depend on the platform you use and your target audience. Twitter, for example, requires shorter bits of content and is ideal for posting at least once a day. Keeping a blog on your website, however, requires more thought and preparation, and is, therefore, better updated every week or every other week.
Before you spread yourself too thin and burn out on keeping up with every social media site available, consider which platforms are the best ones for reaching your target audience. Statistically speaking, you’ll find your peers on TikTok, Twitter, and Snapchat. If you’re aiming for an older audience, try Facebook or Instagram.
Take advantage of online tools designed to help you create, organize, and schedule your digital content. These tools usually have a free version you can sign up for. They’re there to help you write up tons of posts in advance and schedule them ahead of time so you can focus on other areas of your business!
5. KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE – AND TARGET THEM
If you’ve ever seen an ad for a product or service that is so far beyond your interests you wonder how it even got there, then you know very well the importance of targeting. The best way to figure out your target audience is by writing up a buyer profile. Start by thinking about your ideal customer. How old are they? What is their income? Are they still in school? What are their interests? What problem do they have that your product or service will solve?
Once you have a buyer profile, the rest of these tips will fall into place much more smoothly. You’ll know which keywords to include in your SEO. You’ll know what (and who) to look for in your GA account. You can optimize your website for them. And you can create content that appeals to them on social media platforms they are most likely to use.
Once you’ve boosted your startup’s visibility, watch your enterprise grow and thrive!
The Kantner Foundation is proud to offer college scholarships to Florida’s high school entrepreneurs. To learn more about our program, and to start your application, click here.