Things used to be so simple. If you had a product or service you wanted to market, all you had to do was launch it. Put an ad out in the newspaper or TV and people would flock to your store. But today, getting yourself out there is a little bit more complicated, and often requires the help of a dedicated professional.
The question is: where’s the line between what you’re able to take on yourself, and the marketing tasks only a professional could handle? Sometimes, it’s as simple as looking at your business and identifying your current shortcomings.
Sign #1: Having Trouble with Competitors
The first sign is a struggle to be different – and better – than the competition. Imagine being the first company that sold cereals. What if you were the very first company to bring a pain relief medication to the public? What if you were the first to offer the masses a way to cure headaches and muscle pain? You can imagine how easy it must have been to be the first in any category. There would have been zero competition.
These days, though, it’s not that easy. There’s a huge amount of competition. And with newer technologies and communication platforms, doing business old-school isn’t going to cut it anymore, not unless you want to get edged out of the business by your competition. The only way to make sure you remain in the game is to be updated, and to leverage the latest technologies so you stand out from the rest, whether through your ads, site or or even your social media pages. If your business offers a product or service that’s unique enough, like Facebook or Google, then you’ll hit the motherlode.
But not everyone can be the next Google or Facebook. Most companies offer products or services that are already in the market. Chances are, so will you. How can you set yourself—your site, your social media pages—ahead of the competition, then? Remember that you’re probably going against a number of companies—some being long-time players in the field—offering the exact same services or products you are, who have sites all over the net. If that’s the case, then one way you can get your target audience to sit up and pay attention is to be different from everyone else. That’s where your brand comes in.
Sign #2: You Don’t Have a Brand Identity
The second sign is a lack of identity. This occurs when the only thing differentiating you from your competition is a different logo and another name. A brand is much more than just the visual, although that plays an important role. Who can forget the Apple ads that changed the world? The iconic “And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984.’” or the “Here’s to the Crazy Ones” of the Think Different campaign? The latter was also the ad that put Apple squarely back in business, says Computer World. To stay competitive, you have to make sure your branding—the tone and voice of your business—is reflected in your site in every way, from the navigational experience to the images and content. Don’t know how? Then you need SEO.
Sign #3: Your Goals Are Too Short-Sighted
The third sign is thinking in the now, all of the time. Running a business, like in war, means being a few steps ahead and seeing the possibilities that may present themselves in the future. This also means having the patience to invest in marketing methods that won’t bring you immediate benefits. Search engine optimization or SEO is one way to improve traffic to your site. By optimizing your pages for search and social, your site can drive more customers to your door and more sales to your business. However, it’s not something you can use to generate overnight success. It’s a long-term strategy, so give it time, says the Entrepreneur. Start with affordable website SEO services. Give them time. You’ll surely reap the benefits if you do.
Sign #4: You’re Struggling to Keep Up
The fourth sign is an inability to keep up with current standards and future improvements. Especially online, the bar for a company’s successful presence is being constantly raised. In the last few years, there’s been a huge growth in mobile internet use. With as much 80 percent of internet users owning a smartphone, said Smart Insights, you have a lot of people going online using their mobile devices. That’s one reason to hire an SEO expert to update your site. If yours isn’t mobile-friendly, then you’re driving potential customers away even before they get to see the best part of your business.
Fresh online marketing ideas can keep your business growing. So don’t stop looking for ways to improve your site or the services or products you offer. The ones who know how to use and leverage technology to improve their growth can be industry leaders in the future. Don’t rest on your laurels. Keep trying to find better ways to boost your bottom line. Always have time to listen to what’s new in the market. All that growth should be obvious in everything you do, even in your sites. Customers will appreciate your love for reinvention and innovation. You might even generate a lot of consumers loyal to your brand.
Sign #5: You’re Lacking Performance Metrics
The final sign is a lack of insight into your own company’s performance. One way to tell if you’re going somewhere—that is, if there’s any sign of success or progress in your site’s traffic or conversion rate—is to monitor your results. Keep track of your projects. That way, you know which SEO efforts you should kill off and which ones to continue. By measuring results, you’ll know where you are. You can examine where you went wrong, and what steps you need to take to go to where you’re headed.
So differentiate yourself from the competition. Get online marketing experts to help you and your business out. This way, your brand is reflected in everything you do, from your site to the quality of service you provide your clients with. By improving your marketing through search engine optimization, your business has a much better chance at success.