There’s more competition than ever these days for small businesses, so they’ll need all the help they can get if they’re to keep finding customers and landing crucial sales. 

The best way to find customers is to expand your professional network. Of course, it’s always been the case, but now there are so many options for doing just that. 

To help you find the best methods to expand your business network, let’s look at some useful tips. 

Specifically, we’ll be talking about:

  • SEO strategy
  • Social media presence
  • Customer service and support
  • Customer feedback 
  • Email marketing

SEO strategy

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is about getting your web pages to rank higher on search engine results. A successful SEO strategy will funnel potential customers back to your website and lead to more sales. 

There’s a lot that goes into a successful SEO campaign. To give your business the best chance at success, you can consult SEO companies to help you out. 

That said, you can do a few simple things to help your website get more hits. 

Use keyword phrases

Keywords are commonly searched words or phrases that the public use to find information through search engines. If your online content contains information relevant to those keywords, then the search engine will direct the user to your site. 

You can find out how popular certain keywords are with tools like Google Analytics or SEMrush. 

Bear in mind that keywords with incredibly high search volume are normally highly contested, meaning there are many other sites out there trying to attract the same web traffic. 

So try to be as specific as you can with your keywords. The word “trainers” is highly contested on its own, but the phrase “high-performance outdoor trainers” is far more specific while still including the most popular keyword. 

Write relevant content

Of course, keywords aren’t the only thing that search engines look for. Otherwise, every site would cram hundreds of keywords into every web page. 

Your web content has to be relevant to rank highly on search engines. Search engines rank sites based on “authority”, taking into account things like how often you post, the links you include, and how many users stay on your site and use those links. 

Produce fresh content

As well as authority and keywords, search engines like Google will also consider how recent content is. This prevents old, outdated information from appearing on search engine results. So for the best results, make sure you create fresh content and stay away from old facts and statistics. 

It’s also good practice to produce new content frequently. It helps search engines results but also looks better to your social media audiences. Some businesses just repost old content over and over, and it looks a bit lazy. 

Backlinks

Strong backlinks are the foundation of any SEO strategy. A backlink is a link on your webpage that links to another webpage. It might link to another one your own or a completely different site. 

Search engines can read your sitemap for links and will take them into account when ranking you in their results. The important thing is that you link to relevant pages with authority.

Social media presence

Social media is a great marketing tool for businesses. It’s free, easy to use, and most people are on at least one platform. You can find groups related to your industry, and contribute to them directly to reach a wider audience. 

The main benefit of social media is the personal factor it gives your business. Platforms like Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, are all about personal connection and communication, giving you a chance to reach audiences on a more personal level. 

Remember, each platform is slightly different in tone and humour, so one size doesn’t fit all when posting content. You might have to tweak your message slightly depending on what platform you’re using.  

Customer service and support

Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful forms of advertising. People are just more likely to listen to their friends’ and families’ recommendations above all else. 

With that in mind, one of the best ways you can expand your customer network is by taking care of the customers you already have. Customer service and support are often cited as reasons people leave or stay with a business, and the bar is fairly high nowadays. 

24/7 customer support is ideal, but we know that’s not an option for everybody. As a general rule, you should try to make your customer support system as simple to use as possible. 

We’ve all been there with an automated phone service that takes us in circles, making us angrier than we were in the first place. 

So whether your customer support is via phone, email, chatbot, or FAQs, try to keep it as straightforward as possible.   

Email marketing

People often underestimate email marketing, but it offers an impressive return on investment.

Emails don’t cost anything to produce, they’re a direct line to the customer, and they can be pre-programmed to deploy at regular intervals or in response to specific actions.

For example, most online stores send promotional information after the first purchase, keeping customers updated on special offers and deals. You can also programme an email to trigger when a customer leaves items in their online shopping basket without buying them. 

Customer feedback 

Feedback should be at the heart of every change you make to your business. 

The customer is not always right. But, at the end of the day, you’re fighting for their business, so it’s probably worth paying attention. 

This means direct feedback in terms of reviews and complaints, but also analytics. See how the changes you make have affected sales, website traffic, and online engagement. Numbers don’t lie. 

Stay on top of your finances with Countingup

Expanding your customer network will inevitably lead to more sales, leading to more accounting admin.

Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.

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