If you own a service business, the chances are that you’re on the hunt for new ways to grow your profit margins. Even if you’re already doing well and getting a steady stream of customers, you may want to expand your reach so you can make even more sales.
Unfortunately, this is never easy considering that the home services industry is witnessing the stiffest competition we’ve seen in ages. More small businesses are being set up that offer the same popular services – HVAC, remodeling, construction, and restoration. This means that to maintain your status as a market leader in your community, you need to find fresh ideas to give you an edge on the competition.
Simplemachine has been serving Arkansas small businesses for a while now, building websites and offering digital marketing services for some of the most successful companies in Northwest Arkansas (NWA). Over that period, they’ve learned ten crucial tips that can take you to the next level;
#1: Target Your Marketing
Definition: The term “targeting,” when used in marketing, means to identify and focus only on a group of consumers to whom you want to sell your products or services. This group of consumers is called a target market.
Key advantage: There are several advantages of targeting, the most obvious one being that it allows you to focus your resources on the right leads. Instead of wasting your time and budget showing ads to people who might never buy, targeting lets you narrow down to those who are likely to make a purchase.
Tips for Arkansas marketing: Consider social media networks, especially Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and StumbleUpon to align your ads to specific demographics, job titles, locations, and hobbies. Also, use community sites such as HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List, Yelp, and Craigslist to increase your visibility for local searches.
#2: Utilize Google AdWords
Definition: Google AdWords is a Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising platform developed by Google. You create ads based on your preferred keywords, and Google displays the results in a clickable form on search result pages and the Google Display Network.
Key advantage: The primary advantage of AdWords is that it’s very efficient. It’s simple, easy to set up, measurable, and currently has an ROI of $3 for every $1 spent. Also, it’s incredibly flexible. You can start an AdWords campaign with whatever budget you can afford.
Tips for Arkansas marketing: Since AdWords can be very challenging, begin by identifying your target market. Then, set goals. Goals will keep you on track. Additionally, invest in keyword analysis, use negative keywords, optimize for mobile, and remember to test and improve upon your ads.
#3: Make Use of Social Networking
Definition: Social networking, as the name suggests, refers to connecting with current and future customers on social platforms. It means building an exclusive community on social media; a community that knows your business inside out.
Key advantage: Social networks are arguably the best platform for building brand awareness, brand loyalty, and brand authority. They are also excellent for lead generation and play a critical role in search engine ranking.
Tips for Arkansas marketing: Experts recommend that you begin by identifying the networks that are most popular among your target audience. Where does your audience prefer to hang out? Once you’ve found this out and created a business account on at least three leading networks, do three things – build a vast network, engage (chat, reply, follow, comment, like, etc.), and measure.
#4: Start blogging or use a blogging service provider like Simplemachine
Definition: A blog is an extension of your website that maintains an ongoing chronicle of information. Blogging, therefore, is the process of keeping an ongoing chronicle of information on a particular site.
Key advantage: Blogging has endless benefits. It is the primary source of leads for many businesses. It is a cornerstone of SEO. It can be used to build brand awareness and authority. It strengthens the relationship between you and your customers, and so much more.
Tips for Arkansas marketing: Ensure that your blogging is helping out your SEO campaign. Also, ensure that the blogs are information packed. And lastly, don’t only post text-blogs. Consider visual content such as videos and infographics too. Fortunately, for Arkansas-based businesses, SimpleMachine can help with this!
#5: Make sure your website is mobile friendly
Definition: Mobile-friendly means just that – your website should be quick to load and easy to use on mobile devices. When consumers check out your site on a smartphone, for example, it should be as great as your desktop site.
Key advantage: The primary advantage of mobile-friendliness is the fact that, for searches made on mobile devices, Google ranks mobile-optimized sites higher. Considering that more than 60% of searches now happen on mobile devices, optimizing your website for mobile use can boost your traffic, leads, and even sales.
Tips for Arkansas marketing: The first step to being mobile-friendly is to invest in responsive design. If you’ve not done that yet, SimpleMachine can help. After getting a responsive site, make it your job to optimize all your content for mobile devices. Moz has created an easy-to-follow guide for mobile optimization that you can use.
#6: Get Local (local citations)
Definition: One of the most influential marketing strategies for mom-and-pop businesses, local optimization is the process of priming your online business for searches within the local area.
Key advantage: Local optimization puts your business in front of consumers in your local area, potentially leading to better-qualified leads, thus more sales and customers. A recent study found that 78% of local mobile traffic results in offline sales.
Tips for Arkansas marketing: There are a couple of ideas that you can turn to here, including two very important ones. First, get listed on social networks such as Foursquare, Google graph search, Google+ Local, etc. Secondly, get your business name, address, and phone number listed in directories. SimpleMachine can help build out local directories for you.
#7: Improve Your SEO
Definition: SEO needs no introduction. It’s the process of tweaking your site so it can perform excellently on search engines, including Google, Yahoo Search, Bing, and so on.
Key advantage: According to Search Engine Land, 72% of consumers begin their internet journeys on the search engine. What’s more, 91.5% of these people never go past the first page of results. SEO ensures that you rank highly on search engine result pages for maximum exposure and traffic. It is also useful for user experience and brand credibility.
Tips for Arkansas marketing: SEO always begins with an audit. In Arkansas, SimpleMachine can audit your website, Adwords account, social media performance, etc to get a really detailed look under the hood. After the audit, you should then embark on improving your site structure, speed, links, content, and keywords. Again, SimpleMachine can always help with that.
#8: Implement a Review Program (like Nearby Now)
Definition: Reviews are one of the best sources of referral traffic for local businesses. A review program is a service dedicated to generating local citations for a company with the intention of using those positive reviews to woo prospective customers.
Key advantage: Review programs help you get noticed locally by putting your reviews in front of thousands of locals. The best part, however, is that they do all that automatically. It means that you can continue working on your business while the program collects and shows your reviews to your target audience on your behalf.
Tips for Arkansas marketing: Your only option here is to sign up for a popular review service. In Arkansas, one of the most effective review services is Nearby Now. SimpleMachine, being a Nearby Now Partnered Agency, can help get you set up on the platform effortlessly.
#9: Keep an Active Online Presence
Definition: An online presence is the sum of interactions taking place between you and digital consumers on the internet. It, therefore, encompasses all searches, social interactions, forum contributions, and all other ways through which consumers interact with your brand, products, and services online.
Key advantage: The reason you need an active online presence is that the size of your presence defines your success on the internet. Additionally, your online presence has a crucial influence on your search engine performance.
Tips for Arkansas marketing: You can boost your online presence in many ways. But, primarily, you need an excellent business website, a strong social media presence, blogging, and influencer marketing. Then, you also need to measure and improve.
#10: Use Email to Grow Your Business
Definition: Email marketing is the use of electronic mails to drive a promotional campaign for a business entity. It involves sending emails to current and future customers with the sole aim of convincing them to take a valuable action.
Key advantage: Email is the most effective way to reach customers and prospects. As long as your emails are being opened, you can rest assured that your messages are reaching your target market. Additionally, email is cheap and has an incredibly high ROI of $38 for every $1 spent.
Tips for Arkansas marketing: Use email to complement your blogging, social media, and local optimization efforts. More importantly, track, measure, and improve your campaign, focusing on open rates and click-through rates. Finally, always split test. No email marketing campaign is perfect. Split testing allows you to adjust your messages as well as optimize your email structure for improved click-through and conversions.
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Simplemachine is the premier digital marketing services provider in Arkansas. Headquartered in Bentonville and serving NWA and the wider Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri regional area, we provide email marketing, lead generation, social media, local marketing, Google AdWords, content, and SEO among many other digital marketing services. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.