For small online businesses, marketing can seem a challenging and confusing task. After all, you don’t have the luxury of hiring the most expensive agency or building up an in-house team of marketing professionals. Instead, you must remain lean and find strategies that bring you paying customers. In this article, I cover four tips you can start using right away.

Design your website for usability

four marketing tips for your small online businessMake sure your website is clean, simple and easy to use. Ask a few of your friends to browse your website as you sit and look over their shoulder. Instead of asking them to review your website, ask them to complete specific tasks and watch them. Do they have difficulties navigating through your shopping cart? In that case, you need to make changes accordingly. Usability should come first and foremost, and should never be compromised in the name of prettiness. Not unless you want to leave revenue on the table.

Learn the basics of search engine optimization

Imagine if you sell golf clubs. Would you rather show up as the first result when someone searches for “golf clubs” on Google, or would you rather be buried on page 10? If the answer is the former, you need to learn about search engine optimization. While you can hire a firm to do this for you, it’s essential that you have an understanding of what the firm is doing. There are many unscrupulous providers, and you need to know the basics to be able to tell the good from the bad. A great place to start is to read the Beginner’s Guide to SEO.

Focus on increasing your website conversion rate

marketing tips fo small businessYour website conversion rate is the percentage of visitors that end up buying from your website. If ten people visit your website and one person buys something, you have achieved a conversion rate of 10%. To increase your revenue, you need to make this percentage go up and up. As your conversion rate improves, so does your chance of being able to make your online marketing campaigns effective. If you currently lose money from advertising on Facebook, and then you increase your conversion rate, you might now be able to make money from that same advertising campaign. Then, at that point, you have just found a way to reach millions of customers. Check out the KISSmetrics Marketing Blog, HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Blog and the lots of other great resources available online.

Send out a promotional calendar

Need a way to get your customers to remember you all year round? In that case, you should send them out a promo calendar. A promotional calendar is also something that everyone else in your customer’s home or office will see, not just the one person you sent it to. This is why – for B2B marketing – promotional calendars are stunningly effective. Send a calendar to one person and hundreds of people in the same office could be exposed to your brand.