Promote Your Carlisle Business
If you are trying to promote your business in Carlisle and the surrounding area, there are a number of ways you can attract new customers. It is vital you promote your business to your target audience so your efforts produce the best Return on Investment (ROI).
Promote Your Business Online
If you have a website this will offer huge opportunities to generate interest in your services if it is working effectively for you. If you don’t have a website, you should really consider getting a website designed that showcases your products & services and is optimised to work for you in Google and other search engines such as Yahoo and Bing. 90% of searches for a local business start (about 90% of these are from Google) with a search engine and if you are not listed they are not going to find you or your products. Your website is nearly always the first opportunity potential customers will have to interact with you so it is important it is used to create the company image you want – displaying as much or as little information as you wish so you may want to provide a glimpse of how you do business, provide reassuring reviews/testimonials, provide a gallery of your work or maybe provide in depth information about each of your services and products. How you choose to organise your website is different for different businesses but for all businesses your website needs to convey a professional image. Your website definitely needs to be viewable across mobile devices, tablets and desktops as more people are using mobile devices to search for products & services than ever before. The best way to do this is through Responsive Design which ensures you have one website that works across all screen sizes.
Marketing Your Website
If you have a website it is important to maximise its potential and not just think ‘I’ve got a website, enquiries will come flooding in now’. You need to work on it, refining it, exploiting opportunities and fixing any areas where it is not performing. The main areas you can market your website are;
Search Engine Optimisation (the art of getting your website higher up the search engines, producing more visitors, more enquiries and ultimately more business)
You are often competing in a crowded marketplace and your competitors may have been proactively marketing their websites for years but it is never too late to catch up and overtake your rivals in the search engines. Search Engine Optimisation is used to help websites climb Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines by ranking for the phrases your customers use to find you organically (these are free clicks, unlike PPC which we will get to soon). For example; you may be an electrician working in Carlisle so by far the best term for you will be ‘electricians in Carlisle’ which if your website is listed on page 1 for in Google you are guaranteed to get a steady stream of visitors to your website looking for electricians in Carlisle. There are all sorts of terms associated with this that will be of benefit to you such as ‘recommended electricians in Carlisle’, ‘reliable electrician Carlisle’, ‘Carlisle electrician reviews’, ‘electrical contractors Carlisle’ and then there are those terms which are associated with specific services you offer such as ‘CCTV installation Carlisle’. There are many elements that make up an effective search engine optimisation strategy so it is important you speak to an experienced professional as badly conceived and implemented SEO can have a negative effect on your website in the search engines – buying links, duplicate content, cloaking and other techniques will land you in trouble with Google.
PPC – Pay Per Click / Google Adwords
Pay Per Click is an internet marketing model where you pay a website or a search engine when a user clicks on your advertisement. Google Adwords is the most used avenue for Pay Per Click spend and is used by all types of businesses across industry sectors. You set your budget and the amount you are willing to pay for specific key phrases and you pay Google when the add is clicked. You are competing against other marketers so the more you pay the more likely your ad will appear in the search results (the ads are often shown at the top & bottom of the search results page for a given search and defined with a green ad sign). The idea is to attract qualified leads to your website. There are lots of options such as advertising in a specific place, globally or within a radius of your business.
Not every organisation benefits from Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or other social media mediums such as YouTube but most businesses should consider one. A Facebook page for example is free and provides a popular channel for communicating with your fans and customers. Benefits include; increasing awareness of your business, increase loyalty, increase web traffic, share your content faster and easier, target customers in your area.
Whether you have a website or not there are a number of directories where you can advertise your business. Yell offer free listings as do Thomson Local and others. Not all directories may be good for your business (if you have a website) as Google penalise websites with too many low quality links to their website. There are directories which vet and monitor business, gaining reviews so consumers can make a choice on previous work. For example, if you are in the building industry you may want to get on mybuilder, ratedpeople, checkatrade or get listed on the trade association site for your industry such as the Federation of Master Builders.
Google My Business
Google offer a free service to promote your local business called Google Business. Verifying your business enables customers to find you easier on Search and in Maps. It is a great tool, particularly for businesses that have a shopfront – customers on the go can quickly find your opening hours, driving directions to get to you, phone number and can post reviews which are always great…when they are positive!
There are other areas such as guest blogging and banner ads but the above are the main areas where you can take advantage of the internet for your business success.
Promote Your Business Offline
We do not profess to be experts in promoting your business in the ‘real world’ but know a few places which may be of benefit to you and could be suitable for your type of business. It may be worth getting in touch with the https://www.cumbriagrowthhub.co.uk who offer business support for growth in the Cumbria area.
There are plenty of publications where you can advertise to potential customers from newspapers like the Cumberland Times, News & Star to magazines such as Carlisle Living and Cumbria Life. Trade Association publications may also work well in your industry.
There are clubs, business groups and associations where you can get to know other businesses and build mutually beneficial relationships.
Go to Trade Shows
Whether you have a stand or not you can go to trade shows and tell people about your products and services. Obviously it works better if you have a stand, particularly if you are selling products.
Flyers and Leaflets
You can create a flyer, coupon or leaflet to either distribute from your business or places where potential customers may get together.
Depending on your type of business a direct mail campaign may work well. Researching your target audience and continually refining your mailing list will lower your costs.
If you would like more information about marketing your business online, please get in touch.