Thursday, 10 January 2013

Its Not All About SEO


Did I read that right - an SEO consultant telling us that we shouldn't be doing SEO? Well, of course not, but lets face the facts, although the internet offers a bunch of opportunities to small and medium sized businesses that previously were out of their reach, its not the only way to get leads and referrals. After all, millions of businesses did perfectly well for a long time before this new fangled web-thingie came along. So, how do you increase your off-line visibility in today's increasingly on-line world?

I'm just back from my weekly BNI Bravo meeting and pumped up, ready to go and keen to do business. But, wait a minute, I didn't take my laptop (or tablet), all I had were some business cards and a rapier wit! Ok, I had some business cards.

So, there's tip number 1 - always have a business card with you wherever you go. Of course, it should have all your contact details including your web address, and by simply handing it out with a nice handshake (not like this from Alan Partridge)

Partridge (upon shaking Dan's hand) - "Interesting that you combine a handshake with giving out a business card. It can go wrong. I once gave a papercut to a man from Nestle"

you have already put your website in front of a potential client. A QR code is also a great idea so they can take a look at your site using their smartphone right after your meeting (and make sure you have a mobile-optimised website ;)) Also, include as many of your social profiles as you can, you want to gather followers whenever you can to increase your social profile. Finally, hand them out as often as you can. Leave them in public places, pin them to notice boards, whatever!

Next up, business stationery. I see a lot of people who still send out letters/invoices and even e-mails without a single piece of branding on it. Make sure that your contact details are all there, set up a signature using Outlook for every email you send out and, once again, include social profiles, website address and a QR code.

Own a vehicle? Get it liveried up. Its free advertising as you drive about and it gets your web address noticed.If you cant afford a full vehicle wrap just get some stick on decals or even a sunscreen printed up. For added effect drive about town like a complete nutter, sounding your horn and generally being a nuisance to other road users. Actually, that's probably a step too far :)

Printed Ads. Yes these still work and because of increased competition from online media, many printed publications have slashed their rates,making them a cost-effective alternative. Local paper, local area magazine and specialist publications can still put you in direct contact with your local market. Make sure that you give them a reason, or incentive to visit your website though. A free offer, coupon code or something like that, in return for them signing up to your e-mail newsletter of course, can build a targeted local list for a very low cost per acquisition.

Network. There are loads of networking events in almost every town and city and while some have a cost attached there are quite a few free ones. They are a great way to get your business name out into the local marketplace, get your face known and let other business people know about the services you offer. Sometimes, networking organisations will allow you to promote yourself for free simply by, for example, giving a talk or seminar to their members for free.

So, there you have it. Even in today's online-centric business world. there a big role for offline promotion. Of course, when combined with an effective SEO campaign, the results can be even better,so make sure you contact Granite SEO on 01224 515365 to get your business the best online and offline visibility.

No comments:

Post a Comment