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How to market your business online

Business marketing

A website is practically indispensable, given consumers and businesses regularly use the internet for research.

First of all, consider whether you want to offer online purchasing via a ‘shopping cart’ and secure payment facilities.

Website addresses are relatively cheap to buy a year at a time. Your website could be designed and built yourself using an off-the-shelf package, or you could use a design company with the expertise to make it standout in search engines. If you do this, make sure you have the ability to make simple changes to the pages yourself to keep ongoing costs down. Visually the most important thing is to keep the pages simple and uncluttered – you don’t have to say everything on one page.

Don’t forget ‘Search engine optimisation’ when you build your site – this sounds complicated, but what it really means is making sure that when people search for your products or services, or about your company, they find you first. Labelling things like pictures on your website and being very clear about bold statements that you will enable the search engines to find you.

Another key thing that you can do is have lots of different links on your website. If you’ve got links to other local areas of interest and businesses, search engines will consider that to be almost like a news service, giving your website a higher ranking.

You’ll also need to think about email communications. Email is a cost effective way of getting your message across to people – but it is used by a lot of other businesses so you need to make sure that your message stands out.

Additional help

Our free Barclays Business Manager can introduce you to a local marketing expert for a free marketing consultation to help you decide on the best marketing approach to take, and we also offer Let's Talk Getting Online workshops giving you the chance to pick up some top tips in a small group environment.

The Direct Marketing Association have produced a website which shares best practice – and what to look our for – when selecting what type of activities to do: www.b2balliance.co.uk

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