The world wide web has opened the door to so many opportunities for small businesses. However, whilst this means you can reach more potential customers – it means your competition can too. Thanks to the internet, you’ve probably discovered that there is actually more competition out there than you first thought. Although this can be daunting there are still ways your small business can stand out online.
Tell your story – and bring this to life on your website
Whilst it can be tempting to compare yourself to your competitors – don’t. Instead focus on why you started your small business in the first place. What’s your story? Because, although people may sell the same products or services as you they definitely don’t have the same story as you. To illustrate this and your passion for what you do, create an “about” section on your website and remember to include all the unique details about how your business came to be. Once that’s done, add a button or strip to your homepage where you outline the three key values your business holds. This way you can establish what makes you different from the beginning and not just lose it in the navigation bar.
Make your website more human
Nobody wants to spend their hard-earned cash on a business that treats them like a number. Therefore, it’s important that your website and online marketing are made for humans – not exclusively for SEO rankings. Firstly what you want to do is make your website as easy to use as possible. To do this you need to create the best user experience you can. You can either hire an user experience specialist agency or you can try to do it yourself. Luckily, if you’re looking to do a bit of website DIY we have a vast amount of articles all about user experience.
Proactively acknowledge and solve common customer problems
One of the best ways you can attract potential customers and lure them away from your competition is to help them. Before someone sets their sights on purchasing your products or services they will more than likely do some research online. One way they may do this is type some questions into search engines regarding any concerns they may have. You can find out what some of these questions are if you use Google’s search console tool or their keyword planner. Once you’ve discovered what some of these common pain points may be – address them in a blog post and tell your audience how they can overcome or answer these problems. Not only will this show that you are readily addressing issues before being asked directly – it could also help you convert your competitors customers to yours.
Create a memorable experience
This sort of ties in with the previous point – however it’s more about surprising your audience with an interaction that is not only personal but memorable. It may sound complicated but creating a memorable customer experience can actually be pretty simple. If you’re selling a service, it is likely that potential customers will have to contact you first – make this as easy as possible for them. You can do this by adding a online chat widget to your website or creating a intuitive contact form pop-up. However don’t stop there. Make sure you deal with inquiries quickly and accurately. It may sound obvious but replying to a inquiry personally rather than using an automated service already makes the interaction more memorable. Just make sure you address the customer personally and directly answer their questions. In short – you just need to deliver an enjoyable customer service.
Don’t try so hard to be “quirky” “innovative” or “weird”
One of the most common and frankly, annoying trends with small businesses at the moment is the fact that they point out how different and quirky they are – all the time. Whilst this is a relevant claim to make if you have completely re-invented the wheel, it is more than likely that you don’t have a unique product or service as such. Therefore by banging on about how innovative or different you are, you actually become just like all of the other small businesses claiming the same thing. So, drop the “quirky-ness” and aim for being real.
That pretty much sums up our top five ways to stand out as a small business online. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.
As always, if you need any further assistance with any website or online marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either right here on our website. Until then, happy marketing!