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by Advance Ohio The U.S. Small Business Association reported that there were 28.8 million small businesses in the United States at the beginning of 2016, which makes up for 99.7% of all businesses in the U.S. Ohio is comprised primarily of small businesses as well, with 927,691 small businesses across the state.According to the State of Small Business Report, the top challenges small businesses face are hiring new employees, increasing profit, employee healthcare, growing revenue, and cash flow. Your small business may be facing similar challenges, too, so let’s break down what you can do to feel more confident in the success of your business.

Make sure your website is updated and user-friendly.Having a working and constantly updated website shouldn’t be a question these days.  Websites give your company credibility, provide customers with important information about your product or service, and of course, improve your search engine rankings so your customers can find you more easily. Making sure your website is user-friendly is just as important as having one in the first place. Optimize your website on desktop and mobile so that it is simple to navigate, pleasant to look at, and targets the people you want to reach. Some additional tips on how to make your website user-friendly can be found here.

Improve the experience and retention of your current customers.Existing customers are aware of your products and services, but with so many options on the market, it is difficult to retain customer loyalty. One great way to encourage customers to keep coming back to you is through a loyalty program. Email marketing is also a great way to encourage retention. The numbers don’t lie: 91% of consumers check their email at least once per day on their smartphones. Sending personalized promotions and information about your company through email can be the right step to retain your customers. Check out our article “7 Reasons Why Email Marketing is not Dead” for more about email marketing.

Invest in new customer acquisition activities and methods.Whether you’re just launching your business or you’re trying to expand into a new market, it’s important to invest in digital marketing methods. While it may cost you up front, there can be a healthy return on your investment in the long run.

Invest in online advertising: Online advertising is one of the quickest methods to get your name out there. Online advertising has greatly improved over the years, and can specifically target the audiences that you’re looking for or that are looking for you. Read more in our article Focus Digital Campaigns with Audience Targeting.

Invest in social media marketing: Social media is the buzz of the decade, especially for the younger generations, but don’t rule out everyone else: 82% of Baby Boomers and 91% of Gen Xers have at least one social media account. Read about a few reasons how social media strengthens relationships with customers in our article Join the Social Media Party.

Invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Most people will not go past page one of search engine results. Honestly, when was the last time you clicked on page 2 of a Google search? Getting your website to show up on the first page could make or break your chances of getting new customers.

The digital marketing world is ever-changing, and Advance Ohio has the tools to help your business keep up with every new development. Contact us today so we can build a customized digital marketing plan for your small business.

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