Do you have ten minutes, thirty minutes or even an hour to spend on your online marketing?
Well, here are some ideas how to spend that time…
10 minute jobs
These are quick and simple jobs which can be squeezed into any day.
Website design, usability and conversion rate
1. Check your calls to action (CTAs). Are you being clear enough in your website pages about what you want your visitors to do next? Are the CTAs at appropriate points within your content? If not, add some in.
2. How quickly can visitors to your website find your contact details? A lot of people might be Googling you to get your phone number or address, so make sure they’re really visible, especially on your homepage.
3. Copy and paste the content of your website into Microsoft Word, then see if it highlights any spelling or grammatical errors. Both readers and Google appreciate clear and accurate use of language.
4. When working out how to ask people to contact you, consider what would be most convenient for them. There are lots of options, including phone, email address, contact form, postal address, FB Messenger, WhatsApp, live chats, chat bots, etc. Make sure the most prominent options are the ones which will suit your customers best.
5. If you have retired relatives with time on their hands, ask them to look at your website and tell you what they think. Do they find it easy to use? Interesting? Have they spotted any typos? Could they fill in the contact form?
6. If you have forms on your website, fill them out and submit them to make sure they’re all working OK. Also, see what happens when you get something wrong (eg a non email address in the email field). This is a useful check to do every few months.
7. If you have lists on your website, make sure that the items you most want people to notice are at the top or bottom of the list. The ones in the middle are more likely to be missed.
8. If you’re a limited company, make sure the correct details are shown on your website: your registered number, registered office address, country of registration and the fact that you’re a limited company. This not only meets your legal requirements, it can also give potential customers more confidence.
Search engine optimisation
9. Check your website has a security certificate – if it doesn’t this could dent user confidence and affect your Google ranking. Find out how to check your security certificate status. Ask your website host/manager to add one.
10. Have you ever looked at your website’s title tag? If not, start off today just looking at the one for your homepage. Is it working as hard as it should to tell Google what your business is about and where you serve? More title tag tips.
11. Do you own your Google Business listing? No? Then claim it. Yes? Then what about your Bing Business listing? Not as important as Google, but still a free and easy way to promote your business online.
12. Add some new photos to your Google Business listing – it’s important to keep it looking fresh and showing the best of your work.
13. What format are the photos on your website? Ideally they should all be jpg and resized/optimised to the smallest possible file size, without affecting photo quality. Aim for 100k file size for each photo.
14. Non-photo images on your website look best in png format (not jpg) to give you a better quality picture. But make sure the file size isn’t huge – resize the image & optimise it to keep the file small.
15. Look at the description which appears when your website is listed in Google search results. This is your ‘meta description’. It should be beautifully written to entice people to click on your link, not your competitors’. However, note that Google won’t always choose to show it! Find out more about meta description optimisation.
16. If you have important information to convey about your products or services, pin them to the top of your Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter feed, so they’re easy to find.
17. Look at the settings for your Facebook page. There are lots of options in there and they change pretty frequently, so it’s work a check to make sure everything’s set up just as you’d like it.
18. Google Alerts are a great way to keep up to date with your industry/local area. Tell Google which topics you’re interested in and you’ll get email alerts when something new is published. They’re a great source of ideas for blogs and email marketing. Sign up: https://www.google.co.uk/alerts
19. If you have some old blog posts which are still relevant, there’s no reason you can’t re-share them through social media and other channels. Food bloggers are great at this, they often re-share recipes “from their archive” and thereby find a new audience for them.
20. Think about creative or productive out of office responses, so you can take every opportunity to communicate the right messages to your customers. Check out our blog post about out of office responses for ideas.
21. Change your passwords. We know it’s frustrating having to remember new ones, but this is a good chance to make sure your business is secure. Change passwords for your website, Google, social media, etc.
30 minute jobs
Website design, usability and conversion rate
22. Check out your 404 page (just type in your web address with /404 at the end – eg www.opendoor.digital/404). Is it a bit dull? Could this have some fun or interesting marketing messages on it? Read our 404 page blog post for more ideas.
23. Research good sources of stock photos for your website, blog, social media, etc. Some are free! Our blog article about sourcing stock images includes a useful list to give you a starting point.
24. Read out loud all the content on your website. By reading out loud you’re less likely to skim over text and more likely to spot inaccuracies or out of date information.
25. Testimonials are a great way to break up chunks of text in your website. Format them nicely so they stand out and try to choose a testimonial that reinforces the messages on that page of your site.
26. Aim to keep each paragraph of text on your website to 3 or 4 lines. Simply breaking up the paragraphs makes it easier for your readers.
27. Does your website have “walls of text”? These are really off putting to readers. Break up the text with sub-headings, bullet points, images, nicely formatted testimonials or design devices like horizontal lines.
28. Check your website images have “alt text” to describe them. You only need to do these for images which convey information or help with navigation. This will help the visually impaired use your website through screen reader software.
29. If your website is big enough to merit a site search, regularly review what users are typing in (enable this function in Google Analytics first). Are there common misspellings? Synonyms? Tell your search how to deal with them so users are more likely to get useful results.
30. If you have a search function on your website, check to see if there are common searches for products or services you don’t offer. This could be a useful indicator of what your customers want and help you build your product/service portfolio.
31. Have you ever done cross browser testing for your website? It means looking at your site on lots of different browsers to make sure it performs just as well on all of them. Try it on Chrome, Safari, Edge, Firefox & Internet Explorer – both on a computer and a phone.
32. Weed out any jargon…writing simple, jargon-free text for your website doesn’t mean you’re “dumbing down”. Research shows that even the smartest people still find it easier to read straight-forward, clear text. Don’t make your visitors work harder than necessary!
Search engine optimisation
33. Add a post to your Google Business listing. This can include special offers or events, as well as more general updates.
34. Make sure your website urls are search engine friendly – they should include keywords and have a clear hierarchy – eg www.cutecakes.co.uk/cupcakes/chocolate
(Note – this is a made up website and just a reflection of our love of chocolate cupcakes!)
35. Using your phone on mobile data (not connected to wifi) see how quick your website pages load. A bit slow? Try reducing image sizes, use page caching or use a content delivery network to speed things up. Find out more about speeding up your website.
36. Do you list your products on your Google Business listing? This could be a good way to enhance your listing and showcase your services.
37. Have a read of Google’s quality raters guidelines: https://guidelines.raterhub.com/searchqualityevaluatorguidelines.pdf. This is an internal (but publically available) document describing Google’s quality standards. A real insight into what can make a site rank better.
38. Interlink your blog posts. This help users discover your content and it has SEO benefits too. Use descriptive keywords for the link text, eg “interior design for an office in Bromley” to help Google understand the context of the destination page (don’t just put “click here”!).
39. Have you reviewed your Google Ads recently? Needs evolve and people might be searching for slightly different things. Do you need to update your target audience or message? The more you monitor and develop your Google Ads the better the ROI.
40. Are your Google Ads targeting too wide an area? You can usually (though not always) get a better return on your investment if you target your local area and use more focused messages.
41. Get a blog proof-reading partnership going. Find another small business owner who writes their own blog content and suggest proof-reading each other’s posts. It’s easier to spot errors in things other people wrote than in things you wrote yourself.
42. When you’ve posted to your blog, share the article everywhere you can think of! Social media posts/bios/groups, email marketing, in your email signature, to networking groups, in YouTube videos, etc. You want to get the maximum benefit from the time it took you to write it.
43. If you want people to sign up to your newsletter, make sure your sign up form tells them:
– What they’ll receive
– How often they’ll receive it
– Why it’ll benefit them
Visitors are more likely to sign up when they understand what they’re agreeing to!
44. Ask some of your customers from the last 6 months or so to leave you a Google review. If you use social media a lot, then maybe ask half to leave a Google review and half to leave a Facebook review or LinkedIn recommendation.
45. Planning events for your business? Make sure you publicise them using the events options in Facebook, LinkedIn and your Google Business listing – and on your website, of course.
1 hour jobs
Website design, usability and conversion rate
46. Does your website have a search function? If your website is small we suggest removing it – most the time it won’t give the user any results, which will frustrate them.
47. Look at your website’s traffic. Set aside an hour to go through your Google Analytics information and see if you spot something interesting – this might sound dull, but understanding how visitors use your website is essential to improving its effectiveness.
48. If you have a frequently updated social media account, then add an automated feed of it to your website. It’ll ensure your website’s always showing your latest updates without you going to any additional effort.
49. If your business creates “transformations”, consider how you could show these creatively on your website. Eg a “before and after” slider allowing the user to swipe backwards and forwards to see the transformation. Or even a timelapse video to show the metamorphosis in action.
50. Reviewing what users search for on your website (if your site’s big enough for a search function) can give you clues about extra pages your site might need. If people often search for a particular product/service and you don’t have a page set up for it, you know what to do!
51. Do you know what pages visitors to your website land on first? Most often it’ll be your homepage, but you might be surprised to find that other pages are also common landing pages. Check landing pages in Google Analytics, then optimise them to convert visitors into customers.
52. How do you use colour on your website? Bright, high contrast colours can be very effective in drawing attention to important things, such as calls to action. But don’t overuse them – save them for the bits you really need people to notice.
53. Is your website easy to use for the visually impaired? Make sure no text is partially obscured by background images, avoid low contrast colours and don’t use colour alone for navigation.
Search engine optimisation
54. Make sure you have enough information about your services on your website. You don’t need reams of text, but, if you only have a couple of lines, go into a bit more detail to help readers and Google better understand what you do.
55. If you’re running Google Ads, do you have specific landing pages set up for people who click on your ads? Having specifically designed, targeted landing pages can make a significant difference to your conversion rate.
56. Set up an online marketing calendar, planning your content, new products/services and special offers for each month. If you have time to spare, start to create the marketing materials. Make sure your plan is flexible to take into account the uncertainty of the next few months.
57. If you don’t have a blog but have always thought about having one, start writing some posts. Aim for one a fortnight. If you keep it up for 2 months then it’s definitely worth adding a blog to your website.
58. Write a blog post that shares some of your expertise about your business. Basically, geek-out a bit! Your readers will appreciate it (some at least!) and it’ll help to demonstrate to Google that your website is authoritative.
59. Have a go at email A/B testing. Send different versions of a campaign to different people in your audience, to see which get the best response. An excellent way of honing your email marketing skills. MailChimp A/B testing: https://mailchimp.com/help/create-an-ab-testing-campaign/
60. Look back at your old blog posts. Do each of them include a clear and relevant call to action (CTA)? Eg “Now you’ve read all about how to clean old porcelain plates, here’s the link to buy our specialist cleaning fluid”.
61. Write a blog post about a niche topic related to your business. These can perform really well in Google searches. Not many people will be searching for it, mind you, but when they do it’s your business they’ll find.
62. Case studies are a hugely effective addition to any website or blog. Not only do they give you a great way of showcasing your talents but they also tend to be naturally very keyword rich, so are brilliant for SEO. Make sure to include plenty of photos to add to the authenticity.
63. Write a blog post which answers a question about your product or services to see if it gets picked up as a ‘featured snippet’ in Google, effectively leapfrogging you to the top of the page. Try for quite a niche question where there will be less competition.
64. Stuck for a blog post topic? Write a more personal post about yourself or a member of your team. Talk about what brought you/them to this business and why you/they love the work. It’ll help to build engagement with your readership and showcase your dedication to your customers.
65. List based blog posts (like this one!) are perennially popular. They signpost to the reader how many tips they’re going to get and are very easy to skim read to pick out the bits that are of real interest. For some reason odd numbered lists are better performing than even numbered ones!
These will only take you a few minutes to check…but dealing with any issues is going to be a longer, but worthwhile, task.
Website design, usability an conversion rate
66. Having a breadcrumb trail to show the user where they are in your website structure isn’t essential, but it can improve user orientation and also help search engines understand your website.
67. Interview happy customers to promote your business. Some people might give a video interview about how your business has helped them, for others a written interview might be best. Use it on your website as a case study, in email marketing & across social media.
68. Need a multilingual website for customers who don’t speak english? Make sure this is done in a Google-friendly way: https://support.google.com/webmasters/topic/2370587. Never use machine-translation, a professional translator will ensure quality.
69. People often scan a web page in roughly an F pattern – along the top first, then down the left and in a bit – which is why navigation is normally at the top of the page. Make sure your most important and useful content lies along the F.
70. Is your most important content “above the fold”? The “fold” being the bottom of the visible page when you first open the website. If it isn’t, your visitors might be missing it. Remember, the fold appears at a different point on different screen sizes.
71. People find simple, uncluttered websites more beautiful and, therefore, more engaging. Keep to a single column design and only ask your visitors to concentrate on one or two messages at a time.
72. A conventionally laid out navigation is always easier to use. People expect ‘Home’ to be at the far left, so put it there. And the action most people will want to take (usually ‘Contact’) should be at the far right. In between, anything goes!
73. Check that all the text you see on your website when you look at it on a desktop, is also visible on mobile phones. Sometimes designers hide text in mobile view to make it look better, but this can have a negative impact for your SEO.
74. Take a look at your own website on your mobile phone. Does it look every bit as good as it does on a desktop screen? If not, you have some work to do!
75. What’s the first thing people see when they arrive at your website? What does it say about your business? What does it encourage the visitor to do next? Is it driving the right sort of user behaviour?