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Managing Your Website’s Content: How to Get the Job Done & Keep Your Life Sane

Websites for Small Business Owners Sylvia Adams

I think it’s pretty safe to say, that in order to be a successful small business owner, you have to have an certain amount of “moxie”.

You need to be a self-starter and unfortunately while having initiative can be a good thing, we SMB owners can fall into a trap of wanting to do everything ourselves. Sometimes out of necessity and other times just out of habit.

But let’s face it – we can’t do everything ourselves, but there are times when we feel better “trying something out first” on our own, before we make a big time or financial commitment. That’s natural. Nobody can blame you for that.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know and if you haven’t you’ll discover, that I give you all sorts of things to try and implement on your website. Even when I give my live workshops, it is not uncommon for me to eventually get the question,

“But how am I supposed to get this all done? I have a business to run.”

It always strikes me as a bit “unusual” that we see maintaining a website for our business as something separate from the business itself and we never seem to have time to deal with it. But don’t fret! I’ve got 3 key concepts and some actionable advice in this week’s post on how you can get “all of this stuff done” and keep your life sane.

#1 Embrace Technology
I can’t stress enough the opportunities that SMBs have right now due in large part to technology. You’re really doing yourself a disservice by not trying out at least a few of the super-cool and affordable apps that are out there.

Most of these apps have free trials and I use several in my own small business and I can tell you from my own experience, they’re well worth the trouble.

There are a ton of apps and software and gadgets that can help you execute just about any part of your online marketing strategy. You can even use cloud based-applications like HootSuite and Buffer to automatically schedule your posts from one central hub.

CMSs like WordPress have plugins (like Editorial Calendar) that will allow you to schedule posts and receive notifications with just a few clicks.

There’s are also apps for just about everything else you need to run in your small business, from scanning your business cards and taking payments to apps that will transcribe your posts while you dictate them into your phone.

I know you’re probably wondering where to start. Well I offer a free guide of my take on what I think are the best tools on the web, right here on this site, but at the end of the day you have to do what works best for you.

#2 Track Your Results
Once you’ve figured out what you want to do and how you want to do it, you want to determine what your benchmarks for “online success” will be and measure those results. You want to ask yourself:

• What criteria will I use to determine when a visitor to my site becomes a prospect?
• How much is too much when it comes to PPC {pay-per-click} advertising?
• What will be my ROI or cost per acquisition for each prospect or client?
• Should I seek out “joint venture” partnerships now or later and how will I measure the success or failure of those projects?

There are all sorts of tools to help you track your online results, from coremetrics tags and sophisticated automated marketing services like Marketo to Google Analytics. Regardless of the tools you use, you’ll need to know what your goals are beforehand so you’ll know what to track when you start using them.

Something as simple as SEO can be frustrating and confusing for a novice. I’ve said it many times on this blog before and I will say again here, take some time to educate yourself about how “all this stuff” works before you dive in.

One of the best resources that I have come across on the topic of getting a real ROI from your online marketing efforts is a website called “Click Z”. I stumbled across it several years ago looking to understand how the web makes money. This is a very in-depth site, but you can find great tools like their CPA Calculator along with how to use it.

#3 Plan. . .and then Plan Some More
I have only been in business for myself a few years, but I worked in corporate for more than 10 years before. Larger corporations live and die by planning. Some would even argue that they plan too much.

However, I am surprised (in fact “stunned”) to find that many small businesses, even those that have even been around for several years, have no real marketing or sales strategy in place.

If you’ve been in business for 5 years or more and you’ve been lucky enough to have a healthy referral network – good for you. But I can tell you there is a pretty good chance that you’ve probably left a lot of money on the table.

I speak from my own experience. I did not have any kind of marketing plan the first few years in my web design business and it took my modest referral base drying-up first for me to take action. For me it was a case of “you don’t know what you don’t know”.

I considered myself a designer first and a business owner second and boy was that a big mistake! I wasted a lot of time chasing my own tail before I realized how important marketing and business development were to my design business.

The irony of it all was that I had spent my career in the corporate space surrounded by nothing but dictates from marketing and sales teams.

If you’re running a business you can’t afford to take marketing and business development for granted. You should be rolling out various marketing efforts (both online and off) on a regular basis and ideally in a strategic fashion.

That way you can monitor your campaign’s progress. Keep what’s working and get rid of anything that’s not. This may sound tiresome but it’s way better than trying a bunch of random things, with no real goal in site.

If you do that you’ll be exhausted. You may see a spike in business, here and there, but you most likely won’t see any long lasting results. If you don’t know where to start – Google it! Look for a business or marketing coach and invest some time in understanding what you want to achieve with your business.

Many SMB owners often make the mistake of hiring web designers, copywriters and social media managers first, looking to us for advice on how they should market their business, but I would advise you to come to us later after you know what your goals are. It will make planning for your website, writing your copy, building your social media strategies and maintaining your online presence a lot more effective and easier.

Question: Have you mapped-out a marketing plan for your business this year? If so, what parts of it can you integrate into your online marketing efforts? How can you include them on your website, in your social media or sell online? Share your comments and questions below.

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This post was updated on May 3, 2020.

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Dan Neamtu
4 years ago

Planning is the best way to track your results and measure the progress. Thank you for sharing Sylvia.

Dan Neamtu
4 years ago
Reply to  Sylvia Adams

Hi Sylvia,
Also your first point #Embrace Technology can save alot of time and make things go faster. Great things aren’t so easy, you need tehnology, plan and track results, and alot of passion and willpower. Thank you for visiting my website, indeed I still plan the list for my blog. The next step is to translate in english to help more people with usefull information.