According to Bloomberg, a whopping 8 out of 10 businesses will fail within the first 18 months of operation – a sobering statistic for any startup.
To improve your chances of business success, taking some time to develop a digital marketing campaign can work wonders.
Not only will you be able to increase traffic to your web pages, but you can convert leads into bona fide customers with these simple services and tools.
Here are 8 small business essentials for 2016 that you need to read.
1. Whitespark – Citation Building
Having a network of citations is critical for business success. If it’s something you haven’t done yet, a site like Whitespark can make the whole process as stress-free as possible.
You will be able to list your site on local directories, increasing brand visibility to a local or regional audience. Google’s latest algorithms place a greater emphasis on citations, so getting your site listed on somewhere like Whitespark can be an excellent way to boost traffic from the search engine results page.
Whitespark isn’t just one SEO tool, but rather a collection of various tools that will help increase your rankings on search engines and generate more click-throughs and conversions.
You’ll be able to enter a keyword on the platform and find a list of citations, saving you a lot of time and hassle.
How does it all work?
Well, Whitepark scours the web to find the best citation sites for your company, essentially doing all the hard work for you.
2. BrightLocal – Citation Research and Cleanup
Citation building is critical for any small business. It enables you to expand your networks and increase exposure online – a must if you want to boost sales and generate revenue.
There are loads of citation tools out there, but BrightLocal is one of the most popular, used by lots of big-name brands.
You can start by cleaning up the citations you already have and updating your contact details (including the name, address and phone number of your brand) across various platforms.
Next, BrightLocal can help you gain a foothold on the search engines so traffic can trickle to your online store. The platform’s APIs make it easy to find insights in one place, too.
3. Themeforest – The Web-design Marketplace
Themeforest comes with a plethora of WordPress themes that will revolutionize the look of your website.
You’ll be able to attract more prospects and lead them through the sales funnel.
Research reveals that poorly-designed websites could influence purchasing decisions, something that could have an adverse impact on your bottom line.
At Themeforest, you can choose a theme that best suits your business brand, including HTML themes that you can customize yourself. Templates and themes start from $2, and there are thousands to choose from, including eCommerce themes and blog templates.
You can search for templates sing the platform’s search feature or find the latest additions on the landing page.
4. Fiverr – Outsourcing starting at $5
If you need a graphic designer or a social media designer, Fiverr can help.
The online marketplace, which accepts payments via a secure platform, has various creative professionals like Photoshop experts and designers to choose from.
Outsourcing services like this can provide you with more time to concentrate on other areas of your business, such as staff acquisition or talking to suppliers.
5. StudioPress – Rock Solid WordPress Framework
Used by a whopping 182,000 website owners, StudioPress is a premium WordPress theme creator that can transform the appearance of your site.
Want to attract a particular type of customer? Encourage high-value leads to land on your pages? StudioPress provides you with all the tools you need.
Features include responsive HTML5 themes that look great on mobile and attract people who are using smartphones and tablets to search for local businesses like yours.
You can also incorporate widgets and other layout options to convey important business information to customers.
6. SEMRush – Competition Analysis on Steroids
SEMRush is one of the biggest names out there when it comes to competitor analysis; this tool allows you access millions of domains and keywords so you can choose the right SEO strategies for your brand.
But what makes SEMRush different from all the other similar tools on the market? Well, firstly, the interface is easy to use.
Secondly, you’ll be able to find the paid and organic search techniques that rivals are using in your niche. This is perfect for keyword spread and will help you decide on which phrases will provide you with more bang for your buck.
Go ahead give it a try, enter your domain or a keyword here:
Competitive analysis is always a good idea for any startup, especially if you want to discover more about your local market. You’ll be able to see which companies outrank you on particular search terms, providing you with all the info you need to develop a killer SEO strategy that will boost inbound traffic and leads.
7. WPEngine – Fast, Reliable Website Hosting
Finding a good hosting website can be a chore for any small business owner, especially if they are a start-up.
With so many hosts out there, it can be hard to know where to start. Customer service, server uptimes, and speeds are factors that you should consider before you go any further.
If something goes wrong, or you just need some help, you can contact a customer rep using a number of different methods (including phone and email) and can keep your site running smoothly, something that will please your clients and customers.
8. 99designs – Professional Design and Branding Services
The world, it seems, is becoming increasingly visual. If you want to outrank your rivals and develop a customer base, you’ll need bold brand marketing that demands attention and tells the world about your company values.
Remember, creating an attractive website is important if you want to generate more leads; however, if you lack the resources or skills to do this yourself, using a service like 99designs can provide you with a return on your investment.
You will be able to choose a graphic designer who can incorporate on-page SEO techniques that will boost the position of your pages on search engines.