Ahh, Christmas! You either love it, or you hate it. On the one hand, you’ve got twinkling lights, delicious dinners with friends and family, joyous parties, and an overall feeling of warmth and merriment as the old year winds to a close. On the other hand, you’ve got frantic shopping trips, an empty wallet, tighter waistlines, and maybe even fewer customers (unless you own a toy store!). But whether you’re getting swept up in the holiday spirit or rewarding yourself for surviving it, any of these six gifts for your business would be a great way to get you (and your company) revved up for the coming year.
1. Website Analysis
Having an updated, optimized, user-friendly website is the #1 way to gain customers in today’s market. If you don’t have a website, are still using a website built 2001, or have a new site that just isn’t getting you the traffic you want, you’re definitely due for a closer look by the professionals.
A comprehensive website analysis can give you all kinds of valuable information, such as how many visitors you’re getting, which of your pages are the most popular, how long visitors are staying on your page, and more. Using this raw data, the experts (like Clarity Creative Group) can devise a strategic plan for redesigning, rebranding, or reorganizing your site to attract more customers. With this gift, you give as well as receive.
2. Responsive, Mobile-Friendly Website
In today’s mobile-obsessed culture, having a responsive site isn’t a luxury, it’s a need (and not the way your kids “need” the Xbox One). According to a recent study by Pew Internet & American Life Project, more than half of all Americans visit websites from their mobile phone.
What does this mean for you? Basically, if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you could be alienating 57% of the population. And if your primary demographic is 18- to 29-year-olds, you can wave goodbye to 85% of your potential customers.
The difference between a responsive, “mobile-friendly” site and an unresponsive one comes down to usability. An unresponsive site will force you to zoom in on the menu, squint to read the print, and use your pinky to tap your selection…and then do it all over again on the next page.
Responsive sites are already aware that your iPhone screen is tiny, so they put everything out there in an easy-to-navigate format. No muss, no fuss, and customers are buying your widgets in a matter of seconds. As this recent article by Social Media Examiner points out, responsive sites are key for reaching your customers where they already are (on their phones) and converting those customers into sales.
No exaggeration: we think blogs are the #1 way to grow your business. If you’re looking for something simple that your business will really thank you for, consider a blog.
You may have balked at the idea of blogging because you think it’s a lot of work for something you aren’t getting paid for, but that’s where you’re wrong. No, blogs don’t always directly translate into dollars, but they are a crucial step in the journey to success.
Think of it this way: a blog is a unique forum for you to talk about what makes you awesome and have people listen to you. Maybe they’re not in need of an electrician right now, but when a new ceiling fan needs installing, who do you think will come to mind first? Or to come at this from a different angle, say a customer Googles “central FL electricians” and faces 4 million results. Do you think they will trust “D-Best Plumbing” on the Yellow Pages, or the guy with 15 blog posts about the best way to service your water heater?
4. RSS Reader
This is an easy (and free!) way to keep an eye on your competitors as well as trends in your industry. Once you set up an account (most are free, but also offer a paid option with more features), you can either search for your favorite blogs by name, or discover new ones with a keyword search. Now you can see what defenses and tactics are being used by other law firms across the country (which helps you in the courtroom) or find out what next year’s food trend will be (so your bakery can cash in).
Digg is our personal favorite so far, but there are plenty of them out there. Some even let you share articles between users, so your staff can collaborate with each other without yelling over cubicle walls. Quiet cooperation? It’s a Christmas miracle!
5. New Logo
Having a fresh, new logo plays a huge role in taking your business from a “company” to a brand. Think of the iconic Coca-Cola ribbon, the Nike swoosh, the swirl of Walt Disney’s signature…all excellent ways to create an instant association between an image and a product. That’s branding.
An updated, eye-catching logo not only looks great on your business card or marketing brochures, but brings your website and social media pages to a whole new level. If it’s been a while since you had a logo designed (or worse yet, if you don’t have a logo), maybe “Santa” (a.k.a. “you”) can give your business the gift a new look.
6. Marketing Consultation
The end of one year means the beginning of a new one, so this is the perfect time to start plotting your marketing strategy for 2014. What’s that? You don’t have a marketing strategy? Sounds like your business would really appreciate a marketing consultation with a team of professionals.
You’re busy with the details of auto body repair, or tasty barbecue, or electrical work, or whatever keeps food on the table. You might not have time for in-depth analysis of the conversion rate on your website, or how to ramp up lead generation. You might not even know what these words mean. But creative marketing types do have the time for all that; their job is to make your job easier, more efficient, and more successful.
Maybe you’ve been neglecting your social media. Maybe you’re overlooking a unique opportunity to cash in on a whole new demographic. A marketing consultation can identify your weak spots and come up with ways to improve on them. Before you know it, you’ll be ready for next year! (Now you know how Santa feels.)
With these gifts for your business, the future’s looking merry and bright.
Clarity Creative Group is a web design & internet marketing company located in beautiful Orlando, Florida. We’d like to wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.