If you have a tutoring website, then chances are you’ve noticed quite a bit of online competition moving in over the last few years. In order for you to rise above the rest, it’s CRITICAL to ensure you’re doing everything you can to effectively market your website online. Numerous techniques should be implemented and working hand-in-hand as part of your marketing strategy.
Here are nine proven methods you should be using to their fullest potential.
The 9 ways to market your tutoring business and website:
1. Facebook and Twitter
2. YouTube (video marketing)
3. Blogging / Articles
4. SMS Marketing
5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
6. Google Adwords
7. Press Releases
8. Online forums
Having a strategy that uses all of them guarantees you powerful viral exposure, an avalanche of web traffic, floods of new students, and drastic surges in your income.
Facebook and Twitter
Just about everyone uses Facebook and Twitter but most don’t use them effectively. Too many businesses waste time and focus on the wrong things. If you have a Facebook page, you should keep the landing page updated, and relevant to set your services apart from your competitors. You MUST have a unique professional look and calls to action throughout.
You should also be using Facebook ads daily, creating and testing different ads. It’s also a good idea to have others check-in to your business with the Facebook Places application. It automatically lets hundreds of their Facebook friends know where they are.
With Twitter, it’s all about engaging with people. Not just people who follow you, but with other individuals and topics that align with your business. Make sure to use the advanced search option to target locals by city and keyword and answer their questions. Link with others on Twitter and you’ll get some excellent exposure.
YouTube (video marketing)
YouTube is one of the most used sites on the Internet. In fact, it’s the 2nd largest search engine behind Google. You may or may not know that you can create your own YouTube channel for free. As a business owner, you can develop short videos inexpensively that offer insights into tutoring / education and post them for all to see. You can also optimize and mass-distribute your videos in such a way that they completely blanket the first page of Google for any keyword you want.
Take the top 25 most searched keywords in your local market and do videos for them. The presence of all of these videos online will continue to benefit you and bring clients through the doors for years to come. Create a few short, weekly videos that offer educational, learning or tutoring tips. One to two minutes is plenty and provide great value. Link to it, Tweet people to let them know about it and post in on your Facebook Fan Page.
A blog should be your home-base online to post new content. It’s like a diary of sorts. This medium can allow you to effectively communicate with your students or prospective ones anytime. With blogging comes knowing what to write about, how to optimize your posts, and how to actually get targeted traffic. You’ll need to make sure you create content multiple times per week because you’re trying to build an interactive community. Content can be articles, videos, or simple audio. Find-out what people want to hear about or what problems they have. The posts should provide solutions so you can build credibility in the reader’s eyes. I’m also going to include related blog commenting under this section, too. That basically means doing a Google search to find local blogs and leaving a comment, adding to the discussion. The benefit of doing this is that you’re also allowed to use a link to your website which will help build your site as an authority.
SMS marketing, AKA text message marketing, is a huge opportunity today. Why, because the response rates / conversions are so high and it’s also one of the most cost-effective forms of advertising you’ll find. You can expect 10-30% of people to take the requested action you text. So, if you send a permission based text to 100 current students letting them know about a 1/2 off special only for the next 3 hours, you can expect between some of them will quickly be calling. How’s that for a quick boost? You probably have seen on TV something like “Text PIZZA to…″ to place your delivery order. Well, you can use these keyword / short-code campaigns for your business, too. The fact is, over 95% of people open their text messages within 30 minutes of receiving them. Compare that with the average low 12% email open rate. You can also send appointment reminders, which reduce no-shows by 50% or send tips, coupons and other special offers all through a simple text message.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization has changed dramatically over the years and continues to evolve now that everything has a social component. SEO is basically knowing how to get your website (or any other piece of content) ranked at the top of the left organic side of Google. SEO can be divided into two components, “on-page” and “off-page.” Having keywords in your meta-data of your website would be classified as on-page while building links back to your website would be an example of off-page. Both are needed and have to be done right to get maximum benefit so you can rank #1 on Google for any given keyword. How much you need to do depends on how competitive your local area is.
Getting your site prominently listed on Google Places / Maps can be a major boost when people search for “what-you-do” in your area. To get to the top of Google Places, you’ll need to address several different things and offer information on your business, including a link to your site, and garner as many positive reviews as you can. To get the reviews, you can send out an email to students with a link asking them to please write a review of your business. The more positive reviews you get, the better your ranking and the more interest you’ll generate when someone is “looking” for you.
Google Adwords / PPC
Adwords is still one of the most effective and targeted ways to advertise your business, if you know what you are doing. Use the search network when you’re placing your ads so the traffic is very specific and looking for what you have to offer. Do your best not to let ad costs rise above $1 per click. This will be harder in bigger cities. When using pay per click (ppc) of any type, drive traffic to a page where you can capture names and emails of prospective clients in exchange for a free report. This allows you to build a list and market to those same people later on. Don’t worry about spending $2,000 / month if that same advertisement is bringing you at least a 2:1 return on investment. You need to analyze your life-time customer value and compare that with your output cost.
The most forgotten (and effective) form of online marketing for traffic and exposure. Press releases are not articles. They’re usually created when you have an announcement to make or when you’re launching a new service. This type of content circulates and gets picked-up by news-related directories. If you’re not a great writer, then hire someone to create press releases for you 1-2 times per month. Then, you can distribute them via sites like 1888PressRelease.com, PRweb.com, and Free-Press-Release.com
Google absolutely loves online forums because they center around community. You can easily harness targeted traffic from these groups. You want to present yourself as a problem solver on forums. Contribute to the discussions. The added benefit of finding an using forums is that you can add an anchor text link in the signature box. Google places a ton of weight on these type of valuable links. These communities are online everywhere. By participating and contributing to the conversation, you can establish yourself as an expert and help to drive traffic and new business back to your website. These groups can be found on websites like Quora, LinkedIn and Yahoo.
A weekly podcast can be put together in a relatively short amount of time. It doesn’t have to be long. Three to five minutes is a great length. Podcasts are a wonderful way to share information regarding news in the world of tutoring, to tell people about services or products and to help clients improve their lives in some way. Make it interesting and informative and you’ll build a following. You can submit the audio file to some of the top podcast directories like iTunes and Google Play.
Making Everything Work Together
Of the nice techniques discussed in this article, practically ALL are very inexpensive! These are the best ways to reach more local people with your business message so you can grow your business quickly. Each one of the marketing tactics listed above will help potential clients find your website and stay connected, enabling you to create massive value, build an active following, and get an avalanche of new traffic.
While we’re at it, once you’ve done an incredible job marketing your tutoring business, you’ll need great way to manage your growth. Schedule a demo with us so we can show you how to organize, manage and communicate with all of your new clients and students.