There’s no other time like the start of a new year to take a good close look at your business, and identify a few ways to grow over the next 12 months.

But before you get stuck in to your work for the New Year, one of the smartest things you can do is develop a strategy that will help you grow, and we’ve put together 4 key online areas that every business should be looking at as we begin 2015.

Offer content that sells

You probably have a website that tells visitors more about your company, your products and the services you offer. Problem is, so do your competitors. So how are you standing out? What are you doing to persuade visitors to use you, and not the competition?

This is where content marketing is essential. In the 2014 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey, 63% of customers said they chose a company to work with based on the quality of the content on their website.

When we talk about content, we’re not just talking about the words, sentences and paragraphs that you use on your site. The content refers to everything on your site, including the images and videos.

Ask yourself, do all the elements that exist on your site work together to sell yourself and your services to visitors? Do they set you apart from the competition? If not, what changes do you need to make to improve your content?

You can’t ignore SEO

Did you know that 93% of online experiences begin with a Search Engine? That means people looking for services and products will generally turn to Google before anything else.

So where does your website rank on Google? Is it on the first page, and easy to find? Websites listed on the first page of Google receive more than 91% of all the clicks for that search. If your website isn’t on the first page, 91% of your potential customers are using your competition.

These days SEO is all about good content. Put simply, the more good content your website produces, the higher you’ll rank in Google for terms related to your content. It’s not an overnight fix, but regularly updating your website with good content will certainly improve your rankings, and put your business in front of a whole lot more customers.

Start a newsletter

Once you’ve completed a job for a customer, or sold them a product, what are you doing to try stay in touch with them? So often people forget the name of the company they used 3 years ago, and will likely end up going to your competition if they ever want that product or service again.

A newsletter is a great way to stay in touch, and keep your business in the front of their minds. And when you bring out a new product, or launch a new service, you’ve got the perfect platform for telling the world all about it.

Measure everything you can

If you are keen to grow your business, it’s essential you know how your business is actually doing. How many visitors does your website pull in every week? How are people finding your website? Are the hours you’re spending on social media actually benefiting your business?

These are all questions that can easily be answered if you’re measuring and recording important data.

Google has some great free tools for helping you measure your data. Google Analytics will tell you everything you need to know about people who visit your website, and can even tell you how they found your website, and the city they’re from. Google’s Webmaster Tools provides you with detailed reports about your pages’ visibility on Google, and tells you who’s linking to your website, and if there are any issues with your site’s content or visibility.

By knowing how people are finding you, you can make improvements and measure the results to discover what’s going to work for you, and what’s going to be a waste of time. Don’t just wing it!