Whether you sell on or offline, are a product or service provider and across all industries, it’s vital to ensure your business is visible online. For many small businesses, this also means that the owner needs to be visible too. A strong online presence will significantly boost your chances of getting new customers and growing your business, as well as positioning you as a leader in your field of expertise. A few simple steps can go a long way toward helping you forge that very important digital footprint.
This may seem basic but set up a website. This helps establish and maintain your business credibility. It also gives you freedom to develop your brand image online. Make sure that your website is keyword-rich in elements such as content, page titles, alt texts, and meta descriptions to help with SEO. Keep your website clean and simple with a consistent style and use good quality images. Include a news or blog page so that you can add fresh new content on a regular basis. And then, of course, make sure you do!
You know what customers you are trying to attract and target so check where they spend their time when they are online. Then set up business accounts on those social channels. Keep it to just 2 or 3 channels. They do take time to manage and maintain so put the effort into the ones that will get you results. The easiest way to do this is to use a content calendar and plan what and when you are going to post. Mix up the content in terms of type and format. Make it informative and compelling and include engaging images and videos. I also recommend that everyone in business sets up and uses a Linkedin profile.
Google My Business
Google My Business is a free online tool that allows businesses promote themselves online. According to Search Engine Watch, 50% of the people who use mobile phones for local searches end up visiting a store. I would estimate that this figure is similar for online stores and also for generating leads for service providers. There is a major opportunity in creating and properly optimizing your Google My Business account. The two features that are most important are that it allows you to be found on local maps and people can leave reviews of your business for others to read.
Local and Industry Directories
Hand in glove with Google My Business, local directories are an excellent way of promoting your business online and maintaining your online visibility. Local listings can be very rewarding for your business as they can improve your SEO on a local level, making you more visible than your competitors. They also position your brand in the right location for potential customers and allow you to showcase your brand and expertise. You can usually include a link to your webpage and social channels thereby increasing visitors and engagement on those.
Once you have decided on your strategy and set up the various channels and listings, it’s important to maintain them. Update the content on your website on a regular basis by publishing news or blogs. Post regularly on your social channels to increase reach. Engage with your followers by responding to comments and starting conversations. It takes time and effort to become visible online and your presence needs to be maintained. If you need any support or help in this space, feel free to give us a call for a free initial 15 minute consultation.