Getting Started with Your Small Business’s Online Presence

Sunday, February 23, 2020, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

If you have a small business, you already know that the best way to market it is by using a website.

If you don’t have a website for your small business, you’re missing out on an entire demographic of new clients: those who use computers.

People are relying more and more on the internet to find local businesses that they can trust.

When a customer realizes that they need a service, say a plumber, the first thing that many people do is pull out their phone and search on Google “plumbers near me” and then they will read the reviews to find the best servicer in their area. If your name and contact information isn’t in that list, you’ve missed out on a client.

Many small businesses like this rely on traditional marketing, such as mass mail flyers, billboards, local tv commercials and local periodicals.

However, the number of people who rely on these mediums is shrinking every day. If you want to continue growing a loyal customer base, you need to develop an internet presence, and the best way to do this is to create a website and Google My Business page.

  • Creating a Website

    It is easier than ever to create a basic website. Sites like Squarespace allow you to create a site with no technical knowledge at all. Use a service like this to create a site and add pages for your contact info, the services you provide, and your contact information. This allows users to find your business and presents your business as reputable and modern.

    Once you’ve created a website, keep it up to date and make sure to use it as a way to provide value to your potential clients. This is acting as a sales funnel, so make sure it is engaging viewers. When you create the site, be sure to choose a good, branded and memorable URL for the site. Create tabs on the site that are easy to find so that customers and clients can find your about, contact and services/products.

  • Implement Local SEO Practices

    SEO, or search engine optimization, is the craft of making a website favorable to search engines i.e. Google or Bing. Local SEO is about keywords for your industry, having quality content that provides value to the reader, properly tagging images, creating sensible URLs, and proving your reputation and location. This may sound like a lot, and it can be if you’re not knowledgeable on the basics.

    Generally, your website should signal to Google that

    1. Where your business is located

    2. That your business provides value

    3. What your business is

    Once Google understands these things, and it learns them by sending out little Google crawlers, it will know that when someone searches “plumbers near me” that your site is about a plumbing business, it is a good business, and it is near that person, so it will likely show them your website. This creates a lead for your business and opens the door for business.

  • Create a Google My Business Listing

    Google My Business, or GMB, is like a digital phone book. You can create a Google profile for your business, list your contact information, talk about what services you provide and list your website. This allows Google to confirm the existence of your business and its location and makes it much easier to find for consumers.

    Additionally, it gives customers a place to leave reviews, making it easy for Google to know if you are a quality business with a good reputation or not. It is important that your reputation is managed, or you may stop getting leads from this service, and may not appear in results at all.

    This can be done by replying to customer’s reviews, both good and bad, ensuring that bad experiences can have a positive outcome and customers who had good experiences might return again.

  • Give it a Shot

    Whether you feel confident enough to do this on your own, or feel like you might want to hire an agency to help get things started, using these methods can only serve to help your valuable and reputable business. These methods work to create more brand awareness, create potential for increased client connections and can increase sales. What’s there to lose?

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