|Be visible online so we can find you when we want to buy.|
Before you worry about ROI online, businesses need to come to grips with their first level of attainment - Visibility online.
So what's it take for a business to get into shape online? What are the steps for a business online to make the most of the opportunity the internet brings to business?
Let's start with a look at why that matters.
In the old days, businesses would book an advertisement in the Yellow Pages and they were set. Customers looking for a tradesman or a professional would pick up their book from Yellow Pages and find someone in the local area to call.
That's not what happens now.
Now they go to Google.
Unlike the Yellow Pages, though we customers don't just look for strangers in your line of work. We may look for a service in the area, but that's not where it ends. We may know of your business and look for a number or other details about what services you provide. But we'll also check out any other information about you that we can find.
If we know of you, and can't find anything about you online, that's a worry.
If we know of you and can't find anything useful about your business, that's a worry too.
If we know of you and can find information about you that isn't good then that's an even bigger worry.
So what should a business do in the first instance to be showing well online?
Start with your website.
Your website needs to be high on search when the people who can be your customers look for someone in y your location who provides the product or service that you provide.
Your website should have clear and easy to find contact details. Your phone number should be easily visible on the first page. Nobody wants to go hunting for basic contact numbers.
Your website should be easy to find out what you do and what you are good at.
Your website should make it easy for we customers to know if you can do what we need and how we can buy from you.
Other Online Properties
You should have a professional profile on Linkedin that shows your area of expertise and with a link back to your website. This helps you with search, and also provides peace of mind for those looking for you that you are a professional in your dealings and read any recommendations that you have from satisfied customers.
For local businesses it is important to ensure that your Google+ Local profile is completed and your entry on Google Maps is updated and shows your business in a good light. Your Google+ Local profile also is where you can have customers who want to write you a review to put their recommendation. This is valuable in many ways as we trust those recommendations from people we know much more than any other kind.
A blog is an excellent addition to your website and an easy way to update your articles and interesting information for customers and a sure way to show off your expertise in your specialty area. Connect this up with your website and you can use the articles in many different ways over a period of time. This is especially valuable when you add social media platforms for marketing.
Facebook and Twitter and other social platforms can be a good way to connect with your customers and local network. Making the most from the social sites is the next step in increasing your visibility online and requires a strategy.
We are really talking about building your online base. This is like creating infrastructure and is a critical step in promoting your business online.
Long before you need to consider ROI on your online marketing, you need to build that infrastructure well, and have a platform from which you can launch a marketing strategy.
- Review what you are doing online already and what results you are getting.
- Be honest as to the effort and resources that you need to commit to getting your business visible online.
- Start to develop a strategy and steps to work through to cover off on the basics so that you are in good shape to then implement your next steps into social media marketing.
Take care of the basics, and your online base will reward you into the years ahead.
If you need help with this you can contact me directly.
~ Lindy Asimus
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