Unless you're living under a rock, you know that the internet is a very, very powerful tool for small businesses. If your business doesn't have a webpage on the internet already, you're way past overdue to get one. The majority of Americans use the internet daily, and consumers expect businesses to be familiar and utilize the web as well. The internet gives your consumers a window to your business and a way to reach you 24/7/365.
Additionally, local search is becoming an important tool for businesses to be found on the internet. In fact, a mid-March 2010 survey by BIA/Kelsey and ConStat shows just how important the internet is for small business. "The most common online tool used for local research was search. Nearly one-half of respondents used Internet yellow pages and 42% checked comparison-shopping sites before heading to local businesses." The survey also showed 90% of consumers searching online first to buy locally. Building a presence on the internet is imperative for small businesses. To expand your presence on the internet, look into these different strategies.
Get Your Business Listed
Local search (as indicated in the survey above) is rapidly becoming an important aspect in small business web presence. Not only is it important to have a strong website, but also to claim your business online to be picked up by search engines. Your business listing is what will come up when consumers search for business on big search engines, such as Google, Bing, etc. Claiming your business will help your business climb in keyword search results on the big search engines. To get found online and claim your business today visit EZlocal.com.
Small businesses who blog will expand their web presence by simply communicating with their customers and the world wide web. The connection is important to build relationships and act as not only business information for a consumer, but also to act as a resource for industry news and trends. As someone with knowledge, it is your job to share it with your consumers and others in your industry.
Furthermore, including a blog on your small business website will assist in long-term keyword recognition. Using important keywords helps your business get found online in search engines, and also informs the reader on the topic of the blog. Beware of meta tag descriptions and keywords - you do not want to be recognized as spam. Read more about blogs for your small business here.
Utilize Social Media
Unsure how to use social media for your small business? A few ideas include starting a marketing campaign, offering coupons for Twitter followers, or posting a special event on Facebook Fan Page. The internet allows small businesses to interact, plan and communicate online. To keep up with social media, it is important to concentrate on two to three sites and create a strong presence. The top sites for businesses to engage in social media are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. A simple way to find out what sites you should use for your business is by simply asking your customers. They are, after all, the ones you want to engage with!
Additionally, incorporate your social media into your website. Include links to your Facebook Fan page, Twitter account, or LinkedIn group for easy access for your web visitors to engage with your business via social media. If you have company newsletters, include your social media links in there as well. Connecting is just a click away!
Measure Your Progress
Measuring your business' presence online is important to see what traffic you are driving to your site. Use Alexa rankings to gauge how your website stands up to the rest on the internet. Another way to measure how people are visiting and interacting with your business is measuring the number of comments your blog has, or the number of followers or fans in your social media campaigns. Both statistics are important. Tracking your website statistics with Alexa or Google Analytics helps to determine where the majority of your traffic is coming from, bounce rates, and click-through rates.
Small businesses need web presence-plain and simple. A lack of internet presence will no doubt keep potential consumers from finding your business. What other tips do you have for putting your business on the internet?