How Can A Small Business Build A Stronger Online Presence?
One of the most important statistics every single small business owner has to be aware of is that 90% of internet users look for local businesses. This means that when you do not have a good online presence, you lose customers. You simply do not reach them.
The problem though is that you need a strong online presence. The competition that was seen in the real world moved on the internet.
Unfortunately, it is difficult for the smaller business to build that strong digital presence needed, much stronger than what would be needed for a national business. Fortunately, you do not have to invest thousands of dollars. The truth is you only need 2 main things.
A Good Business Website
A shocking fact: 36% of all small businesses do not have a site. Make sure you have a website if you do not have one because it offers your customers a great online location to see your services, products, get in contact, and learn more about the company.
The great news is that when you need to design your site, you do not have to invest a lot of money. Something as simple as around 7 pages is very easy to navigate, includes all the helpful information customers need, and can list all the business contacts that are needed to get in touch.
When the small business site is designed, you have to make sure the following are respected:
Responsive, User-Friendly Design
Most consumers will leave your site when it is not easy to navigate. Due to this, the business site has to look great. The experience offered has to be focused on site visitors. Clear navigation is needed and responsive web design is mandatory because the site has to look great on any device the user would use, from smartphones to desktop computers.
SEO-Driven, High Quality Content
If you want to be found in search engines (of course you do), content marketing is needed, just like SEO is. It is actually a very good idea to have your content created by a specialist that fully understands the local market.
As a very simple example, if you run a hotel in Canberra, ACT, Australia, you should look for an experienced SEO agency in Canberra that also offers content writing services. This is because the content that is uploaded to your site should both convince the visitor to do something and be optimized for ranking in Google.
Exact Local Business Information
Your website should clearly present the small business’ NAP, which stands for business name, business address, and business phone number. The standard arrangement is to have the NAP present in the footer of the website. Besides this, it has to be added to the contact page.
Remember that half of the consumers visit a website because they look for some sort of contact details, like phone numbers or addresses. Having NAP helps a lot.
Local Search Optimization
It is obviously not enough to have a site for the small business to get that desired local customer attention. You have to be sure that customers will be able to locate your business on the internet.
Local search optimization (commonly referred to as SEO) will help. This involves several tasks, like creating local listings and registering in the major directories. Some needed promotional services to consider are:
Consistent And Accurate NAP Data
All business contact information you enter on any website has to be consistent. Your NAP data should be the same and the formatting should be appropriate, based on where you get the citation. Accuracy and consistency are mandatory because this sends really positive signals that search engines can see as they look for your business.
Google My Business Listing
If you want to improve your local digital presence and reach your local customers, a Google My Business listing is mandatory. This is actually a free tool available for every single small business. Create an account and make sure you add your site URL, NAP, hours of operation, and all the other important data about your business that is required. After the listing is approved, your listing can appear on Google Maps.
Local Business Listings
Local listing information should be included in the relevant online business directories. At the same time, it is a very good idea to have social media profiles, and to be present in the general business directories like Yelp, Foursquare, and Yellowpages.