Getting a small business off the ground has never really been easy – when you’re competing with big name brands as a newcomer, the deck is stacked against you. But the internet manages to level the playing field somewhat. If you know how to strengthen the online presence of your small business, you can attract more customers, build a recognizable brand, and even increase profits. The best part is that building up your online presence doesn’t have to be challenging. There are many quick and easy fixes you can implement today that will have a considerable impact.
Strengthen the online presence of your small business by improving your website
These days, a website is necessary for any business. Even if you don’t offer any online services (like e-commerce or virtual consultations), people will be able to find you online, learn about your brand, and read your reviews. All this can lead them to become your customer. But if you really want to convert them, you don’t just need a website – you need a good website.
SEO will take you far
One of the easiest yet most effective ways to attract more clients to your website is to optimize your content for search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) will help you rank higher in search engine results for keywords related to your niche. So when someone is looking for the kinds of goods or services you provide, they’ll find your website and not your competition. This can significantly help you spread the word about your small business and gain new customers that help you grow.
Optimize for mobile
Roughly half of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices. So it is vital that you make your online presence mobile-friendly. Otherwise, you’re potentially alienating 50% of your leads! And even if your customers aren’t mobile users, Google employs mobile-first indexing. This means that Google bots will assess your mobile website and consider it even when the search in question comes from a desktop computer. So make your website mobile-friendly, rely on responsive web design, and regularly test the mobile version of your website.
Focus on user experience
It is important to remember that your website exists not for you but for your customers. So whenever you’re designing your website, updating it, or posting content to it, ask yourself: what do my users want? Then let the answer guide you. Good user experience will increase retention rates and improve your brand reputation.
Strengthen the online presence of your small business by expanding beyond your website
While your website is the center of your online presence, it’s far from the only weapon in your arsenal. In fact, if you want to strengthen and grow your online presence, branching out is necessary.
Claim profiles in business directories and on review websites
Most people will look up a business online before making a purchase. We want to know that we’re shopping from a legitimate source and won’t be scammed out of our money. If you want to appear legitimate and trustworthy, then business directories and review websites are the perfect solutions. A verified profile in a local directory can go a long way to establishing your trustworthiness. Additionally, it will improve your local SEO, attracting more customers who live or work in the area where you operate. As a small business, this is your primary target demographic.
Be active on social media
A social media presence is vital for businesses today. It’s a great and affordable way to market your business and build your brand. Furthermore, it allows you to communicate directly with your customers and build relationships with them.
Make connections in your niche
Partnerships and collaborations with local organizations, relevant influencers, or other businesses can considerably help your business. But if you’re not ready for this commitment, you can improve your business presence through simple brand mentions and backlinks. Reach out to another web administrator and see if they’re willing to host a backlink to your site in exchange for some free content from you. If you’re unsure where to start with this campaign, SEO experts from Link Department specialize precisely in link building, and investing in such services is worth considering.
Strengthen the online presence of your small business by interacting with customers
There’s no better marketing than social proof. If you can build relationships with your customers and inspire them to be loyal to your brand, they will spread the word about your business online. You just need to get the ball rolling.
Create interactive content your customers will enjoy
People are less likely to be inspired to action when they’re only passively receiving information. So instead of just telling your customers things, let them find out on their own. Create interactive content such as quizzes, polls, simulators, calculators, flash games, even apps. Not only will your customers enjoy this, but you could go viral with a good idea.
Encourage reviews and respond to them
Most of us rely on reviews when shopping; we like knowing what to expect from the purchases we make, and we trust those who have experience with the product or service we’re considering. Positive reviews are, therefore, crucial to your success. You want to encourage satisfied customers to post them on your website, social media, and other review websites.
Even though not every review will be positive, you should not be afraid to ask for your customers’ honest opinions. Responding to negative reviews can be just as important as receiving positive ones. You’ll have the opportunity to change the dissatisfied customers’ minds and convince them to give you another chance, which will improve retention rates. You’ll also learn what you can improve about your business and show other potential customers that you care about their opinions.
An online presence is a long-term investment – commit to it!
Simply having a website or a social media profile is not enough to permanently and significantly strengthen the online presence of your small business. You need to work on your online presence continuously. This means updating your website, regularly posting content, being active on social media profiles, frequently interacting with customers, and more. It takes time and effort to maintain an online presence once it is established. But in the end, your investment will pay off.