The Internet is the place to build your business. Here are eight things you can be doing to improve your business presence – your business footprint – online:
1. Gather Reviews. Reviews continue to be the magic pixie dust of online marketing. You should be gathering online reviews for your business – these will become salesmen for your business working 24 hours a day. Getting customers to do reviews is not the easiest thing in the world. But stay after them. @tlantainbound has a great, and affordable, program that makes the recruiting and leveraging of reviews easier – even fun.
2. Register Your Business with Key Online Platforms. Google, Yahoo and Bing – make sure your have taken the steps to make sure each has your correct business information. Also, make sure you have proper info with directories that relate to your business – such as Healthgrades for medical providers.
3. Become an Online Educator. Remember this – a huge shift has taken place in how consumers make buying or hiring decisions. Consumers now do their research first, before making contact with the goods or service provider. If you are the supplier of the content with the research material (on a website, in a blog post, on social media, etc.) the consumer needs you have gained a huge advantage on your competition.
4. Create Consistent and Correct Business Details Across the Web. Believe it or not, your NAP (Business name, address and phone number) are critical to improved positioning with Google and other key websites on the Internet. Here’s what to remember: The NAP should be correct, and exactly the same (down to abbreviations and punctuation) everywhere it appears on the Internet, including your website and key directory listings.
5. Format Your Business Phone Number Correctly. Your phone number should appear on your website and in all your listings in this format: (XXX) XXX-XXXX, not XXX-XXX-XXXX nor XXX.XXX.XXX or any other variation. It seems like the mechanical devices “crawling” the Internet have certain expectations for how phone numbers appear. You want your number to be readable to them.
6. Have a website. Make it Responsive. If you are serious about the Internet being a business builder, a sharp, friendly, informative website is a must. And today, that website must be “responsive,” meaning that it displays correctly on mobile devices. Mobile search has become so important that Google will actually penalize a website that is not responsive.
7. Build for your Business a Facebook page. Many social platforms will ultimately disappear – think MySpace – but Facebook has been so successful, and actually makes money (lots!), so it’s here to stay. Even if you are not much of a Facebook user and don’t want to commit resources or time to management of it, set it up, and have some fun with it. Over time it may develop into vehicle of some use in your business development.
8. Link up with Linkedin. Another “social” platform which is going to be with us for a long time is Linkedin. It’s free to set up personal and business profiles. So, do it. Once again, it may not be your nature to actively participate on something like Linkedin, but take the easy step to set things up, and begin playing with it – you might find something of great value for your business.