In today's web heavy marketing environment many customers use search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and ASK.com to search out service providers or retailers in their area to find what they're looking for. Small business owners fail to realize and capitalize on this very important marketing opportunity. Simply put, if your small business fails to establish an online presence, your failing to be seen. Regardless of how prominent your physical location is, your web presence will get you spotted in the by a far greater audience.
The most effective approach is to establish the three core components:
- A website
- Your social media accounts
- Register with the search engines (get listed) and local listing services
An SEO friendly site allows the little robots from Google, Bing, and the rest of the web to identify your website based on what it finds and return those results when someone is searching for what you provide. This should be a critical step in the design of any website, however, many miss this opportunity and have a beautiful site, but a weak presence and ranking in search results. There are many additional steps for doing this and truly optimizing results, this is just from a bids eye view.
The second piece is social media and engagement. Social media is just what it is, media to engage socially. It is most effectively used to help people connect with your brand by recognizing who you are and what you have that they need.
Social media accounts serve dual roles. They help you communicate with customers and build a fan base for your brand. They also help you with being found in search engines. When your social media page lists your website URL, search engines have an easier time finding you.
Getting listed is a great opportunity to tell the search engines directly who you are, where you are, what you do, and how people can reach you. Ever searched for "car repair Charlotte"? I suggest you give it a try to see the results of being listed. Hint: the sites at the top get the most clicks.
Having these three things completed should be a part of any new businesses start-up goals. Of course there are a number of additional tasks that move this entire process along such as planning, developing a strategy and marketing plan, developing a brand, etc.
So, now let's address the elephant in the room. If it's known that these things are so effective and it's known that depending on a tool mostly used to "help big boys sit up to the dinner table" is a sure fire way to get missed, why do so many small businesses owners fail to follow through? Well, it's because the breakdown happens in the planning phase. Most small business owners have the idea that a website is either for big corporations or their product is so good people will magically find them. Both ideas are wrong. Even when most small business owners take the steps towards getting online, they overlook the importance of SEO or bypass the website stage all together in favor of simply setting up a Facebook page or Twitter account.
At Visiate Solutions we preach the power of process. We don't practice what we preach, we preach what we practice. For this reason, we advise anyone reaching out to us for website design to get on board with our philosophy: "Get Ready! Get Set! Go!". A website can only be used effectively in the "Get Set!" and "Go!" phases of launching and operating a business. From a hierarchal view, a website is a means of telling a story. The story is you. A website tells the story of who you are, what you do, how you do it, and answers some questions potential customers may have before they even know they have them. None of this is possible without first determining what the story is.
Check out our solutions or reach out to us if you think we can help.