Starting your own small business is a dream for a lot of people, whether it’s because you want to showcase your talent to the world or because you want an alternative source of income. But aside from having a great product and effective services, businesses today need one more thing: online presence.
Establishing an online presence is vital because 55 percent of consumers look up reviews to businesses when deciding on their purchases. Not only that, but with more and more people relying on online searches instead of word of mouth to find businesses, it’s the best way to gather and grow a loyal customer base.
Having your own website is no doubt the first step to establishing an online presence, but it’s not enough by itself. Here’s how you can build your small business’s online presence:
Smartphones aren’t just improving in capacity; they’re also expanding in reach. In America alone, 81 percent of the population own a smartphone of some kind, up from 35 percent in just eight years. That means you can’t afford to make your site inaccessible or less responsive to mobile users.
Make sure your site uses responsive design, which translates your website from desktop configuration to mobile. This will make it easier for mobile users to access your site and for search engines to put you on results pages.
Make It Easy to Find You
The internet is a vast, alternate world, and your business, no matter how niche, will ultimately be one of many. The key then is to make sure your potential customers can find you quickly. And the best way to do that is to ensure your website shows up at the top of search engine results pages.
Engage with a reliable search engine optimization consultant to find out how you can make your site more visible on search engines. This will usually involve beefing up content, improving metadata, and other complicated tasks better left to experts.
Engage with Online Communities
Even today, one of the tenets of expanding a customer base is engaging with them in the first. Where once this used to be physical events like concerts and festivals, customer engagement nowadays takes place mostly online.
Setting up a social media page for your business allows you to communicate with your customers. You can respond to comments, come up with fun activities like contests, and gather their suggestions. All of these help foster loyalty in your customers.
Answer Important Questions
Search engines and customers both respond to authority. Presenting your business and your website as a source of authoritative information is one of the best ways to attract customers.
Start a blog on your website that provides answers to critical questions regarding not just your business but also your field. For example, if you’re a vegan bakery, inform them of the health benefits of veganism. You can also create an account for your business in online forums and answer questions relating to your service there.
Sign Up for Online Directories
Aside from search engines, online directories like Google My Business and Yelp are some of the most popular methods for online users to find companies they want to patronize. These sites also provide them with information on reviews, which, as previously discussed, is essential to customers when deciding where to buy. Online directories also make it easier for customers to locate the physical address of your business.
With how ingrained digital media is with day-to-day life, fostering an online presence is now no longer an option but a requirement. These methods will help you grow your online influence and also your business.