Getting found online is no longer a luxury; it’s critical to your success as a business owner or entrepreneur.
There are billions of online searches taking place every day which will either help you or hurt you. Simply put, you will either be seen by people or get lost in all of the traffic.
Let’s face it…creating an online presence can be a daunting task – you have to build a website, create online listings, advertisements, social media, email marketing and keeping up can seem impossible.
Truth be told……you don’t have to do it all in order to have great visibility by a large on-line audience. However, you do need to ensure what you are doing is correct and consistent. Many listings are aggregated across the web so if you make a mistake creating one listing, it could cascade to others that you may need to fix at a later date. A few things to consider when working on your online presence:
1. Get a Google My Business Account - its free and probably the most important.
Google My Business is a necessity when it comes to creating your listings. If you’re a Google user, which is likely according to statistics, you may have noticed when you Google a business or type of business in a certain area you get a sidebar with a business name, contact information, hours, website link and map. These are not paid advertisements and are all a part of Google trying to make its search engine a better experience for its millions of users and businesses. When you sign up for Google My Business, which is completely free, you open the door to be featured on Google when someone is searching for your business or a type of business in your location. For example, if someone searches for “landscaping” in your local area and you provide that service, you will show up on the map and on the top of the search engine without paid advertisement. This is free organic search your business can capitalise on right away. 2. Creating consistent citations on the web. Wrong information can lead your business into an online death trap. Your online citations consist of your NAP (name, address, phone number) website, as well as the description of your business and services you provide. If you’re in Australia, you can use FREE local directories to advertise your business, such as: • Local Search. www.localsearch.com.au • Search Frog. www.searchfrog.com.au • Pure Local. www.purelocal.com.au • Yelp Australia. www.yelp.com.au • Hot Frog Australia. www.hotfrog.com.au • Star Local. www.startlocal.com.au • Go Guide. www.goguide.com.au • Yellow Pages. www.yellowpages.com.au 2. Create social media accounts and then link them to your website. Never underestimate the power of Social Networks. Not only is social networking a great way to boost your site's visibility, but linking back to your site from social networks is a fantastic way to boost your page ranking. Take time to get to know the platforms you are considering spending your time on. Try to focus on the platform that best serves your target market. If your demographic is a younger demographic, Instagram may be your best bet. If you primarily work with professionals and business owners, then Linkedin is the place for you. If you’re wanting to advertise locally - Facebook my be for you. The best thing you can do when it comes to online marketing is research. Take a look at how similar businesses are using different platforms and what types of results they are getting across each platform. By doing this, you can see which platforms are producing results for your industry and what people are doing to get results within each platform. In most instances I suggest Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest and Youtube to my clients. However as mentioned above, this varies from business to business. 3. Updating your keywords. Quality content is essential to ranking higher in Google. If you are not ranking on Google for your keywords, you may want to reconsider your list of target keywords. When choosing keywords, ask yourself, “What would one of my customers type into Google when looking for a business like mine?” Next, take a look at your site and check that you have used your keywords as much as possible, while always making sure that your content sounds natural. Use your keywords in your domain, in your headlines, within the text on each page, as alt text in images etc. If after a couple of months your google ranking hasn’t improved - I would suggest updating your keywords.
4. Create a Blog. Google tends to favour sites that are well-written and frequently updated content. Regularly publishing blog posts, ones that your target audience will enjoy or find informative, is a very effective way of doing so. It also helps to get links (backlinks) to your site from relevant or reputable sites. This improves your online reputation and credibility, increasing your chances of ranking higher in search results. Click here to read more about backlinks. Adding a blog to your site gets you in on the action, increasing your site’s search engine ranking, enabling you to engage with customers while framing the conversation, aiding you in fashioning a strong brand personality, and providing a simple way to organise your content marketing strategy.