If you run a small business, then you have an awful lot of responsibilities. Staying on top of your business’ core tasks is tough enough; you don’t have time for the internet! But it’s important to make sure that your business has a presence online that connects with customers and preserves your business’ good name.
Here’s what to consider working on with the help of outsourced business web experts:
Your company’s website
No matter what kind of business you run, you’ll need a website. These days, having your own domain name is pretty much mandatory: Customers and clients will wonder what’s wrong with your business if they can’t find you online. Restaurants are expected to have their menus posted online, stores should have websites with operating hours (and perhaps online shopping options), contractors should have websites with before and after photos, and so on. If you want customers or clients of any kind, you need to be online.
Setting up a website is something that you should do with the help of professionals. While there are some software solutions that allow you to make your own website, you should be careful about biting off more than you can chew. You really need to get the details right; for instance, you need to make sure that your website shows up well on mobile devices. Perhaps most important of all, you need to make sure that customers can actually find your site.
Search engine optimization
How will customers find your site? It’s an important question. The answer is pretty simple: Google. Search engines drive a huge portion of traffic on the internet, and Google has a dominant market share in the search engine space. That means that the success of your business website (and, by extension, the success of your business itself) depends, to a large degree, on how much Google’s top-secret algorithm likes your site.
Fortunately, how well you do with Google is not entirely beyond your control. Search engine optimization (“SEO” for short) is the practice of making your business’ online presence more appealing to Google and other search engines. This isn’t just something for Amazon and the tech giants to worry about: smaller scale mainstreet businesses should be concerned with local SEO as well. Partner up with a trusted digital marketing and SEO firm for outsourced SEO solutions.
Your website is a big part of how you present your company online. But it’s a more or less one-way street: You put it up, customers look at it. What about back-and-forth communication?
Well, that will happen on social media. Your business should be on Facebook at the very minimum, and it’s highly advisable that you invest in other social media platforms, like Instagram and Twitter, as well. Be sure to monitor these platforms, though, because failing to answer customers who address your business in posts and direct messages is not a good look.
A social media presence is a great way to extend a new customer service and feedback option to customers and clients. That’s going to make for happier customers. It may also help head off bad reviews.
Review and recommendation websites
Review websites like Yelp can be great for your business’ reputation. They can also be incredibly frustrating, thanks in part to shady business practices. We don’t have to love all of these sits in order to recognize their importance. Bad reviews can hurt a business, while good ones can help that reputation and raise the business’ profile.
Working with experts in online reputation management and digital marketing can help you here. So can simply being active and responding positively to reviews (and never, ever losing your professional composure in replies). The more active your business is online, the better.