How Important Is Your Online Presence?
Have you ever stopped to consider the impact that Search, your website, the reviews and your online reputation have on your business? Let’s examine how all of these factors can impact your business and your online presence.
Search predominately G00gle has many ways that it impacts your business. It can set where you rank and put your business at the top, bottom or somewhere in the middle of page rankings. Every few weeks or days even, it sends out their “spiders” to crawl your website. As they crawl it they are looking for signals and ranking your website according to how relevant and authoritative you are, and the quality/breadth/popularity of your content. If you are seeking ways to improve your visibility, you’ll want to ensure that you’re following the right decisions for Search and focusing your attention where it should count. Changes to Search are made often, so you’ll need to keep this in mind. If you’re unsure of how this is done, you may need to consult with someone you trust.
Your website should reflect your business and your business practices. If you want to draw new customers in, you’ll need to focus your attention here and use your content to open new conversations. If you talk about it, you’ll have a far greater chance of being in that market. Focus on using content to your benefit so that you’re reaching your target audience. When you reach your target audience you’re going to find that your customer base naturally grows. Keep in mind that less is more on your website and that people want a clean website at the top level that is very user-friendly (easy to navigate). Make sure that you have all relevant social media accounts available that fit your niche, so that users can readily share their findings with social media, this depends of if you have time and if your competitors are doing it and you are not. This is potentially a way for you to get promoted with out a monetary cost, so it’s an important tool if you’re trying to build up your business.
As your business gains a brand you’ll find that you’re getting more customers in. By taking the lead with your brand your customers are going to see that you’re the “go to” source for their needs. When you brand yourself as the expert in the industry, you’re going to find that your business reputation keeps building. You’ll also find that your business is taking over the lead for the brand and expertise. How then do you brand yourself as the expert? By becoming just that, an expert. You’ll want to offer quality information and details on your website. Show yourself as the expert by offering detailed information on your products/services and business. It can take time to establish yourself as the expert, but once you’ve done this, you’re going to find that your website grows quickly.
If you want to be the top business locally, you’re going to have to guard your online reputation. You’ll want to ensure that you’re managing your online reputation appropriately. If you have comments that are negative out there online, you’ll want to address these with appropriate actions. To do this, you’ll want to reply to the comments and work to fix or repair whatever the negative comments are. You’ll want to do this transparently in order to show that you care about their negative experience and want to make it right. When other potential customers see that you wanted to make it right, they’re much more likely to want to do business with you. Why? Because they can clearly see that you’re willing to go above and beyond to ensure that they are happy with their experience with your company.
Keep track of reviews that are posted online at various locations. Help build processes to make this drip drip feed your overall ratings up by directing customers there.
As a local business, you have a bit more work cut out for you. You want to show that you’re professional and know what you’re doing, even if you’re in a small locality. You have an opportunity to out do the bigger companies here by branding yourself as the local expert and by showing that you are more than capable of taking on their task. Remain professional and focus on providing your customers with great service at all times. Be willing to go the extra mile. As a local business, you’re going to want to remember that you are always in competition with the “bigger guys”. So you’re going to have to go further and give your customer more individualised attention, as well as more information. It isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Customers love to feel cared for and when you roll out the red carpet and make them feel important, you’re well on your way to being the ideal business.