Building An Online Presence For Small Business Success
You may think to yourself, why should I have to pay for a website? Or use my limited time trying to create social media posts every day?
But let me tell you, when you don’t have a presence online, you’re leaving a whole market of consumers completely untapped and making it harder for new customers to find you.
When looking for a local company, 97% of people learn about them through an online search over anywhere else. (1)
Having an online presence is key to being flexible in the unknown. There is enough pressure on small businesses, so don’t lose out on the exposure you could gain from being online.
4 Key Places To Establish Your Business’s Online Presence
#1 | A Website
An Intuitive Website Can Attract New Customers
A website is a great place to start because it can become your business’s internet home. Just as a physical location is a place for people to visit your business, a website is simply an online location that people can use to access your business. Sometimes people are hesitant to build a website, they may not know where to start or they see it as a major expense to set them back, but websites don’t have to be expensive or difficult to build.
If the thought of building a website makes you nervous, I have good news. There are many templates and pre-designed website builders already out there to give you a good starting point. Another option is hiring a consultant or company to build and optimize a website for you. At UGM, we have a whole team here to help you, whether it’s starting a website from scratch or updating an existing one, we’d love to hear from you. Click here to contact us and get started.
Now that you understand a few of the benefits that a website can offer, I want you to consider a few things before you start building. First, make sure you know your goals and what you want a website to do for your business. Maybe you plan on taking and processing orders through your website. Or perhaps you want your website to display the most up-to-date information about your services. These are two different things that require different systems, so knowing your goals beforehand will be important as you build your website.
#2 | Email Marketing
Keep In Touch With Email Marketing
Building an email list and sending newsletters can be a great way to keep in touch with your customers and keep your business on their minds. This is an intentional way to keep current and potential buyers engaged on a regular basis.
Successful email marketing is relatively easy to achieve. All you need is a simple way for people to sign up to receive your emails. This can be accomplished a few different ways:
- QR code in your store
- A form on your website
- Links in your social media posts
- Sign-up sheets at your next vendor fair
People enjoy hearing from businesses that they love, so by making the signup process visible and simple, you can make it easy to get subscribers.
It is estimated that 99% of email users check their inbox daily, with some even up to 20 times a day. With this in mind, it is easy to see how email marketing can have a big impact on your business. (2)
#3 | Social Media
Open A Window Into Your Business With Social Media
Social media can be a fickle beast, but there is no denying the opportunities it affords to the small business owner. Of the world’s population, 75% of people over 13 use social media an average of 2 hours and 28 minutes daily. (3)
Aside from connecting with their personal friends, people like to use social media to get authentic snapshots of businesses they like. Using these platforms is a free and easy way for businesses to get their brand out there. It can be beneficial to use social media to engage customers and people in your area, giving them an intimate glimpse into your business.
However, if you plan to use social media for your business’s advantage keep in mind that it can change quickly, so be careful to keep your approach diversified and fluid with the current trends.
#4 | Keep Up With It All
Keeping On Top Of It With SEO And Customer Reviews
SEO is an important strategy for any business, especially a local one. Making sure that your business shows up for searches in your local area, allows potential customers to be more aware of your business and its offerings. Needless to say, the closer to the top you are on a search engine results page the more exposure your business will have with your local customer base.
There are a few things that can help your local rankings including having an up-to-date Google Business Profile and encouraging your customers to give your business positive reviews.
If you have not yet set up a Google Business Profile it is a very simple process; just click here to learn how.
You can also gain more local exposure by making it easy for your customers to leave reviews and encouraging more of them. You can set up a QR on a sign in your store, or send them a follow-up email including a link to leave a review. Customers can likely review your business in several places, but if you direct them to a central location (such as your Google Business Profile) you can also boost your SEO as well as build a good professional reputation.
How can you get more hours in a day?
As much as you would like to have more hours in a day, the reality is that there are only 24. So how do we make those hours count?
The answer lies in knowing how to best prioritize your tasks and, believe it or not, knowing how to take care of yourself!
5 Common Mistakes To Avoid
The tricky part of getting started online is knowing what YOUR business needs to thrive.
Starting off on the wrong foot can cost you dearly in time and resources. At Unlimited Grace Media, we specialize in helping small businesses work with their strengths. So as you’re getting started, avoid these common online mistakes.
I: Resist The Temptation To Do Everything At Once
Having a great online presence doesn’t happen overnight. Pacing yourself when it comes to these suggestions will be a good idea to avoid burnout and lost resources.
Decide where you want to start first and focus on building up one thing at a time depending on your goals. Don’t try a website, social media, and email all at once or you will have too much on your plate. Think about what would be best for your business and then go from there.
II: Letting The Technical Parts Of Your Website Slide Can Hurt User Experience
Not many people love the technical aspects of websites. But having a well-ranking website means you need one that’s working well for the users.
Some of the behind-the-scenes issues you should be aware of are:
- Broken links
- Duplicate content
- Crawl errors
Ensuring your website is well-oiled and working flawlessly will help you rank at the top of the page.
Want to know what is and isn’t working on your website? We offer a free audit for small businesses to get you started.
Contact Us Today!
III: Trends Can Be Fun—And Distracting
It might be fun to join the latest trends on Tik Tok or stage the perfect photo for Instagram. However, if you’re so focused on finding the next trend or decoding the algorithm to go viral you risk missing out on creating valuable content that’s relevant to your business. So dance to the next great song on Tik Tok or try sending your product to an influencer if you want. Trying new things can be fun and rewarding. But don’t fall into the trap of trying to keep up with everything.
IV: Don’t Neglect Your Ideal Customers
It’s simply not possible to market to everyone. Your ideal customers are the ones you should spend the most time and effort to reach. They are the people who want to buy your products or services. Marketing online can potentially have a wider reach, but remember to keep the ideal customer in mind and don’t neglect them trying to get everyone under your umbrella.
V : Incorporate Keywords While Writing Quality Content
How does your website get found in the middle of a sea of countless other websites? One way is by using the best keywords to show up for what people are searching for. If you want to be found on Google or other search engines, you should do some keyword research and include the right words on your site. This will help your ideal customer to be able to find you.
You want to be careful about keyword stuffing, or including too many keywords as this can actually hurt Google rankings. Quality content that people will read and share will win out over keywords every day.
Cultivating Your Online Presence Can Be Fun
Your online presence is another store or location that can work to bring in customers and it can be fun to find people this way. Whether you draw people in through a website, social media, email marketing, or a combination of several things, your business will get more exposure and reach more consumers.
We can help any business set up an online presence, from email marketing to building a website and more. Click here to let us know how we can help you grow.