How to get found on the Internet?
John M. Haddad
Business owners constantly ask us this question … and for good reason. The use of the Internet as a marketing channel has made search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) a priority for small businesses regardless of what they do, or where their potential customers are located.
Internet-related technology and marketing seem to evolve on an almost hourly basis. It’s far too easy to get distracted and pulled in multiple directions, but business owners should try to carve out thirty minutes to an hour a day to keep up with both your local market and internet/technology that may directly affect your business. One easy way to do this and remain flexible is to use a reader app on your tablet or smartphone such as Flipboard, Pocket, or Pulse to quickly scan trusted content from a variety of news sources or customize with your preferred favorites. If you’re short on time, you can always mark something to read later.
So here are some questions small business owners need to ask:
What are the essential things needed for every small business website
To ensure your business website is effective, there are 3 essential things you should be doing:
- Provide accurate information about your business, products, or services that will answer many of your customers’ most frequent questions.
- Make your website “findable” in search, and easy to use on both PCs and mobile devices.
- Use website analytics to track website visitors, sales, and calls that come in via your site.
Are you using social media effectively?
Depending on the nature of your business, there’s probably at least one social media platform that makes sense for you to engage with regularly. For example, it’s easier to justify time and resources to Facebook if you look at it as a customer service or retention tool. But it all depends where your customers are. For example, Pinterest is no-brainer for a landscape or interior design company. For other types of companies, from local eateries to software, if you are looking to get attention from local media or tech journalists then Twitter could be a good place for you. And all businesses should have some presence on LinkedIn to maximize visibility.
So, how often should you review and update your website content to keep it fresh and relevant?
Not every small business can realistically update its website daily or weekly, nor does it necessarily need to. But depending on your business, you should add fresh content or update existing content monthly or quarterly. One simple way to do that is to include sales and special or seasonal offers if you can post easily through a blog format. At the very least, you should review your website every six months to make sure all information is up-to-date.
What emerging technology trends should a small business monitor closely?
Mobile technology should be a strong consideration going forward, as consumers of all ages become more dependent and engaged with their tablets and smartphones. If your website is not responsive and not mobile-friendly (see our post on Common Small Business Website Mistakes), you may be missing out on some key customers and demographics who may disregard your site because it is not easy to read on their smartphones.