Anyone with a computer, an internet connection and some very basic Googling skills can find just about anything they want in just a few seconds. Trying to look up an old friend from high school? Easy. Checking the scores for last night’s games? Done. Settling an argument over where AC/DC is from? Check (the answer is Australia for your next trivia night).
In addition to their own personal lives, people use the internet to find information on businesses as well. More and more people are heading online to check out reviews, research certain companies or something as simple as finding the address.
If you’re a business owner and you’re not online, it’s time to get cracking. Here are five things you can do to help increase your business presence.
Well, of course! If you’re not online in this day and age, what exactly are you doing? You might be surprised to know that around 50% of small business don’t have a website. Seems ludicrous, right? Because it is!
In a time where you’re able to get just about anything you want at the snap of a finger and people’s attention spans are shorter, no one is going to go the extra mile to try and find your business if it’s not readily available. People like easy, streamlined things.
There are a few ways to get your business online and running which we will talk about in the proceeding sections.
Making a Website
Designing and making a website can sound a bit intimidating. Lines of code, designing pages, choosing colors, etc. just sounds like a tall task. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be.
Your first step in getting your website up and running is choosing a domain name for your business. A domain name is like your online address in a way. Where you might live at 123 Main St., your website lives at myamazingbusiness.com.
When choosing a name you first: want to make sure it’s available. Second, choose something that’s easy and makes sense.
Once you have your website, you’ll need to decide what exactly you want on there. If you own a Mom & Pop coffee shop, it doesn’t have to be too complicated. Maybe just your hours of business, address, phone number, menu and a few photos.
If you’re making an online store and you don’t consider yourself a tech-savvy person, look at hiring a web designer.
Social media is widespread, but just how widespread? Well, about 50% of the Earth’s population uses some kind of social media platform.
People are scrolling through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all day. One of the ways to make sure you’re reaching out to these people is having a regularly updated page. Once again, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy, maybe updates about hours, new items, fun promotions, photos of a company picnic, etc. It helps that people keep SEEING your business, even if they’re not there.
That brings us to our next point.
Once upon a time, there was a man who moved across the country for work and had to leave his girlfriend behind. He was utterly in love with her and wrote her a letter every day. Every day it was like clockwork, the mailman would come at noon and hand the girl a letter from her long-distance lover.
After a few months, the couple sadly broke up. The girl had found someone else: the mailman.
Even though this is only a sad story, the same principle applies to your website and social media pages: you need to have a regular content schedule.
It doesn’t have to be every day at 3:01 PM you publish a blog post or upload a photo, but you need to lay out a content plan and make sure you stick to it. If you don’t have a consistent plan, people will eventually move away from your business. Keep people interested!
SEO, or search engine optimization, is what helps drive traffic to your website. If you follow good SEO practices, you’re likely to appear on the coveted first page of Google, thereby making your business more visible and easy to access.
There are way too many SEO tips that can be written here, so you should check out various courses that are online. There are plenty of free ones out there that can help you grasp the basic concept. Don’t be frustrated, though. SEO is confusing and new tips and tricks are constantly evolving, but having a basic grasp can help you wade through the mess.