Once you have set up your own website, you need to ensure that your business can be found virtually and in multiple locations. Most businesses forget to include their URL (domain name) in all of their touch points with consumers. Be sure that your website is included in all of your communications (and a link if it’s a digital outreach).
Do you remember searching for your local pizzeria in the Yellow Pages? This large book is now replaced by online search engines, like Google. Registering your business in Google My Business, allows your consumer to find your type of business in their specific zip code. It’s free to add your name, URL, location, and other pertinent details to your operation. This easy step helps to ensure your business shows up as one of the first options in search.
While Google is amassing the majority of search traffic, there are other local profile sites that you should register with. Most businesses can benefit from entering their details on Manta, Merchant Circle, Local.com, your local business journal and chamber of commerce. Other profile sites cater to specific consumer need states. If your business is in the entertainment industry, like a restaurant, Yelp and Citysearch are essential. If you offer in home services, like cleaning, you should be listed on Thumbtack, Angie’s List, and/or Nextdoor. There are several others; do your homework and find out where your consumers are searching for your type of business.
The other component to local profiles is ensuring that you are closely monitoring your consumer reviews. You should also communicate regularly with both positive and negative comments. These sites provide a quicker read on consumer satisfaction and a direct access to engender a richer loyalty to your offering. The same goes for your social sites.
Another important step in getting your site in the first ten of your target’s search results, is to have a strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Most of this can be accomplished organically (without paying for spots). Once you understand how your consumers refer to your business, what they will most likely type in Google, and how your business differs from the competitive set, you can craft your key words (copy) that should be pervasive in your site. Focus on unique, search phrases, not single key words, place title tags on every page, and put your location in the text.
The new marketing mantra communicated by most agencies is that content is king. This mantra will serve you well in securing a top spot in search results. Schedule updates to your information on your website and all other digital platforms on a regular basis (at least monthly). Links to other relevant sites, including video ads, will help. Consider writing a blog to freshen your content and bring new traffic to your site.
Other ways that you can build traffic to your site include online publicity, advertising (static and video ads), and social. Before you embark on any of these, you need to make sure you clearly understand your target consumer and where they are currently navigating. Not all channels, no matter how trendy, are correct for your target consumer. After analyzing how your consumer finds, decides and buys your product or category (your path to purchase), you should be able to identify the right digital channels that your ad should be in.
Then you can test various online platforms and refine after analyzing each post. There is an often overlooked, free analytical platform: Google Analytics. This great service is the industry standard for analyzing and reporting online. You can track the type of traffic, where they are sourcing from, how your SEO is performing, the level of interest within your site, ad revenue and the activity on your social sites. These insights can help you understand your digital return on investment and allow you to continue to refine your marketing programs.
Start Something Solutions aims to help you simplify your marketing process, including marketing online, via traditional methods, and mastering your product and service development. I’m here to help your business and can’t wait to coach you and your team through consumer centric commercialization. Please email me anytime with consulting requests, your thoughts on my blogs and any recommendations for future topics.