How A Local Business Should Build A Solid Online Presence
Anyone can put a local business online but there are very few ways to do it correctly if you want to maximize your lead generation. Do you know the right way?
Putting The Pieces Together In The Right Order Is Vital.
You have multiple pieces to put in place but which one is the most important in getting you business? Some of the pieces you have to play with are:
- your business website
- your mobile website (if separate from your primary site)
- your reputation
- your social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.)
- your marketing (SEO, PPC, blogs, banner ads, online solo ads, off-line marketing, etc.)
The smartphone that more than half of your customers carry with them at all times is the new phone book.
Many go to social media to get personal referrals from friends and family but then they go to the search engines (usually Google) to look up the reputation and the location of the business that was just referred to them.
If your online reputation is not as good as that of your competitors, many of your potential customers will choose to do business with them instead of you even though they have been referred by a friend or family.
This means that you must have a 5 star reputation to ensure that you will beat your competitors within your community.
The online reputation of your business is the foundation upon which everything else is built so you need a solid strategy on how to start building this reputation as quickly as possible.
You also need a professional looking website that is mobile friendly because that is your virtual storefront and a high percentage of the searches done from a smart phone are local. Additionally, more than 80% of those people take action within the first 24 hours after they better search on their mobile device.
Your website is just one of the many places that you need to use to proudly display the glowing testimonials and third-party reviews that your customers are leaving about your business.
We live in a world where everybody wants things immediately and video is a way to get your message in front of your potential customers in a format that they want to consume.
Whenever you can get a customer to do a video review for you, jump on the chance because that video will have a higher trust factor than any of your written reviews. It doesn’t hurt that YouTube is also the 2nd largest search engine and that it is owned by Google.
Daily Motion is another video sharing site that is a good place to share video reviews because Google likes it almost as much as they do YouTube.
The social media sites that are used most often by businesses in your niche are places that you must have a presence that is branded to your business. These are also great places to market your 5 star reputation.
If you create really nice looking graphics out of some of your best reviews and have your customer’s permission, you can place these review images on image sharing sites such as Flickr and Photo Bucket.
Off-line marketing materials are additional places that you can effectively use customer reviews.
Local directory sites such as Google+, Yelp, Insider Pages, Merchant Circle and more are additional places that customers can leave reviews about your business and they also work as lead generation sites.
If you use Google AdWords for PPC and you are a local business, you can include your Google+ Local Listing in your PPC ad. This does a couple of things for you which are:
- it effectively doubles the amount of space your ad takes up on the page without it costing you anymore money
- if you have enough reviews, your star rating is shown in your ad
- your business name, address and phone number will be shown with your ad (This is important because many interested parties will pick up the phone and call you instead of clicking your ad which will cost you money.)
Everything I have mentioned after developing your reputation is part of expanding your reach which will also help build your authority in your marketplace.
So first you build your foundation (5 star reputation) then you expand your reach.
Your next step is to sell to new customers and to resell to past customers that were happy with your service.
The final steps are to ask for a review and a referral.
The entire process follows a logical progression of putting multiple pieces in place in a specific order and then using the ever-changing technology that makes up the Internet to market your business online so you can build your off-line business.
As usual, your feedback is always needed and welcome.
Last 5 posts in Marketing
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- You Need These 4 Things For Your Business Online Reputation - September 23rd, 2017
- Are You Continuously Building Your Online Reputation? You Should Be - September 16th, 2017