What your business needs to be doing online to survive

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Online Small business musts

This is a very simple article that I would like to provide for my clients to get a better picture of what is needed in today’s world of small business to make sure you are found online and in the proper places online. Many times I have a client come to me to seek a website for their business or asking to help them rank on page one to get more business.  Once I explain what is required to achieve more clients and sales it can be very confusing with the amount of information and points that need to be addressed.  This blog post is meant as to be a useful reference to remind of what is needed to succeed.

How things have changed in the past 20 years

Roll your sleeves up because gone are the days of posting a one page ad in the yellow pages and waiting for the calls to come in.  Instead of Yellow pages and word of mouth to find a service, we now have online search, social media, and word of mouth.  People want the answer anywhere, anytime, and immediately.  The statistics on how many people search for a service or product on their mobile phone can be astonishing. Everyone does it now, is your business keeping up with this trend?  Below is a simple checklist to prepare anyone that feels they are not showing up online.

Logo

SEO / Online Marketing in Boston Massachusetts

The Complete Web logo is simple text but says a 100 things. Fun, creative, original, clean, simple and to the point. Just what your looking for in creating a website.

This is obvious but it is largely very much overlooked.  The logo is first thing people see when presented with your business. It is used in all online aspect of your business and immediately sets the tone for your company.  Even if your logo is just typed words, it can make the difference when gaining the trust of the client.  Your business logo evokes an emotion.  The emotion must match the type of business you are.  We are animals and timid ones when searching for a service.  The logo needs to make a person feel comfortable with learning more.  The logo also is the fasted way to describe your business in 100s of ways in a split second.  Investing in a good quality logo that your client base likes and trusts will give you the immediate edge.  When designing your logo make sure to have honest 2nd and 3rd opinions. Just because you think it looks great usually means it does not to a potential customer!

Website that is Optimized for Search (SEO Optimized Websites)

This can be a big task in order to do it right.  There are so many ways now to get a website and many of them are great.  Many of them get you a “website” but end up being a huge waste of time because the website does not help in anyway because it was not done right.

seo-online-marketing-boston-massachusetts - desert

Having a website that is not properly optimized for search is like trying to find customers in the desert.

Your Time, Your Money.

Sure, you can go to Web.com and get a free site.  They will through it up with some pictures and text and maybe it will look great but down the road the chances are you have wasted all that time getting this “free” site because no one visits it to learn about you and your service.  Essentially you just lost money.  What is your hourly rate when you make a living?  Multiply this by how many hours you spent putting up your site and you will wish you had it done right the first time.

Having your site built by a professional that can properly optimize your site for search will give you a return on this investment and not waste your time.  You can have a site done right if you know where to look for less than $1000.  There are so many sources to find good professionals.  Read their reviews and make a selection.

Proper Online Accounts

When people do an online search for a business locally there will be many websites that pop up first that will list the type of businesses you are looking for.  Typically these sites will show a short description, with contact information and maybe some reviews.  A prime example of this is Yelp.com.  There are many “listings” sites that can be specific to your business that allow you to create free or inexpensive listings.  They key to creating your listings is to make sure all the information is the same across the board.  Same phone number and address for any listing you create is very important for your overall website rank.

Social Media profiles do count!  Ask your web professional what accounts you should have for your business.

Important:  Keep a list of any account you create with the usernames and passwords so that if your address or phone number changes, you can see what accounts you created and what places you need to go to make the changes.

Tell your story – help the community through information

seo-professional-boston-massachusetts

This picture does not have much to do with this post except that I am telling my story. This is my wife and I, on a dock. This is who I am. Now that you know, your more likely to do business with me right? Or not…

Once your website is up and you have all the proper online business profiles/accounts completed, then you must give back to the community.  Let people in.  Let them learn about your business before you sell them something.  Give them tips on how to better live life or give them entertainment.  Videos, photos, music and art.  By far this is the most difficult to pursue but it is important if you want to succeed.

How is this possible?

Through blogging and social media.  Learn what the best way to share your story or information is in your field and focus just on one way to start with.  There are so many social media sites it can be overwhelming and time consuming to post to them all. Share your story of your business.  Some behind the scenes photos to make it personal or share tutorials or helpful tips pertaining to your customer.  It will make all the difference in the end when it comes to a buying decision.

Encourage Reviews!

This can be very difficult to have a client site down, and take the time to write a review but like a logo, it maybe the first thing people see when looking for your business, product or service. Many see the reviews even before the logo!  Choose 1 or tow popular places when people search for your type of business online they will run into all these reviews.  If Yelp comes up when people search for your business then direct your clients to the particular site to leave a review.  Give them some incentive to do so.  They add up over time and make all the difference!  Reviews also ensure you are providing a quality product and service.  If you are not giving the community what you advertise then the reviews will ruin your chance of being successful online.  Too many bad reviews has a direct effect on your business income.  Stand by your product and make them happy!

Jason Houston
Jason Houston
Jason Houston is a web developer at Complete Web based on the island of Nantucket Massachusetts. He actively monitors the status and health of over 20 accounts to maintain position in search and to ensure each business is doing everything possible to increase revenue. Feel free to ask Jason a question at: jason@mycompleteweb.net