4 Ways to Give Your Small Business an Online Makeover

With 85 percent of consumers using the Internet to search for a business, it is imperative that customers be able to find your small business on the web. You must do everything you can to make sure that your customers can find you and get the information they are looking for. If you haven’t paid much attention to your online presence, now may be the time for a makeover of your online strategy.

Be accessible on any device

When it comes to your small business website, you want to make sure that customers can not only find you, but also view your site on any device that they are using. More and more consumers are using mobile devices, and you need to be able to cater to this need. Is your website mobile device friendly? You need to make sure it has been made responsive to be viewable on any size device.

Not only should your website be able to be viewed on a mobile device such as a tablet or cellular phone, it should also be easy to navigate and read. You want your customers to have the best viewing experience as possible so they stay on your website longer, and don’t get discouraged and leave. An optimized website will make it viewable on any device that user chooses to use.

When designing a mobile website, you want to keep all the most important information about your small business up front and easily accessible. Make phone numbers clickable so users can call you easily. List your business hours and address so they know where to find you. By giving your customers the information they are looking for straight away, it will increase the likelihood that they visit your small business and buy from you.

Make your small business easy to find

While your small business website may now be responsive, can your customers actually find you? When a customer uses a search engine to search for the specific products and services they are looking for, you want to make sure your business is the one that comes up. The higher you rank in a keyword search, the more likely a customer is to click on your site. This will drive traffic to your small business website and turn users into customers as they visit your website.

If you are ranking low in search engine results, you will need to use search engine optimization (SEO) on your website to boost your ranking in search engines. SEO will increase your keyword search results and drive traffic to your website as more people find your small business when they search. Identify what keywords are relevant to your small business’ products and services, and develop your content around them. This will ensure your website will rank in these keyword searches.

Investing in SEO is key to getting found by users as they search on the web for your small business. Other options for increasing your visibility on the web include signing up with Google Places and other geo-based sites such as Foursquare, Yelp and Bing. Google Places allows you to map your business, as well as list hours and contact information. When users search your small business, this information comes up quickly, providing easy access to your business. This is just another way you can make it easy for customers to find your small business.

Find out what your customers are saying

Do you know what your customers are saying about your small business? Check sites such as Yelp, where customers are able to write reviews of the businesses they have visited. With as many as 72 percent of consumers trusting online reviews for their opinion of a business, it is important to pay attention to what these reviews say.

Own your company’s site on platforms such as Yelp, Angie’s List, TripAdvisor and Amazon, and interact with your customers there. Respond to the reviews they post, and make sure your small business’ information is current. Use these online reviews as an opportunity to promote your small business, as good reviews can sway customers to buy from you.

Several good reviews on a site can influence customers greatly, as they will want to have the same good experience that they have read about. If you receive a bad review, respond to it and try to correct the issue described. This is the perfect chance to learn about your business and improve anything that customers are not happy with.

Send a consistent message

Your online presence probably involves several media platforms. To get the greatest amount of mileage from your coverage online, choose a consistent message to communicate on all medias. Use the same images and content on all your sources. Your website should match your social media sites and carry your small business brand across all of them.

Having a consistent message will allow customers to identify with your business and recognize you for the values you have expressed through your branding. Creating a message that customers can identify with will develop loyalty and have them visiting your small business over and over.

It may be tempting to throw all your efforts into as many online platforms as possible. This is not always the best approach. Focus on the key sites where you can make the biggest impact. You can reserve your business profile page on several online platforms, such as the wide variety of social media sites, and leave them dormant while you concentrate on the ones that you know your customers are reacting to. This will save your small business’ name and ensure it is there when you are ready to expand your online presence.

Keep your online strategy simple and focus on getting your message out there. Make sure your customers can find you wherever they look and on whatever device they use. By increasing your online presence, you will see the traffic to your small business website increase as more customers find you and interact with your small business. This is just another way to increase your revenue.

brianheadshotAbout Brian Rowland
Brian joined the BizIQ team as Director of Marketing and Education in January of 2016. He brings with him over 15 years experience in achievements in sales, marketing, and new business development through B2B and Consumer sales. Brian earned his MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2008, and also served as an Adjunct Faculty Instructor for University of Phoenix.
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