Where Should My Business Be Online for Maximum Exposure?
My clients and individuals I meet from day-to-day often ask me where their business should be online for maximum benefit and exposure. Every business owner I know has a limited marketing budget, so where their efforts are focused is an important consideration.
My response: Every business needs minimally four things for a solid online presence: a mobile-friendly website with basic SEO, a Google My Business page, a well-written LinkedIn profile for you and your business, and consistent online thumbprint. Here’s why.
A mobile-friendly website with basic SEO – It used to be that you could reach out to prospects with simply a business card. Now, everyone wants to go to a website to check out your business background and the services and products you offer. Having a great-looking website that incorporates basic SEO can make it come up in searches, whenever people look for you or your company by name. If your business is local, basic SEO can also help your website come up on page 1 of Google for the products or services you offer.
Why does your website need to be mobile friendly? Google wants to provide the best experience possible for every search. If your website isn’t easy to access and use from a smart phone, you can expect to see your visibility in searches slide.
Google My Business page – Every business owner can easily have a Google listing, and it is absolutely free! Your Google My Business page places you in Google’s “yellow pages” directory, which boosts your local business presence. Google is becoming ever more adept at linking your Google My Business page information with your website, so I highly recommend this 15-minute task to everyone who hasn’t yet completed it.
To find out how to create or claim your Google My Business page, please see this post: How to create a great Google My Business Page.
LinkedIn profile for you and your business – Many of your potential clients will go to LinkedIn to review your profile and you business page before making a phone call. Why? On LinkedIn, they can see whom they know who may also know you because they are either linked to you or have endorsed you. From there, they can contact those individuals for a personal recommendation. In my opinion, these personal recommendations are more powerful than that same person having to scroll through a list of reviews on other social media sites, from individuals they may not personally know.
LinkedIn also has its own search engine, which allows you to also find people by their specialties.
Consistent online thumbprint – Every business has an online thumbprint, which is your Name, Address and Phone Number. A consistent online footprint is key for coming up in search engines whenever someone is searching for services or products that match what you offer. It’s also confusing to potential clients if your business appears in multiple ways. By making sure that your Name, Address, and Phone Number are consistent everywhere online, you’ll earn more credibility with search engines, which is always a good thing!
What about social media sites, like Facebook, Yelp, Houzz, etc. Wherever your business appears online, it provides more opportunities for people to find you and then send that email or make that phone call. It takes time, however to earn the likes and the reviews that really garner attention on social media sites. Whenever a business owner has limited time and budget, I usually recommend getting a great website, setting up a Google My Business page and creating a LinkedIn profile first, and then moving on to Facebook, Yelp, etc.
If you want to discuss what you should be doing to give your business maximum exposure, I offer a free website 30-minute strategy session. Please contact me to set up a time at: 415-250-12347.
Carolyn Kohler is an SEO writer who specializes in helping businesses get found online. Her company is Website Wordsmith, and she is located in the San Francisco Bay Area.