Do you know that there more than 200 million people who use the internet just in the U.S alone? Letting your brick-and-mortar store just simply stand in its place will not invite more customers in. You must find ways to reach out to new customers. You know you need to get found online. Fortunately, there are a number of effective ways you can use the internet to achieve that. If you have a business but you don’t know how to pull a bigger target market then you will want to understand these five basics to get your business found online.
The first option you have is by building your website. Having a website is an inexpensive online tool and that is why a lot of businesses nowadays already have their own websites. Websites help businesses stay in touch with their clients and invite more customers to purchase their products and services. Let’s go over a few terms.One: Domain Name. This is your website’s address and it looks like www.mybusiness.com. Domain names must be purchased through a domain name registrar. We like Godaddy for this. If you can register a domain name that also happens to be the name of the business you are in, you are batting 1000! However it is unlikely it is still available. Next try for your business’s name with a variation using your locale, such as www.mybusinessLV.com. Avoid hyphens and numbers in the domain name if at all possible.
Two: Web Host. Hosting allows you to put your website online. You can build your website using your computer but people can’t have access to it without hosting. Often the web design company you choose acts as your host.
Three: SEO- This is Search Engine Optimization. Search engines must be able to “catalog” your website so that they can send traffic to your business from searchers looking for you. (Ahhh, if it were only that easy!) SEO is one of the main reasons those “free” or cheap website template sites fail to drive traffic. SEO is a very important part of the actual design of a website and it the rules- set forth mostly by the search engines-are constantly changing. Even some “website designers” don’t understand SEO. Some are more interested in building an artistic dream instead of a design that works for the main goal…sending you customers via the search engines.
Four: a Blog. To make it as plain as possible, you need a blog. A blog is a vital part of an online strategy now and many businesses do it incorrectly! It needs to be a part of your website and NOT hosted by one of the familiar blog sites. A few of the most popular blog hosting sites are LiveJournal, Blogger, Squarespace, TypePad, and WordPress. Most blog sites offer ready-to-use templates so the only thing you need to do is to sign up for your own blog and choose the template you want. Some blogs offer customization so if you’re not satisfied with how your blog looks like, you have the option to modify it and make it look the way you want it to look like. The problem is when you blog on them, they are creating a website between you and your customers. Your own website is the place for your blog. Not a separate blog site. If you already have your blog for your business, it’s important that you make your presence felt in the blogging community by visiting other people’s blogs and commenting on their blog posts. Most people who do this would leave a link of their websites along with their comments.
Five: Social Media- You probably know about Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram by now. These are just some of the most popular social media sites in the world and since a lot of people are hooked on using these social media sites, you can build a stronger client base for your business through these sites. To start a social media page for your business, simply sign up for an account. Make sure that you include all the important details about your business. After providing the necessary information and successfully creating your business page, introduce your page to your friends or relatives. Eventually, more people will find out about your social media page. Just don’t forget to keep your content fresh and appealing and to make occasional announcements about the products and services you’re offering or if you are having any promotional events for your customers. Sounds easy right! It can be, however social media sites need optimization too! And fresh content is vital. Many small businesses do not have the extra time it takes to manage all this. But it is not going away anytime soon. So if need help, outsource it.