A recent survey showed that 97% of consumers look online when researching local products and services. Also, about 1 in 4 online searches are consumers looking for local businesses.
Most people use search engine such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing to locate these products and services in their local communities. Below, we discuss local SEO and other strategies to improve your online presence so you can get this traffic.
5 Key Ingredients to Improve Your Online Presence
How can you improve your company's online presence and make sure you are visible to your target market when they are using the internet, and attract them to your business?
1. Optimize your website to increase your online visibility on Google and other search engines.
When a potential customer searches for the local product or service your company offers, you want to be in the top ten. Use appropriate keywords on your pages, and follow Google's recommendations for the use of sitemaps and other tools that alert the internet to your site's presence, content and updates.
2. Make your company information clear and prominent.
Though obvious, it's surprising how many businesses neglect to do make it easy to locate their business information. You should show:
- Company name
- Location, including city and state
- Contact information, including phone number, email address, and/or Skype name
- Overview of products and services
- Operating hours
Make sure this information is in a prominent place on your website. You can see how we laid ours out here.
You never know when a visitor will be ready to do business with you. So don't make it hard for them to find this valuable information.
3. Provide useful content in your pages.
To improve your online visibility, you have to stand out from your competitors.
Take the time to create interesting and relevant content. Fill your site's pages with informative articles on topics that will grab the attention of your readers.
This serves two purposes:
- It attracts visitors who are searching for that information even if they aren't necessarily looking for a product or service to purchase at this time. Although these visitors may never become customers of yours, the more visitors you have and the more time they spend on your site, the higher your Google ranking will be.
- It demonstrates your expertise in your company's field.
4. Invest in social media and be sociable.
On the internet today, your company's online visibility will now be judged by whether your website has a human element to it.
Developing a web presence means participating in one or more social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn and getting your connections on social media to interact on your site.
A growing number of people are using Facebook or Twitter to find out what companies their friends and colleagues recommend.
Also, your participation is a favorable signal that will improve your Google ranking.
5. Stay in touch with visitors after-the-fact.
When a visitor views your site, that's only a single exposure. However, what if they aren't ready to buy from you just yet?
Do you have a way to entice your web visitors to leave their email addresses when they visit?
One of the most common strategies a business can use is to send them a newsletter periodically. This keeps potential customers aware of your business and lets you tell them more about your offerings.
When you ask visitors for their information:
- Offer something of 'real value' in return. For example, you might send them a discount coupon for a product or service of yours.
- State clearly how you will use their information. Tell them what your newsletter will contain and how often they will receive it.
- Clearly, state how you will not use their information. If you can truthfully say that you will never give or sell their information to a third party, give them that reassurance.
The online landscape changes often, but that is no excuse for businesses today to ignore their company's online presence.
You must invest the time and resources to get found by customers online when your potential customers are performing a search or hire a web marketing team to do it for you.