By Kristin Pelletier, MOS, Owner/Instructor Access Computer Training
When I started my business not long ago, there were some things I did on a very limited budget that got me noticed online. So here are some tips for you that are very low cost or no cost at all. You can’t afford NOT to be online. So try these 5 critical starting points and get noticed!
SOCIAL MEDIA is one of the best resources you can use to get your business online in today’s cyber, fast paced, eco-friendly times. DirectMail, though still a top contender to target your audience, is time consuming, pricy and let’s face it, kills trees. Social Media posts reach more people faster for little to no cost. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc., if done right, can create lead generation unlike any other. Go to IFTTT.com to set up recipes to forward posts from one to another. It will save you tons of time!
ENGAGEMENT – If you are not engaging your audience on these social sites, you are missing out on potential business. Start with one or two sites and get talkin’. Have your customers “check-in” to Facebook when they are at your location, tag people you include in a post and “like” their pages as well. Post pictures of your establishment, product or service, invite people to your events, and even ask them to share your posts. The more engagement, the more views you will get, the more increased your search rankings will be and ultimately the better your bottom line will be.
SEACH ENGINES – Google, Yahoo, Bing. Make sure you get online and go through these search engines to search for your business. If you have a hard time finding yourself, more than likely you haven’t verified and “claimed” your business with these 3 search engines. Your customers need to find you. And where are they looking? Online! If you do have a website, make sure its mobile responsive or Google will drag you further down the search rankings and people will never find your business when searching organically. If you don’t have a website, no worries. Claim your business anyway so they know you exist. When your customers search for your industry from these search engines, they will find your business, location, phone and more.
CITATIONS – aka Online Search Directories – I bet you have a “Yellow Pages” book in your house somewhere. Propping up a broken table leg, or using it as a coaster on your coffee table. Either way, the big, fat, “kill a tree” phone books are becoming a thing of the past. Get your business listing on all of the online search directories for free. Start with honing in on the ones that pertain to your industry. Then take it further by adding others as you go along. This is time consuming so have your information ready to copy and paste. Here is a link to the most commonly used citations per industry.
REVIEWS – Over 62% of people read online reviews and 70% of customers trust a business with a minimum of 6-10 reviews. 52% of consumers said that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business and 72% of consumers surveyed said they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (event those by anonymous posters). Have you ever been asked to give a review? Or have you given a review (good or bad) as a customer? Trip Advisor, Angie’s List, Yelp, Foursquare and Google are great resources to look for and give reviews. Ask your customers to review your product or service not only to help increase business, but to improve upon what may be lacking in your business.
WEBSITE – When you are ready to take your online presence to the next level, start with a low cost “do it yourself” website. Web.com/Register.com is a great website with helpful and very patient customer service reps. They will host your domain, emails, website and more! You can DIY for about $25/mo. At least it’s a start to get you more exposure. Their “Ignite” package may help for a few months for SEO (Search Enging Optimization) which is an additional $99/mo.
All of this can be very time consuming. Start slow, take your time, learn the basics and you will get better as you go along. Register for free online webinars, ask your business colleagues what they are doing and how they are getting it done. Go online and do some research as to the many resources that are out there to help you get started and call Access Computer Training for a consultation. You’ll be glad you did!
855-9-LEARNIT ♣ 855-953-2764