Having a website is not enough. We have talked about this a little when discussing web design for small businesses.
Before talking about what it takes to build a great presence, let’s look at some numbers.
- 85% of people use the internet to find local businesses. (1)
- 98% of users that search for your business won’t look past the Top 5 results (this includes 15% of users who click on paid results). (2)
- 67.7% of potential buyers are influenced by reviews when making a major purchase. (3)
- 45% of searches take place on a mobile device. This percentage has been growing consistently year over year. (4)
What do all these numbers mean?
Potential customers will look on the internet for your business or a business like yours before making a decision.
They will probably only look at the first page of search results.
If the first page shows reviews of your business, they better be good. If there are no reviews, you’re missing out on potential customers.
Almost half of customers looking you up are doing so on their phone or tablet. If they can’t navigate your site easily, they probably won’t.
One of the great ways to strengthen your online presence is to take advantage of social media. Social media is not a gimmick. Social media is a way to interact with customers.
If a potential customer walked into your store or office with a confused face, would you ignore him?
Probably not. In fact, you would probably do everything you can to assist your customer.
You know that interaction is important to build trust. The same is true online.
Social media allows you to interact with customers while growing your online footprint. A footprint that you somewhat control.
Now let’s say that you have a mobile optimized website (see the benefits of a responsive website) as well as a growing social media presence. What should you focus on next?
1 – Step one is to make sure you have claimed your Google Business Listing here: google.com/business
2 – Step two is to build quality profiles on other relevant review sites. Depending on what industry your business is in you will want to look at a variety of sites. If you’re not sure what those sites are you can look up the names of competitors and see which review sites show up.
Yelp, OpenTable, Yellow Pages and HomeStars & etc… all have the potential of showing up in search results if past customers have written reviews about your business.
Once you have identified the sites that matter to your industry, claim or create a listing for your business. Take your time and build quality profiles with accurate descriptions. When possible, include pictures and videos of what potential customers want to see.
3 – Step three is the most crucial step. Reach out to your existing customers and ask them to review the experience they’ve had on as many of the sites as possible. Use your discretion to make sure that these reviews actually enhance your image. You wouldn’t want a couple of bad reviews to ruin all the hard work you’re putting in.
If you have found this content informative, please don’t hesitate to share it so that more business owners can benefit from it!
2 – https://www.banana-splash.com/blog/metrics-help-understand-mobile-audience
3 – https://moz.com/blog/new-data-reveals-67-of-consumers-are-influenced-by-online-reviews
4 – https://www.yelpblog.com/2012/04/survey-85-of-consumers-use-the-internet-to-find-local-businesses