6 Free Things You Need to Do Online to Improve Your Business

6 Free Things You Need to Do Online to Improve Your Business

When you’re building your dream business, it’s important to spend time increasing your online presence. These marketing efforts will help new and existing customers learn about you and the products or services you are selling – often before they ever reach out or set foot in your shop. The good news is that while it will cost you time, it doesn’t have to cost you money.

Here are six free things you can do to build your online reputation:

  1. Help customers Google you.

    Google is king when it comes to online searches, so be sure to add your company to Google My Business. According to NetMarketShare, consumers do an incredible 96.76% of their online searches on mobile phones and tablets using Google. On desktop computers, Google still accounts for most online searches at 78.78%. If you don’t verify or complete your listing, your Google profile could be incomplete. It may also grab information from a third-party source or social media account that looks like your business.

  2. Optimize your website for search engines.

    As the stats above show, most people look for information in the same place – Google. Organic search results are more popular and more trusted by consumers than Google AdWords because they are based on the content you’ve posted and the quality of your pages. Spending time on search engine optimization – or SEO – can help improve your Google ranking and visibility.

  3. Make sure your website is mobile friendly.

    When a customer wants to learn more about your business, chances are they’ll check out your website using a mobile device. You can make sure it loads quickly and performs well for mobile users with Test My Site from Google. Just enter your website URL and Google will tell you how many seconds it takes your website to load on mobile plus the estimated percentage of visitors you are losing due to the load time.

    Test My Site will also show you how your website compares to others in your industry and give you a free report recommending fixes to speed up your site and keep more visitors.

  4. Add your business to popular mapping tools.

    It’s not unusual for people to turn to Apple Maps, Google Maps or Waze to locate a business.

    To reach audiences using Apple devices, start by creating a free Apple ID. Once you’ve got it, just log in to confirm your location, hours of business, website and social media accounts. Your business is now more searchable on Apple devices!

    The process with Google Maps is just as easy. Simply sign in, find the spot on Google Maps where you want to add your business, click “send feedback” and select “add a missing place,” mark your business, add relevant information like business hours and submit.

    Wazers can add a business through the app, however the majority of map updates are made through the Waze Map Editor.

  5. Claim your business listing on Yelp.

    Consumers use this extremely popular review site to check out restaurants, retailers, spas, dentists, mechanics, home services, professional services and many other types of local businesses. By the numbers, Yelp boasted a Q2 2017 monthly average of 28 million unique visitors via its app and 74 million unique visitors via mobile web.

    By claiming your Yelp business listing, you can add photos, link to your website and keep your hours and phone number up to date. Perhaps more importantly, you can engage with customers and respond to their reviews privately or via a public post.

  6. Go social.

    An estimated 70% of the public uses social media networks like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to connect with the world around them. Most businesses can’t afford to pass on interacting with customers via these channels. But just because marketing on social media is important, it doesn’t mean you need to be active everywhere. Invest your time in the social networks that make the most sense for your business.

    Then, build a following by posting stories, photos and videos to show who you are and what makes your business unique. Remember it’s a conversation too, so engage with your customers by responding to their comments and questions. Encourage them to post photos with your products and ask happy customers to consider posting a review. If you receive any negative feedback, respond promptly and carefully, then try to move the conversation out of public view in a direct message or conversation. Our blog on keeping difficult customers happy is a great resource.

As the saying goes, time is money. When it comes to improving your online presence, time well spent on marketing can be just as valuable as your dollars. So, before you start to spend, be sure you’ve covered the basics by following these six tips. In doing so, you will continue to grow the business of your dreams!