Three Steps to Improve Your Digital Reach

 

With billions of website URLS and millions of websites in cyber land, it can be difficult to figure out which way is up. If you are one of those internet savvy people who are already invested in digital marketing, you probably understand that it isn't easy. Marketing your business online is a calculated effort that requires constant attention.

Just a few years ago, people were using the phone book or word of mouth to inquire about contractors. Today, internet users "google" contractors and much of the results are based on what Google delivers and who is able to push their way to the top.  The question is how can your business be listed in those prime locations?  

In this article we will go over some options you can use to empower your business and make the internet work for you. Although results are never guaranteed (Google and other search engines use complex algorithms to weigh content validity), there are a few steps you can take to expand your digital reach.

1) Local Marketing

Research as if you are a customer. The idea here is to think like your potential customer. How will they search for your business online? What words might they use to find your business via a search engine like Yahoo!, Bing or Google? For instance, a potential customer may search for "roofing contractor near me" or "remodeler near 23320". 

Often, search engines will pull business listings that are in proximity to where the users are located and utilize a map to show "local businesses." One way to increase your chances is to list your business location – whether it’s your entire business address or simply your city, state and zip. This provides search engines with geographical data that they can use to display local results.

There are many options for listing your business online. National Associations, manufacturers, and industry related publications often offer directory listings. You will have to check with each individually, but you may find many options available to you. In addition, search engines offer directory listings* as well. Listed below are a few links that might help you get started.

https://www.google.com/business/

http://www.yext.com/pl/yahoo-claims/index.html

*Some directory listings charge a fee, but there are plenty that do not. Research is the key to finding a solution that fits your business.

2) Social Media

According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center(1), 79% of internet users use Facebook, 32% are Instagram users, 24% are Twitter followers, 31% are Pinterest users, and 29% are LinkedIn users. It's no surprise that Social Media is a great place to market to new customers and it’s why search engines focus on delivering content related to social media.

There are a number of services that allow you to automate posts.  If you don’t have the time to dedicate to social media right now, these platforms offer a great way for you to plan content and maximize time. But, it is not a substitute for actually engaging your followers.  Join the conversation!

If you are looking for an easy way to get started, click the links below and build your online business profiles.

Here are a few helpful links to help you get started:

Create A Social Media Business Account*

LinkedIn - https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/company-pages/get-started

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/business/learn/set-up-facebook-page

Twitter - https://business.twitter.com/en/basics/create-a-twitter-business-profile.html

Instagram -  https://business.instagram.com/getting-started/#get-a-business-profile

Social Media Management Ideas

Hootsuite** - https://hootsuite.com/

*You may need to setup a personal account before you can set up a business account in some cases.
**Hootsuite offers paid options as well as one free option. You can check to see which best fits your business.

3) Submit Your Website URL to Search Engines

If you are eager to have your business website listed in search engine results, there are quite a few free website tools that can help you get started. Google offers a number of free solutions to help you analyze your web traffic and help you improve your online presence. Some search engines are easier to submit to than others (like Bing), while others (like google) may take a little research or an experienced webmaster to start collecting this type of data. Utilize these tools and you might see an improvement in your website visits!

Here are a few links to submit your website URL to:

Google - https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url

Bing - http://www.bing.com/toolbox/submit-site-url

Yahoo! - https://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html

Hopefully, with a little bit of work, these three steps will help you improve your digital footprint and give you a better grasp on your business’ online presence.

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(1)"Social Media Update 2016 - Facebook usage and engagement is on the rise, while adoption of other platforms holds steady" Pew Research Center, 11 Nov. 2016, http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/11/11/social-media-update-2016/

Key Words:   Digital Marketing     Social Media     Search Engines     Customer Marketing