Proven Best Practices for Local Businesses to Succeed Online
As a local business in today's information-dense environment, your website serves as the public face that you show the world. Before they know anything else about your company, the average consumer will look you up online and their first impression of your business will be colored by how they perceive your online presence.
- How is your brand portrayed? Do you have a modern up-to-date website?
- Is your company active? On social media? Your blog?
- Do you have good reviews? Do you reply to people who take the time to review you?
- Do you show up when people are looking for your goods and services?
Given how important a well-crafted website is to your long-term success, you don't want to leave your web presence up to chance. There are a few things that you should keep in mind to ensure you have a meaningful online presence that reinforces your offline business.
Get Started with a Pro Website Design
When designing a website, your web design or digital marketing partner will research your company to determine how to put your best foot forward. We don’t want to make assumptions about how other agencies and designers work. Our process begins with meeting with you to make sure we understand the purpose, main goals, and target audience of your company. After we have a good idea of what your company is all about, we begin to conceptualize your website.
- We will design a sitemap that will best represent your business and the products or services it offers your customers. The goal is to organize your information in a way that allows users to find what they are looking for with ease!
- Next, we work with you to determine your branding essentials. Many businesses have an established brand and as such require specific colours, fonts, graphics, and other elements to be used. This helps drive the direction of the overall design. If you do not have any preferences, our designer will make suggestions to help your brand message shine!
- Our designers will mock up a couple different layouts for your home page so you have options. They will discuss these options with you to come to an agreement for the overall layout.
- While the website is being developed, we begin to compile content. We will create new keyword-rich text for each of your website pages and get it ready for search engine optimization (SEO).
- Once the website development is complete, we review with you to ensure you are happy with the look, feel, and content messaging.
- Then, we can launch! After the site is live, we do extensive testing with a variety of tools to ensure all layouts are flawless and there are no technological issues that could be preventing your website from indexing in search engines.
Our web design and development process has proven to result in beautiful websites that are functional and contribute to business’ online success. Because we have the knowledge of what technology standards are needed and how to structure a website to get leads, we build websites that become the foundation of your online presence.
Market Your Website
Even though you have a brand spanking new website, it does not mean our work is done. Marketing activities are required to keep active online and show up in the search engines.
Add Fresh Content
Google loves fresh content. In order for your website to remain top-of-mind and show up in the search engine results, you will want to keep your website up to date with information and fresh content. Any time you make changes to your company (address, contact information, company bios, or other important information) or have news to share, be sure to add that information to your website.
Choose 1 or 2 Social Media Platforms and Do Them Well
Social media is where your customers are. Many businesses make the mistake of making a profile on every social network available to them. Keeping multiple social profiles up to date is a huge undertaking. So take the time to be sure you have chosen the right one (or two) for your industry and the persona(s) of your customers. And then commit! To do social media right, you need to post regularly with relevant content and engage with your customers by replying to comments, answering DMs, and more. These activities build your social signals for SEO.
Ask for Reviews and Reply to Them
Online reviews have become a major part of the buyer’s journey today. When is the last time you purchased an item without looking at reviews? Sometimes, you even look up those reviews while standing in the store and looking at an item, right? It is the same process when a prospective customer is deciding whether or not they want to do business with your company. Unfortunately, it is usually the unhappy people that go out of their way to leave a review, so it needs to be part of your sales process to ask for reviews and reply to every one – whether it is positive or negative. This helps your customers feel heard, but also allows for readers to see that you care! Reviews build your reputation online and contributes to your review signals for local SEO.
Employ an Advertising Strategy
Showing up in search engines is not a simple task. It takes a lot of work to have successful SEO. When you can’t wait and need leads now – paid advertising can help get traffic to your website to get more qualified leads and sales.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads
PPC is a form of online ads that show up above the “organic” or “free” results in the search engine results pages. You, as the advertiser, bid on keywords that are important to your business so that your ads show when users search for those terms. The ads appear as text and promote users to click to your website and make contact to become a lead.
Geofencing advertising is geographically based and promotes brand awareness and foot traffic to your location. You set target areas and when a prospective customer enters that area, they are entered to your audience pool and will see your ads for up to 30 days. Geofencing ads are photo ads that show on mobile devices in the apps already installed on a user’s phone.
Facebook has incredible targeting abilities due to the amount of information users share on social media. With Facebook ads, you can target users based on age, gender, job, marital status, interests, hobbies & more. These ads show within Facebook and can be used to promote brand awareness and clicks to your website.
Take the First Step to Online Success
You know that having an up-to-date functional website is important for your local business to succeed online. Your website needs to be more than just a pretty face – it needs to give a good user experience, promote conversions, and be easily-found. That takes expertise and ongoing marketing and advertising efforts. For long-term success online, give us a call today!
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