Small businesses are often the last to effectively use the Internet as a marketing tool. Some of that comes from misconceptions about the public’s use of the Internet. There was a time, not long ago, when if someone needed a telephone number they would grab a phone book, but now most people turn to online listings. Businesses that do not take the time to make themselves visible on the Internet become invisible offline as well. There are three basic strategies that every business should make use of.
1. Create Local Listings
There are many local listing services online that allow consumers to quickly and easily locate businesses through keyword searches, location searches and name searches. If your business is not listed, the next time someone in your area is looking for a service, they will not find you. Listing services are free, unless you choose to buy a preferred listing, and it only takes a few minutes to fill out all of the information. Do take a few minutes to research the best tags, but otherwise it is only a matter of filling in contact information.
2. Get on Google Maps
By creating a Google local business listing, you will show up first anytime someone searches for your company name, along with a handy map showing your location. This allows existing customers to quickly locate your contact information if they should have a question, and makes your business more accessible
3. Put Up a Website
Even if you have no intention of selling from a website, it is a great place to market your business. As an informational tool it is one of the best, and if you wish to expand into online sales you will already have visitors. Creating a website can take only a couple of hours with all of the templates available for use, and the original investment is usually minimal. Many templates are less than £20 and domain names can be purchased annually for even less. All told, the cost to set up a website is less than your monthly telephone bill.
If your business does nothing else online, make sure you take the time to implement these three strategies. The phone book is becoming an anachronism, and Internet searches are replacing old fashioned methods of information gathering.