Our modern world has transformed the way we do business. The effects of technology and the internet aren’t limited to the world of global finance or ecommerce; they’re felt everywhere, including in the most intimate local business spaces. If you run a business, ignoring the internet could mean your peril.
You work hard to do what you do. Your business prides itself on its quality and its commitment to serving customers and clients. But you know as well as anyone that hard work and quality offerings are not enough, on their own, to ensure success.
Your business does more than just its core work. You have to worry about taxes, payroll, and balancing the books. You have to manage employees and schedule their hours. Whether your business offers consulting services, bakes cupcakes, or boards cats and dogs, your business doesn’t just do the things you advertise.
Your customers and clients respect your work and the products that your business offers. No customer is clairvoyant, though; to draw in first-time customers and clients or to keep loyal ones, you need to make sure that your business has a high enough profile to attract their attention and stay on their minds. Furthermore, you need to offer quality customer service and make sure that you are easy to reach.
Figuring out how to do this means focusing on your customers. What are your customers like? Where can you find them with advertising? How would they prefer to reach you?
No matter where you are, the answers to a lot of these questions about your customer base will return you to one core concept: the internet. The typical adult spends nearly six hours per day online. Three-quarters of all Americans carry around smartphones. There are also more active users on Facebook than there are people in China, much less the United States. In short, your customers are online and you need to be, too.
For your business to reach customers, you need to have a robust online presence. That means that your business needs to have a website. In this day and age, there’s no excuse for not having a business homepage. It’s an expectation that your customers and clients will have, and you will absolutely lose business if you skimp on it: When customers fail to find your restaurant’s menu or your salon’s rates online, they’ll move on to more convenient alternatives that provide the information they crave.
Of course, a website is only useful if customers can find it. That’s why search engine optimization is so important. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of making your website as appealing as possible to search engines like Google, which can connect their users to your site.
Modern SEO is highly local, explain the experts at LinkGraph.io. That means local businesses need to be more aware of SEO than ever. Google delivers local search results to users as a matter of course now, so local businesses should be every bit as obsessed with SEO as big tech companies are.
Your online presence doesn’t end here. You should also have a presence on Facebook and other social media platforms. You should be active on review and recommendation sites, where you can respond to happy and unhappy customers alike. You should be easy to reach by email and on social media. With that, you’ll want to consider the possibilities offered by apps, online stores, and email newsletters.
It can be complicated, but you don’t have to do this yourself. If you choose the right outsourced solutions, you can master your company’s online strategy without having to take time off from the important work that your business is focused on.