Evaluating the Online Presence of Your Business
If you know your business is behind the 8-ball and needs to establish an online presence but you don’t know where to start, this is the article for you!
1. Search Your Business Name
The first thing you need to do is search for your business. Open Google and do a search for your business name to see what is returned in the results area. (If you are an owner/operator search your name as well!)
Click on all the links with your name in them and see what image is being presented about you online. Take a look at your business from a fresh perspective. How does it appear to your uninformed, potential client?
Up-to-date? Fresh? Engaged? Appealing? Popular? Valuable? Intriguing?
2. Search Your Category
Now, search your category and location.
Many companies that perform high in the Google result when their business name is specifically searched don’t even rank on the page when someone is searching them via category.
For Evoque Media we would search, “Social Media Companies Mid-North Coast NSW,” or “Social Media Coffs Harbour,” or “Social Media Management Kempsey NSW.”
These are the kinds of searches people who don’t know you or your business will perform. As you can see, it’s a priority that your business comes up early in the results.
Is your company on the first pages of the Google search? If you have to scroll through pages and pages to find your website or information, you will not be found — its as simple as that.
3. Be Realistic
If you have little to no presence online, the only way people can find you is walking past your business or via word of mouth.
The reality is as the years progress, younger generations are utilizing online tools in their search for businesses almost exclusively. If you can’t be found and your competitor is, they are the ones walking away with the business. Accept this fact and resolve to do something about it.
4. Take Action
Keep calm. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. You CAN change this and you will see results relatively quickly. First things first — if there were negative reviews about your business on any sites, you need to respond to them as soon as possible.
Offer the customer your email address or phone number, and ask them to contact you. Make it plain in your response that your business values customers and you wish to investigate their issue further and make their complaint right.
If they do contact you, ask questions (ensure they are sincere and not just after a freebie) be humble and apologetic, and offer something to compensate for their negative experience.
Most customers when treated this way will be so happy they will retract their original review – or post a positive one beneath it – letting the world know what you did for them. Further searchers will see this and will be impressed with your level of customer care, and will be more likely to overlook the review and do business with you.
Don’t forget to thank any of the positive reviewers for their kind words and let them know how much your business appreciates it!
5. Create A Presence
The more active you are online the more Good results will be returned for your business.
- Set up a Facebook or Twitter page for your business
- Let your customers know about the page and encourage them to come over and ‘like’ your new hangout
- Enter in all your pertinent information in the about fields. Web address, phone number, hours etc. Make it as easy as possible for people to do business with you!
- Engage on Facebook — chat with your customers! Laugh, share a joke or two and remember to offer them something of value – a Facebook-only special, tips and advise on your industry, hard-to-find information etc. (Specials and promotions are the number 1 reason customers like a Facebook page.)
- Ask industry-appropriate questions of your fans “would you prefer later dining hours?” “Is your favorite food salty or sweet?” “Do you visit your chiropractor weekly, monthly or only when your have hurt yourself?”
- Always remember Facebook or Twitter should be considered the table at which you sit to engage. They have provided the place, its up to you to provide the value!
You don’t want to spread yourself too thin – do a few things and do them well – rather than attempting to engage in many different social media outlets and not doing any of them efficiently. A small start is better than no start at all and you will see results if you are consistent and purposeful in your interaction. Once you have established one social media avenue, you can look at expanding to others.
Need help? Contact us for a quote on training you or your staff, or to manage your social media networks for you.