Building a business takes work. From onboarding new hires to finding the right tools to manage your day-to-day, there are plenty of things to worry about just to keep the lights on. However, in a world that’s growing ever more connected, we wanted to share a few fundamental things you can do for your small business to get some added visibility online.
How Do I Improve My Online Presence?
The list here is by no means exhaustive but provides a quick glimpse into valuable ways to ensure your business starts showing up on Google’s local listings and in all the places that prospective customers might be looking for your work.
Google My Business
The first major thing to do once your business is up and running is to ensure you are set up on Google My Business. Google My Business gives you tools to ensure that your new venture starts showing up in Google Search results and Google Maps, along with Analytics and a platform to engage with your clients. Setting up your profile is a free, painless process that involves a quick verification process before you’re up and running.
There are some best practices to keep in mind when building out a business profile. First, be sure to be consistent with your business name, address, and phone number. These are important identifiers for local listings across the board, but it’s especially important to be consistent in the way your business is referenced as it helps both users and search engines to avoid confusion!
Setting up the Essentials
Google My Business offers you a quick way to update essential information like your operating hours, core business offering, as well as any health and safety measures that might make prospective customers feel more comfortable with your operating standards. In addition, GMB profiles offer a chance to welcome users to your website, show off your logo and photos, and highlight key factors that make you who you are. Businesses are even able to identify if they’re female-led, LGBTQ-friendly, Black-owned, and more.
Pro-tip: Google’s local search results can sometimes be rife with spam, too. Don’t try to over-optimize the title on your business listing–it’s never a good look.
Knowledge Panels and Business Profiles in Search Results
Having a robust Google My Business profile can help your Business Profile show front and center for branded searches. These engaging search features can help command clicks and quickly serve users with a snapshot of important information, like user ratings, directions, hours, and contact information.
Improve Your Online Presence Using Posts & Photos on Google My Business
Another surefire tactic to improve the online presence for your business sits right within your Google My Business interface: Photos and posts. Google My Business offers businesses the ability to communicate valuable information to your customers. Posts can include:
- COVID-19 Updates
- General Updates
- and Products
Business Directory Listing Tools
In addition to Google My Business, start being mindful of other valuable business directories where you can submit your site. Local business directories are a great foundational place to ensure your business gets included in local search results. Not only can users search the directory of their choice, but coverage in important local listings help consolidate information about your brand and build foundational links that help Google and other search engines to know you mean business.
It can be time-consuming to go through and provide information and listing updates for every single directory that’s out there. We recommend leveraging tools like Yext or Moz Local to handle the foundational local listings for your business account.
Yext is one of the key players in listings aggregation and can help you immediately sync and list your business in over 200 directories at once. Their knowledge network covers important local listings across major search engines and more. Yext’s Knowledge Network includes Google, Facebook, Bing, Nextdoor, Yelp, Yahoo!, Factual, Eventbrite, YellowPages, Waze, Apple, and so much more.
Moz Local is also an excellent way to manage local business listings. Moz’s network also includes Google, Facebook, and other sites to help consumers. Moz offers an online presence check for local listings that can help you quickly troubleshoot any important missing directories:
You can then see all of the missing local listings or directories that may need to be updated to include additional details.
While it may not seem critical to get your business listed across every site like this, it lays an important foundation for organic search as well. Links from these sites can help ensure you build a foundation to reach customers in your area right away.
Solicit Reviews to Improve Your Online Presence
Start soliciting reviews as soon as you open your doors. It can be scary to ask for feedback – but for any new business, asking for feedback and looking to showcase the good work you do is the best possible thing you can do to grow your brand. There are so many benefits to good reviews.
Evangelize Your Great Work
Good reviews help to evangelize the great work you’re doing by letting prospects vouch for your commitment to quality. This is a critical part of ensuring your online strategy is on point–new prospects will want to see that you’ve fulfilled your promises to other customers. Building a faithful, returning customer base will let users know that your business is something worth checking out.
Improve Your Online Visibility with Review Snippets
In each of the directories we’ve mentioned and in Google Search Results, reviews can lead to rich results. This means that transactional keywords might generate review snippets in search results. Getting stars next to your website or local listing can often draw the user’s eye and improve click-through rate. This is a fantastic way to ensure you’re enticing the user to click through and learn about your business.
Affirm your product offering to users and searchers alike
Remember, Google and other search engines want to keep users using their product and ecosystem. Reviews help confirm that your site is a good fit for a user’s query, and lead to good outcomes and happy customers. This is an important trust signal across the Internet that your business is a first-rate experience.
Build the long-tail
One of the best fringe benefits of customer reviews is that it gives customers a chance to talk about your product offering in their own voice. The result is often a whole corpus of keywords and insights that may not be on your landing pages or in your marketing copy. Giving users the chance to fully express themselves about your brand is a great way to highlight your product or service using natural language that is in line with a converting customer. Use customer insights to help build and inform your content strategy.
Blog Posts and FAQs
A key component of how to improve online business presence is a well-maintained blog to launch your brand. Build a content strategy that focuses on the issues that your target customers might be facing every day. It’s important to root your blog in best practices. Review how to write an optimized blog post and start building a content strategy that maps to your customer personas.
Blog posts should help focus on the full breadth of a customer’s interests and how they could ladder up into your product offering. Consider looking at big, overarching topics that are helpful explainers for the folks most interested in your field. These larger topics and initiatives can help guide your content strategy by creating top-of-funnel brand awareness for those that may become a customer down the line. Have a point of view and always look to provide value.
Immediately Answer FAQs
Build out a landing page dedicated to frequently asked questions. FAQs are a great jumping-off point for customers who may be interested in what you’re doing. They morph into long-tail searches and keywords, they help cement your business as a trustworthy resource, and they can even yield answer boxes and rich results in organic search as well.
Building Inbound Links
Identify opportunities where you can build inbound links for your new website. This might be as simple as identifying foundational link opportunities like the directories and local listings mentioned above. However, go beyond just local listings and try to find sites to include your brand where it’s a true enhancement for your online presence.
Think about chambers of commerce, niche-specific directories (like G2 Crowd or Capterra for SaaS sites), or just popular blogs and resources that might be a good place to start building your brand. Begin some initial outreach to ensure you’re starting to build links alongside an engaged community to ensure your business starts to thrive online.
Start Building an Online Profile With The Muses Digital
Kickstart your digital marketing strategy with the Muses. Our full-scale digital marketing agency can refresh your online presence or take advantage of new opportunities.
Looking for more digital marketing insights? Check out our other blog posts and find out which industry topics have been on our minds recently, or contact us about building your online business presence today.