Thinking about starting or building a new business? If so, one of the best places to start is online. There are a number of channels that you can use to get your business off to a great start, but the most common are a website and/or blog along with some sort of social media page/profile. Utilizing these basic channels will not only help potential clients find you, but will also help you reach out to new clients.
Here are three basic steps you should take to get the ball rolling:
1. Be Responsive. In a world driven by technology, the World Wide Web is quite literally at our fingertips. There are many different options for viewing websites, including smart phones, tablets and laptop/desktop computers. As a result, it has become increasingly important for sites to be both functional and readable via each of these devices. (Ever tried to visit a business’ website to find the address only to discover the site doesn’t work on your smartphone?) Responsive web design allows your visitors to view your site in a user-friendly way, no matter what size device they are using, making your business accessible anywhere at any time.
2. Quality Matters. Now that you have a website, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is essential to build and maintain your online presence. One way to help build a good ranking on Google is to produce quality content that is relevant to your target audience. This content should be valuable, helpful and useful to your customers. This is also known as content marketing, which not only builds your brand but also allows for your clients to connect with your brand. A good example of quality content is Above, The Remax Magazine. Their content is not only updated regularly, but they strive to provide their audience with useful and important information that is relevant to the real estate community.
3. Be Social. Social media is another great way to connect with your target audience. More than being a useful communication channel, we also expect social media to play a larger role in search engine ranking in your company’s future, so building a solid presence there now may benefit your SEO down the road as well. However, social media is something that must be managed thoughtfully and consistently in order for it to be an effective business tool. Here are a few tips on using social media for your business:
- There is an abundance of social sites available, so it is important to pick only the ones that are best suited for your industry, company or organization.
- Update regularly. If you don’t, the results could be bad for business. Not updating your social media profiles can convey to a client that you don’t have time to interact with them, giving them the feeling that you just don’t care.
- Post industry-related content that is useful to your customers and, most importantly, interact with them by asking for their opinions on company products and services. Creating conversations that engage your audience will help build the online presence you are working toward.
- Respond to comments, questions, and posts from people who are interacting with you and your company. It helps to build the trust in your brand that you have worked so hard to achieve.
In the end, these important considerations will certainly get your business headed in the right direction. It will take some time and effort, but once you get the ball rolling, it’s easier to maintain and soon you’ll have an online presence that will help your offline business grow.