Growing your online presence might feel like an overwhelming process. We all know it’s something small businesses need to focus on. After all, the more people you’re able to reach online, the more chances you have to win new customers. But it’s hard to know where to start, especially since growing your online presence is a process that should never really stop.
The good news is that you can start small. Even a simple step toward growth can make a huge difference. Here are seven first steps you can take without investing a lot of time or money:
1. Get on local directories.
Your goal should be to get listed on every local directory your potential customers might be using to find you. This is where consumers are finding who they want to do business with! Keep in mind that nearly half of all Google searches are local "near me" queries.
There are the obvious ones that are essential, like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’re not on any directories, start there. Then there are opportunities for you to go even deeper. What industry-specific directories are your customers using? If you’re in the home improvement industry, for example, you’ll want platforms like Houzz and Angie’s List on your radar.
Whenever you stake your claim on a directory, just make sure your business info is consistent everywhere. It’s better for SEO and conflicting business info might be enough to encourage a consumer to pass you by.
2. Get active on social media.
So you’ve created profiles on all the major social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Kuddos! Now it’s time to get active there. This all starts with sharing valuable content your followers want to see from you.
A great place to start is by creating a simple content calendar. Plan your posts out a few weeks in advance and start with a posting frequency you can stick with, even if it’s just a couple times per week.
Not sure what you should post? Find a balance between content about your business and posts that educate or inspire. We’ve got your first 30 posts covered with this Guide to Making it on Social Media. Soak in the ideas!
3. Encourage people to leave online reviews.
Once you’re established on all the major review platforms, it’s time to start building your presence there. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to just sit around and hope your customers review you. You have to be proactive.
You can ask for reviews over the phone, on social media, or on printed material in your store. But the easiest way to request reviews is through automation.
With our solution and other review management platforms, you can trigger a review request via email or text message each time a customer interacts with you. It’s certainly the most time efficient way to ensure you’re growing your review presence.
4. Engage with people online.
Remember that when people talk to you online, you should seize every opportunity to talk back. Having conversations and building relationships is why you’re here!
If someone comments on one of your social posts, don’t be afraid to engage. Ask questions, request feedback, etc. Remember to respond to your reviews too – both good and bad.
5. Start blogging.
Starting a blog sounds scary, but it really isn’t. You’re an expert in your field, and that means you have a lot of valuable info to share! Your blog helps you share your expertise with your customers, so just write about what you know.
Maybe blogging seems like too much to tackle right now, but remember, you can start super small, like blogging once a month. It might feel like pulling teeth, but just sit down, write 500 words, and let it flow. Don’t overthink it. You don’t need to be a professional writer to write something helpful.
When you’re ready, consider other types of content – newsletters, infographics, even videos. The more of this you share, the better.
6. Experiment with Google Ads.
Google Ads are the only way to guarantee a spot on the first page of Google, so they’re certainly worth your consideration. When you advertise with Google, you have complete control over how much you spend. It’s also pay-per-click, so you’re only paying when someone takes action on your ad.
Since there’s so little risk involved, it’s a no-brainer. Just start with a small budget, experiment with targeting and ad copy, and see what works for you.
Still not sold on Google Ads? We wrote a whole post about why we think you should give them the time of day.
If you’re a current client, we can help you with all of these first steps and beyond. Make the most out of your subscription with us! Call 844-207-9038 (ext. 2) or message us at mopro.com/support to get started.
Interested in joining the thousands of small business owners growing their business online with Mopro? We set you up with everything you need to take the steps above and more. Email email@example.com to get started.