Having a digital presence in 2018 is essential for any company that wants a lucrative slice of the global online marketplace.
But for smaller firms with limited budgets, marketing effectively can be challenging — and owners who aren’t ‘digital natives’ completely at ease with the latest technology can find the process bamboozling.
So if you’re a small business owner taking your first tentative steps into the sphere, here are four simple hacks for your SME to ‘go digital’.
Google My business
Google is gargantuan, but you don’t need to spend big bucks to have a presence there.
Google My Business is probably the world’s most powerful local directory — and you can grab your own page for free, and a spot in Google’s influential local three-pack results, after a brief verification process.
This is one of the easiest ways of letting local customers and passing trade know your presence, offering and opening hours quickly when they’re performing local searches on their mobiles on the move.
Google’s important but it isn’t the last word in building a great presence in local listings online.
Ensuring that your company’s name address and phone number is also listed accurately on local citation sites like Foursquare and Yell increases your digital footprint and feeds into fantastic Google rankings too — so it helps you perform the perfect double-whammy.
You should also ensure that your details are registered with citation data aggregators like Infogroup and Localeze that share data with various sites and apps to amplify your message even more.
When consumers perform mobile searches for local businesses, their likelihood of visiting your physical store is high — so localised SEO makes it more likely that they’ll head to you rather than your competitor.
There are several tactics to employ, like optimising your title tags with local keywords, ensuring that your onsite copy reflects local search terms and building high-quality links to local media and other influential organisations.
And it’s important for web-based businesses too — an SEO agency in Scotland could have clients across the world, but localised SEO means it won’t miss out on valuable business closer to home.
Localised SEO means you’ll fast become the go-to firm in your neighbourhood for your particular offering.
Word of mouth was once the surest way for a local business to expand its customer base.
But busier lifestyles and the rise of the web mean that online reviews are now one of the best ways to establish trust and attract new business.
Research from consumer reviews shows that online reviews are read regularly — so to capitalise on this positive feedback, encourage customers to complete satisfaction surveys that showcase excellent service.
But respond proactively and promptly to any negative messages too — dealing professionally with complaints in an upfront manner will enhance your reputation.
Social media platforms like Facebook can help your small business, but these four simple hacks for your SME to ‘go digital’ lead to sustained success.
Have you used digital to boost your SME? Share your stories in the comments section.