When it comes to purchasing decisions, consumers value information they find online even more than advice from family and friends. With that much influence online, it’s imperative that your business has an easily accessible and robust online presence. Fortunately, building your business’ online identity can be easier than you think.
Perhaps the most obvious way to establish a web presence is to build a website. Here, there are two options. First, you can hire a web development firm or freelancer. This would give you the most control over the look and layout of the site. However, it can be very expensive. But if you’re even remotely tech-savvy or just particularly cost-conscious, you could try setting up the website yourself using a platform like WordPress or Wix. These sites provide templates and tools for you to build your own site, and they’re becoming easier to learn all the time. Like most DIYs, building the site yourself can save lots of money, but it could take much more time and patience.
Regardless of which route you choose, it’s important to make sure your website is a well-rounded representation of your business and a useful tool for curious consumers. A typical small business website, like A. Dodsons’ in Hampton Roads, Va., should clearly display your business’s name, logo, location, hours of operation and contact information. It’s also a good idea to include photos, an overview of the products and services you provide and a company history that highlights your unique Main Street Tale.
Once you’ve launched a website, it’s time to promote your business elsewhere on the web. Sign up for Google My Business to promote your company on the world’s biggest search engine for free. (Google My Business will also place your business on Google Maps and Google+.) You can list your business on Independent We Stand’s local business search engine for free by signing up for a small business membership. A free, basic listing will put your business in front of the growing audience of buy local supporters who are looking for local goods and services in their communities. Independent We Stand also offers paid memberships for more robust listings and specialized marketing resources.
The Internet has changed the way that consumers find and choose their favorite businesses. As a result, it’s changing the way that businesses must promote themselves. Keep your business competitive by revving up your online presence with a new website and searchable listings.
This post is part of a twelve-month series by Independent We Stand. Each month, we’ll feature a new way to promote your small business. If you have a tip or tool that you’d like to share with small business owners, please leave a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Independent We Stand inspires small business owners across the country to celebrate their locally owned status and help consumers understand the importance of supporting them.