When it comes to getting your business noticed on the internet, having a good, well thought out and well designed website is obviously the number one priority. However, your online presence goes far beyond your own website as these days, there is a huge amount of websites that will probably feature information about you. In order to maintain a good online presence for your business, you need to make sure that you are taking all of these other sources into consideration and managing your online presence effectively.
We’re going to talk about some of the most important things that you need to think about when it comes to your online presence in this article and how you can manage them.
This is definitely one of the most important things that you need to think about when it comes to maintaining a good online presence and best of all, it is actually free exposure for your business beyond your website. If you aren’t familiar with Google Places, it is basically Google’s very own business directory.
The good thing about Google Places is that any business is able to sign up for it, and it is free of charge. Every business gets their own ‘Places’ page which if optimised correctly, will often show up in the Google Search results giving you extra exposure.
Google is really pushing the Google Places directory right now which means you need to get involved if you haven’t done already. Google Places will allow you to have a link to your own website (giving your website a bit of extra exposure as well as great SEO benefits). It will also allow you to have a description of your business as well as the ability to add photos and even videos from YouTube. Contact information will also be on your Google Places page which is great for allowing potential customers to get in touch with you.
Another big area of the Google Places listing is the reviews. Google allows people to review your business so this is a great area to get your customers to leave a review if they thought your services/products were great. Google Places listings show up in search results on Google so a lot of people will probably see your reviews/listing.
Google Places should be regularly checked to see if there are any other reviews of your business and what was said. You can also update it regularly to ensure the content is fresh.
Now, this is another business directory but it is probably the most important one for you to manage when it comes to your online presence. FreeIndex (as the title suggests) is a free business directory, meaning you are able to add the information about your business free of charge. Like Google Places, you can add things like videos, photos, contact details and much more. First of all, you definitely need to ensure that you have a FreeIndex listing for your business and the FreeIndex pages usually rank very highly in the search results.
Again, like Google Places, customers are able to review your business so you need to check this regularly to see what your customers have been saying about you. Reviews actually present a great opportunity when it comes to FreeIndex as the best reviewed businesses will appear higher up the results pages than any of the other listings. This means that if you tell your customers to leave a review on the FreeIndex website, your business will then appear higher up the listings and more potential customers will click through to see your details.
This little tactic is a great way of generating business from FreeIndex without actually paying for their premium listings. Obviously, these do have a few benefits so if you notice a lot of traffic/business coming from FreeIndex, we recommend that you upgrade.
Now, if you’re a modern day business and you aren’t active on Facebook and Twitter, then the fact is that you are losing business to your competitors. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, you can guarantee that someone in your industry has a huge presence on Facebook and Twitter and these are the people that will be stealing your customers.
Facebook and Twitter are free to sign up for and they are definitely one of the most powerful marketing tools out there as they allow you to communicate with your customers directly. You need to get yourself signed up for these if you haven’t already as they will also allow you to manage your brand identity.
The great thing about Facebook and Twitter is that they can be integrated into your other online marketing efforts. For example, you can add ‘Like’ or ‘Tweet’ buttons to your website which is sure to attract more attention. You can also often add your social media accounts to business directories, forums and blogs.
Forums are a great way of communicating with potential clients and getting the word about your company out there. Forums are particularly great for local businesses as you can join local forums and chat with local people directly. You can also have a look at what people might have said about your company on the forums and if it is positive, you can let them know you appreciate it. If it is negative, you can be friendly and let them know that you care about their problem and try to resolve it.
Forums often have a huge amount of visitors so it is definitely a great place to gain more of an online presence beyond your website. Many forums will allow you to place links in your ‘signature’ too which can often generate website traffic.
There are a whole range of ways to manage your online presence beyond your own website, but these are definitely a few of the most important. They also will not take much time to manage and could bring in hundreds or thousands of pounds of extra business for you.