November 11, 2011
When you think about online visibility for your local business it’s so easy to get wrapped up and overloaded with what you should be doing on the internet to promote your website. Yet, small changes to your every day business routine can make a big difference.
Often, business owners think about being visible online as a way of reaching people whom you have had no contact with at all. That’s true in many cases. Sometimes, online visibility is as simple as making sure that people you interact with (even briefly) as part of your usual business routines are aware of your online presence.
Not everyone wants to pick up the phone or call in to your premises to find out basic information like your opening hours or who to contact. Sometimes people just want to find out a bit more about you and your company.
In this day and age of always being plugged in to the Internet, your website is the first point of call. That is especially true outside of usual business hours. Make it easy for those brief contacts to find you, don’t make them search when they don’t need to!
5 Simple Offline to Online Visibility Tips
1. Your Business Card
Obvious isn’t it? Well maybe not. I have a mountain of business cards that have little more than an address, phone and email on them. Why force people’s hands and make them search for more information about you? Give them your online details upfront and include:
* Your website address.
* Your active social media profiles such as LinkedIn, FaceBook page and Twitter.
* Why not try a QR Code?
QR Codes can be as simple as a vCard with all your contact details, including your address, phone, email and website to store directly on the phone. You can also redirect to your website, Facebook Page or even Google Places review page. The possibilities are almost endless.
2. Your Business Stationery
Invoices, receipts, compliment slips, info leaflets, headed notepaper… How many of these have your online details displayed? Again, do not just include your email address, but also your website and active social profiles too.
3. Your Vehicle
You may not have the budget for a full designed vehicle wrap, but you can put your details on a decal or sunscreen strip.
4. Print Ads
Whether it’s the local paper or Yellow Pages, always include your online details when you advertise. Make it effective by giving people a reason to visit your website – and capture their email address in return for your offer!
5. Promotional Gifts
We’ve all done it at some point – trade shows, seminars, demonstration or open days give out what seems to be a ton of pens, badges, balloons, key rings, mugs – the whole she-bang all nicely printed with a business name. Make them work harder for you and at least include your website address too.
The great thing about directing people back to your website is it can be easily tracked when you implement it correctly. You’ll get a good picture of where people have come from, what works and what doesn’t.
Before you place the order to re-print your stationery or ads, think “online visibility” – your website is open 24/7 waiting for that 2am inspirational or emergency visit.
Want to know more about getting the word out about your local business online? Help yourself to my “Getting Started Online” guides – they’re free => http://www.mylocalbusinessonline.co.uk/started-online
Jan Kearney specializes in helping local businesses take advantage of the worldwide web to grow their business. You are invited to read Jan’s blog at http://www.mylocalbusinessonline.co.uk