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November 11, 2011

Local Business Online Visibility Tips – Use What You Do Every Day

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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

4 Responses to “Local Business Online Visibility Tips – Use What You Do Every Day

    avatar DaveWig says:

    Some good tips here, but I have to question the note about QR codes. Outside of some really technical people I don’t see mainstream average people using them too often. In the past I would see a lot of local businesses focusing in on SEO type stuff but nowadays it seems to be all about Facebook and Twitter and the market emphasis seems to be on that judging by how many companies at BuyFacebookFansReviews do nothing other than help promote peoples’ Facebook pages. I think a lot of small businesses really don’t think much about consistent branding and its important that your stationary, print ads, radio ads, etc all contain the same information about your online presence. A lot of small local businesses use the same letterhead they had in the 90s that doesn’t even include their URL or social media or anything else. You have to provide ways for people to reach out to you. That’s not something that small businesses focus on every day, but it is something that they should focus on.

    Thank you for the article. Your suggestions are common business rules that no company should overlook. We always have customers contacting our website because of our product packaging.

    Local online is simple using Google local combined with AdWords & Google Reviews we wrote all about it in on PPC Professionals

    The QR Code has widely developed for print in 1 or 2 years. This simple method has a wide area of applications, for some sectors like tourism for example.

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