How to bring your local business online?(5 Super Easy Steps)
Did you know that:
85% of the smartphone users search for local information about the business they wish to know about
81% of people take action based on the above
40% prefer to visit the place of business in person
35% call the business owner after searching online
This is the data from Google. So are you prepared to take your business online?
You’ll be surprised to know that you don’t require a website to take your business online.
Ready to go?
Earlier people used to search on a desktop for the required things. But with time things have changed. Now people search on tablets, mobile devices.
Earlier the people used to search for a key term for eg if you wish to buy a compass, you would search ‘compass near me’.
Now the search has changed. People use devices like Alexa or Amazon Assistant to search. They use long phrases for searching the same items and pose questions instead of the exact key term. For example, they would search for, “ Where can I find the best compass in (Specified area)”
Not only has the search query changed, but the places where people search have also changed. People know that a business has an online presence across various sites. (These are called ‘digital assets’ from the point of view of a business.)
So people tend to ask for social proof and search on review sites, google pages, videos, social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
You’ll be surprised to know that to build your online presence you DO NOT require a website, although a website can be an added advantage.
Building a website requires:
- Time and Technical help
- Security protection for your site
- Cost of domain
Here we are going to show you the MOST EASY way to build your online presence. We can help you in building your online presence.
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Step 1: Determine your business’ online value
Although we have similar businesses each business is different and each has its unique selling point. For example, there are many grocery stores around you but why do you always buy from a specific store?
The cost is going to be the same elsewhere too, then what is it that makes you visit that particular shop?
- The way the shopkeeper behaves
- The add-on services that he provides (free delivery)
- The quality of products
- Adhering to the timelines
- The way he speaks with you
- The way he personalizes your shopping experience.
These are just a few instances, there can be many.
Now for a moment, when going digital, think of:
What is it that makes your product/business/service special?
Why should your competitors prefer you over the others?
You need to take time in answering the above questions because that is the base on which we are going to build your digital presence.
Your next task would be to decide, what’s your ultimate goal?
- Is it to increase your revenue?
- Is it to decrease the costs?
- Is it to increase customer satisfaction?
The first one, ie increasing revenue is crucial to the organization. The rest two take place on their own with the passage of time.
Would you like us to help you in increasing your revenue?
Once you are clear with the above values and your goals, the next task is to determine,
‘How are you going to measure your conversions?’
- What will you regard as conversion in case of your digital efforts?
- When you receive a call from the customer
- When the customer sends you a mail
When he makes purchases from you
This is again a subjective thing and can vary from business to business.
Once you are clear with values-goals-conversions we can move to the next step.
Step 2: Bring your local customers online
At this stage, you need to do a brainstorming exercise. Think of the probable terms that your customers enter when they try to find your business online.
For example, they might search for a specific product
Or they might search for a particular place
Or they might be needing information about something.
The terms that they enter to find for businesses like you are the key terms for you. They serve as a pathway to the customer’s journey.
Once you know what terms the customers are entering to find you online, the next task is to look for the channels where they try to find you.
Is it on the search engines?
Is it on the maps?
Is it on the review sites?
Try to find this. This partially depends on what product/service you are offering. For example, people would use search engines to search for a product.
They would use maps to locate a particular shop in a specific area. Similarly, they would search on review sites before purchasing online.
Now it is your job to be present wherever your customer is searching, this improves your visibility to them.
Step 3. Bring your local business online
Once you know which channels your potential customer is surfing then it is the right time to take action and list your business there.
How to do it?
Well, it is pretty simple.
List your business in Google Maps, Google+, ask your current customers to submit reviews on sites like Yelp, Clutch, Yellow Pages, etc.
Open your business pages on social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter.
Every business does not require registering on multiple platforms, you need to select whichever is essential for your business depending on various factors like:
- Your area of operation
For example, if customer reviews matter to you then your services should be listed on the ‘Review sites’
If personal references are needed then you can build groups on Facebook.
If you want to show credentials of your business, you can use LinkedIn.
If you wish to share real-time information or deals or offers then Twitter is a great channel.
Submit your photos, maps, reviews, videos to these sites and there you go! Your business is now online without the need for a website!
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Step 4: Differentiate your business from the competitor
Just deciding to go online won’t suffice your need. You need to show how your business is different from the others in the same line.
This can be done by engaging the customer. Think of what your customer would be interested in knowing?
If you answer all the relevant questions that your potential customers might have then probably your customer will engage with your content, and decide to deal with you.
Your job is to address all these questions by creating digital assets like blogs, videos, infographics,s or anything like that.
Step 5: Which digital assets to create to establish an online presence?
Look at your competitors, this can help you to determine best practices to follow.
Next, try to judge, what’s compelling about your competitor’s online presence?
Next, try to judge how your value-proposition distinguishes you from the others.
Always try to put yourself into your potential customer’s shoes. This will give you the best idea while creating content for them. Try to personalize your experiences by posting your videos, maps, or writing about them in blogs, or including links to your sample products/services in Google+ or social media channels.
All these digital assets help you to establish credibility. If all channels convey the same message about your organization, your job is done!
Congrats! Your business is now online.
For any help, you can approach us. We can even help you to build websites so that we can personalize them for your potential customers and help them to purchase them directly from your website.