4 Things to Adopt if You Want to Be Found Online

I recently went to visit a window tint company that my family have been using for about 10 years. They are located about 45 minutes away from where I live.

There are good reasons why I am going back to the same store although there are more than fifty car accessory stores right by my house – great product, great quality, great work, great warranty and great customer service.

The store looked exactly as how I remember it the first time I found it. The only thing different is that the original owner and cofounder has retired, and the next generation is running the business.

Yes, that is the only difference. Their approach to marketing and advertising have not changed.

I spoke to the new store owner and ask why is it that your great services are not reflected online? He asked what I meant, and I thought this business is still in the Y2K era.

Here is what I told him, and if you feel like you or your business are not noticed, apply these strategies:

1. Online Presence

Yellow Pages is started off in the late 1800’s when a directory printer ran out of white paper and use yellow paper to make the printouts. Since then, it has been made a great encyclopedia of business listings in every city, state and even country.

Is it still the same today? How does that answer ring in your mind?

Today, there are lots of bigger business listing you can find online: Yahoo, Bing, Safari, Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook, Gowalla, Twitter and Google just to name a few. Is your business listed there? Can people find your business in the online directory? In majority, it is FREE to list on these sites.

2. SEO and SEM

SEO is search engine optimization. It is a way to help engine searches to match your listing with anyone’s searches online. The more relevant you are to the query and the better the history of your listing, the bigger the chances are your listing will appear on the first page result. SEO is free unlike SEM.

SEM is search engine marketing. It is a way to make your listing become shown as search result by the means of paid advertising. The more relevant is your advertisement, the more it will be shown to users with such inquiry.

Which one does your business need? Well, here is an analogy in lament terms. If you want to open a business and sell oranges, you can grow orange trees (SEO) or buy trees from a fram (SEM). Both methods allow you to have oranges to sell to consumers. Growing oranges will in the long run help you reduce cost but it take minimum seven years before reaping the harvest. Buying fruit from the farm might be more expensive which suppress your margin, but you can start making money now.

Do a mixture of both. Unless you are an expert in growing oranges or SEO, you are in risk of not having a result at all after seven years of effort.

3. Active

Make sure the search engines see that someone is running the business.

Be sure to have constant posting whether it is a new article, new blog, replying to customers questions, thanking them for a great review or something as simple as posting a photo of your latest shipment.

It is not about how many you can post in a week, but it is about consistency of your activity. People want to see if you care. If you are active online, the impression is that your business is open, your business is selling and your service will be satisfactory.

4. Reviews

You have jumped through the hoops to ensure your customer is satisfied with your treatment, product and even follow up. Don’t let that go to waste.

Tell them that your business depends on testimonials from happy customers. Implore to leave a review on Google, Facebook, Yelp or other business platforms. You’d be surprised with how many will give you five stars only if you ask.

Factually, when someone is trying to find a place to go whether it is restaurant, spa or virtual office, the first thing they do is go online and look at the review of the establishment. You must have reviews online.

This millennial era is extremely different than the era before. Companies depend on technology to execute their marketing plans. Make sure consumers can find you online. Setup your success digitally. Shift your paper ad to screen ad. Let the world know how great you are beyond the boundary of your brick and mortar. Let the reviews speak and sell for themselves.

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