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The way people do business today is changing, and the uncertain flux has many small business owners wondering how to successfully compete in the marketplace. Despite changing conditions, general business and marketing strategies remain effective across most industries. An online presence is one of the essential marketing tools for any small business. If you are preparing to take your business online or want to increase your online footprint, consider following a few of these steps:

Choose a Domain Name

Customers need to be able to find you online quickly and consistently. Your domain name should accurately reflect your business identity. If your actual business name is unavailable, choose a variable that is easily recognizable to current and potential customers. Consider changing your domain name if:

  • it contains abbreviated or misspelled words
  • it does not include your business name
  • it does not refer to your industry
  • it could be misleading
  • it has too many words

Any of these has the potential to lead customers down a path that leads to your competitors or to a totally unrelated field. Either way, a poorly chosen web address will make it difficult for search engines to point customers your way.

Brand Your Social Media

Your online image cements your brand and helps people recognize your business. Use multiple social media platforms and connect with your customers wherever they appear online. Consider utilizing your social media accounts to provide automated customer service options. This requires constant monitoring, but the payout is well worth the effort. Responsiveness is the number one aspect of high-quality customer service.

Optimize Your Online Presence

One of the reasons to keep your domain name short and simple is so that search engines recognize and point to it. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a tool that helps Google and other search engines make connections between certain keywords and your online business entity. A low-cost SEO service will teach search engines to relate specific locations, keywords, and even general phrases to direct users to your website. Every small business creating an online presence will benefit from an SEO service. Routine audits will ensure that your business continually shows up on the first page of search results.