Places to Market Your Business Online Locally
Oftentimes one of the first questions I get from business owners is: “I know I need to be online, but where do I market my website?” This is a question that plagues a lot of new online marketers and business owners. Frankly, I can’t blame them. There are so many websites and possibilities out there, where do you start?
Fortunately, I’ve put together a definitive list to get you started marketing your business online. It definitely isn’t an exhaustive list; there is always more you can do, but this will give you a head start.
Why Start Marketing Online?
First of all, let’s cover why you should be marketing online. For a lot of people who are looking for some sort of business or service, a Google search is the first place they’ll go. When people search for a local business, they’ll type in something like “window repair Orlando” or “patent attorney New York.” You want to make sure you show up in that search and not just once, but consistently. That means more than just your website simply existing.
People are going to trust businesses that seem to have a good reputation and are well respected in their industry. While your business might not be the most well known company in your market, you can still increase your trust factor by showing up in as many places as possible. When you do, it makes it seem like you’re easy to find and makes it look like you have a lot of customers wanting to do business with you. That’s why you want to make your online marketing as visible as possible.
Use the list below to get started being more visible in searches in your local area.
In the past, the local phone book was the best way to get exposure. Everyone used them, and it was relatively easy to get noticed. These days, almost no one uses phone books anymore. But, directories function like online phone books. They won’t give you a surge of traffic immediately, but they help to increase your online exposure and visibility. Each of them only takes a few minutes to submit your site to.
Here’s a short list of online directories to list your business on:
Typically after potential customers search for local businesses, the second thing they will search for is whether their service or product is reliable and/or a good quality or value. People usually find that information on review sites like the ones listed below.
Go to each of these and make sure your company is listed. Once you do, post the link on your Facebook and Twitter pages, and ask your best customers to leave your business good reviews. These reviews will further increase your companies perceived trustworthiness.
It’s pretty well established at this point how important social networking is to consumers. Tap into this by creating a business page on various social networking sites, and connect with your customers by engaging in conversation with them.
Here’s a shortlist of places to connect with your best customers.
- LinkedIn (especially if you’re a B2B company)
Question and Answer Sites
When you’re an expert on a topic, you increase the trustworthiness of your business. When you can give potential customers value before they’ve become customers, you increase the chances of them buying from you or hiring your service. Answer people’s questions on these sites, and you can show your knowledge about an industry or topic, and of course, if you provide value, you can plug your company or service.
Start answering people’s questions on these sites to get started. Create an account, search for questions in your industry and leave valuable answers.
Following this quick guide will get you started and well on your way to online marketing dominance.
Have any of these sites improved your online marketing? Did I forget any good ones? Let us know in the comments!
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