Do you know what over half of all consumers say they do BEFORE they consider doing business with a new company?
…They “Google” it.
Even if they heard about you from a friend or family member, they want to validate their decision and avoid making a mistake. A 2017 study by BrightLocal found that 97% of consumers looked online for local businesses.
Before you throw money away with paid marketing efforts (online or offline), it is critical that you establish a strong foundation. Here are the top 4 things to do first:
- Create a user friendly, mobile responsive website. Make sure it loads quickly, that your contact information is easy to find, and that it is clear what you offer and who you are. We recommend WordPress for the flexibility, customization and vast development support.
- Claim your Google My Business listing. At a minimum, include a link to your website and be sure that your name, address, and phone are correct and consistent with the information on your website.
- Setup business pages and listings on at least 5 other directory sites or social media sites. The idea here is to claim the digital “real estate” with your brand name and ensure the contact information is correct. I suggest that at a minimum you create a Facebook business page, a LinkedIn Company page, claim your Bing, Yelp and Apple Maps There are many tools and services offered by agencies like ours to help you claim your listings if you feel overwhelmed by this. Bottom line is you need to get started. This list is just a starting point!
- Get 5 star reviews from your existing customers on 3rd party sites. Focus on Google first with a goal of at least 10 great reviews. Why? Because it has the largest search engine market share and those gold review stars show up prominently when people search for your business by name.
Your online reputation is your #1 digital marketing asset! Have you missed any of these foundational steps to setting up your online presence?