An online presence is made up of:
This is a site that you own and is under your control. This is the one place online that you can have full control over the information that is communicated to your customers about your business.
It should be up-to-date, and accurate at all times. If you have to wait weeks for a web designer to do this for you then you could be putting your business at risk. Third party or social media profile is a good platform, but is ultimately out of your control. The format, styling and functionality is limited and puts you in the same bucket with everyone else so nothing stands out and speaks to your style.
Capturing email addresses from your customers allows you to communicate with them personally. You can literally get right in to their inbox. This is a very powerful technique as you can push useful information to them. The fact that they have given permission for you to send them email gets you a step closer to turning them in to a life time customer of your business.
Almost every brand, celebrity, company and person has a social media profile. The fact is that you want to make it as easy as possible for your customers and potential customers to contact you and see what you have to offer. The best way to do this is to be where they are and not expect them to come to you. Having a presence on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest will get you along way toward meeting people on their level.
There are lots of Industry and Local Directories that people looking for your services go to find you. Google+, Trip Advisor® and Yelp*® allow people to rate your establishment, Groupons™ and Angie’s List™ will distribute your specials to people who would otherwise never know you were there.
You can take advantage of the power of your website to use keywords related to your industry. The more useful and relevant content you add to your site, the greater the presence you will have online in the search engines, and the more opportunity to reach those potential customers.
Mobile Internet is getting faster and more and more people are getting Internet enabled devices. Accordingly, more people are looking for your business and your type of business from their mobile phones. Your website should be enabled to view on any device and interact with phone and google map technology.
As a small business owner the web offers you unparalleled opportunities to interact with your customers and you should make the most of it.