Some of this will be no brainers on what you need to do to get your business listed online. What may surprise you is the order in which I put them. The below top 5 most important things to do online for your business is in order of importance of what will impact your business the most. While we love SEO, this article is focused around you as a business owner and what will drive customers.
1. Google My Business Listing
Surprise, surprise. I’m recommending you have a Google listing for your business. For most this might seem like common sense but did you know that only 44% of local businesses have claimed their local listing according to Local Marketing Institute.
Claiming your business on Google is simple and takes less than a couple minutes to go through the process. It’s so simple that not doing it makes no sense whatsoever. If you haven’t claimed your business, stop reading this article right now and go do it (and then come back because there’s other tips you probably need to know too).
Even if you didn’t add your business to Google, chances are it’s on there and you’ll see an option to claim it by clicking “own this business” which will take you through the steps to finish that process.
Once claimed, you should definitely take the time to optimize your Google My Business for the best chance of exposure.
2. Create a Facebook Page
We’re already onto #2 and nothing about running your business has anything to do with a website. Don’t worry, we’ll get there but these steps are very important to complete first.
If you happen to already have a website, make sure to link them on both of these but you can add it later if you’re following these steps in order.
If you do nothing else with your business online, make sure you have claimed your Google business listing and have setup a Facebook page. Even without a website, doing these two things will set you up with a solid foundation for customers to find you and reach out to you digitally. Make sure you’re monitoring both.
There are a variety of options to choose from when creating your Facebook page but their wizard is pretty helpful in guiding you to the proper decisions based on your business. You should be in good hands just following along with the prompts but we’re happy to help if you need it.
Google My Business and Facebook are two of our favorite local citations to start with to help give you credibility and authority.
3. Creating a Website
Having a website is a great resource for branding and advertising. The world is going more and more digital every day and if you’re not online, you’re likely getting passed by competitors who are.
With resources like WordPress, Square Space, Wix and various other website builders, there’s less and less reason to not have some presence on a branded domain for your business. There are easy small things you can do for SEO like focusing on the top ranking factors for your website as you build it out and ultimately remember user experience is the #1 goal. Meaning if you build your site with your customer base in mind, you’ll see long term success.
WordPress is one of our favorites and if you’re looking for quick and easy design solutions that are customizable, check out ThemeForest where you can find thousands of themes from $19 to $69 to choose from. We can also assist with WordPress theme customization if that’s outside of your technical experience.
4. Google Analytics
Congrats, you have a website! But now what? Google Analytics is a free tool you can install on your website to help you understand what your users are visiting and how they’re visiting your website.
At the bare minimum, you should have this on every page of your website so you can track visitor information such as what pages they’re viewing, how long they’re on the site and where they’re coming from. If you use WordPress and other popular website management systems, this process is very easy.
The first step is to create a Google Analytics account. In the process of setting up this account you’ll enter some information about your website and get what’s called a tracking code. Their wizard is pretty good about guiding you through this process so don’t worry if it feels overwhelming just reading this as it’s not as daunting as it may seem.
5. Setup Goals
Now that you have analytics in place, you have the opportunity to track conversions on your website. This can be signing up for a newsletter, filling out a contact form or purchasing a product.
There’s a variety of goals you can choose from depending on the purpose of your business. The one’s mentioned above are destination type goals where you want them to get to a certain point on the website and typically one of the more popular goal types. Start at point A and end up at point B.
The easiest way to do this is to make sure you have thank you pages setup to send your customers to after they complete said action you want to track. Setting up goals can be a bit trickier than the other steps but if you want to measure the success of your website, it needs to be tracking this type of data so you know if the changes you make over time to your website are working.
It’s especially helpful to setup goals for any advertising campaigns so you can see what you’re paying per lead, customer, etc. Then you can know what the ROI is on these campaigns and whether you should continue them.
Next Steps for Your Business Online
While we’ve identified these as some of the most important steps to take for your online business, this is just the starting point. It’s one of the first things we do when working with our clients and making sure this foundation is in place before any other work is done.
We’re here to help walk you through these steps if you need any help and also talk about what the next steps are for you and your business based on your business goals. Setting up a solid foundation like the above is a great recipe for long-term success online.