Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, and they create more jobs than any other type of business. But in order to survive and thrive in today’s economy, these businesses need to stand out online.
Small businesses face stiff competition from larger firms, and they need to find ways to set themselves apart. One way to do this is by creating a solid online presence. This means having a well-designed website and easy to navigate and using social media to connect with customers.
Thanks to modern-day tools and platforms, small businesses can level the playing field and compete with larger companies. Here are some tips on how to make your small business stand out online:
1. Use social media and focus on your 'local' brand image
Small businesses in America need to use social media to connect with customers and create a robust online presence.
The core of social media's attraction to people is that they can access and consume content that feels personal and relatable.
And as a small business, you have a unique opportunity to leverage this preference for personal content by creating an image of your business that feels local.
Make sure to post pictures and videos that show the faces of your employees and customers, as well as images of your products being used in everyday life. This will help create a connection with your audience and make them feel like they know your business.
By focusing on your local brand image, you can build a loyal following among your community.
Create simple but heartfelt content on your Facebook, Instagram, or other platforms. And use hashtags for your city, town, state, and even community causes and conversations.
By creating links to your local community through content, people will notice your business and support it by becoming customers.
2. Use Google Business Profile to show up in local search results
Google Business Profile is a listing service provided by Google that allows businesses to manage their online presence across the company’s properties.
By optimizing and claiming your Google listing, you can make sure your business appears in relevant local searches, which can help you attract new customers.
Create or claim your business listing on Google Business Profile to get started. Then, fill out your profile entirely and add photos, videos, and other information to help your business stand out. You can also use your listing to post updates, offers, and events.
Doing this simple step is powerful because you're leveraging a Google product for free. The key to maximizing its benefits is to create relevant and good-quality information for your audience. Think about what people want and let their drive guide your content creation.
3. Rank for keywords with SEO-friendly website content
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of making your website more visible on search engine results pages (SERPs).
This is done by using keywords that people are searching for in your content so that your website comes up when they do a search.
For example, if you own a pet store, you would want to use keywords like “pet supplies” or “dog food” in your website content so that people who are searching for those terms will find your site.
You can use keyword research tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner or AIOSEO (a WordPress plugin) to help you find keywords and optimize for them.
In addition to using keywords, you also need to make sure that your website content is well-written and engaging. People will not stay on your site if the content is tedious or difficult to read.
Make sure to proofread your content and have someone else look at it to make sure it’s error-free. You can also use tools like Grammarly to help you with this.
SEO is a complex and ever-changing field, but by following these essential tips, you can make sure that your website content is optimized for search engines and easy for people to read. In particular, focus on local SEO strategies to get the best results.
4. Use Google AdWords to get in front of potential customers
Sometimes, you need to invest in advertising to get in front of your target audience. Google Ads is a paid advertising service that allows you to place ads at the top of Google's search results. And across the company’s network of partner websites.
When people search for terms related to your business, your ad may appear at the top of the SERP, which can help you get more clicks and conversions.
You can use Ads to target people in a specific location so that your ad only appears to people who are near your business.
You can also target people based on their interests or other factors so that your ad is more likely to be relevant to them.
Google Ads can be a great way to get in front of potential customers, but it’s important to remember that you are paying for each click.
So, you need to make sure that your ad is well-written and relevant to your target audience. Otherwise, you could end up wasting a lot of money.
There are many ways to make your small business stand out online. But it’s important to remember that not all of them will work for every company.
The most important thing is to figure out what your target audience is looking for and give them what they want. If you can do that, you’ll be well on your way to success. It's also critical to be consistent with your branding and messaging across all channels.
One way to make sure you’re doing this is to create a buyer persona for your business. This is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer, based on market research and real data about your existing customers.
Once you have a buyer persona, you can figure out where they “hang out” online and what kind of content they’re looking for.
Then, you can create content that appeals to them and use marketing channels like SEO, social media, or Google AdWords to reach them.
By following these tips, you can make your small business stand out online and attract more customers.