Maybe you think your type of customers just don’t shop online.  The fact is they most likely do, but even if they don’t, an online presence can translate into big improvements in sales.  Online marketing isn’t just about selling online.  It’s about getting the word out across widely used platforms so potential customers know your product exists.  Look at the Internet as you would any other marketing resource.  Here are 9 ways of improving your visibility online.

1. Be Listed in Online Directories

Make sure your business is listed on major online directories, including Google My Business, Yelp, Yahoo Local and SuperPages. These directories are valuable even if you don’t have a website, as they give information like real world addresses, hours of operation, contact information, and more.

Obviously, this gives you more visibility.  However, that’s not the only reason to make sure you’re listed.  It also keeps other people from posting inaccurate information about you, whether accidentally or deliberately.

2. Get a Website

Almost half of small businesses still don’t have a website.  Millions of people search for businesses via the internet.  Even if your site is a single page with a brief description of the business, address and contact information, it is still a vast improvement over having no website at all.

A more robust site will allow you to provide more information to potential customers, raising the odds of enticing them to contact you.   More pages also makes it more likely you’ll be found in searches, since search engines index each page individually.

Websites don’t even have to be expensive.  Services like WordPress give you the tools to create websites for free.  You choose a design template, then fill in your own text and images through an easy-to-use interface.

3. Keep That Website Updated

Search engines award regularly updated sites with higher rankings in their results, so make sure your website is regularly offering something new.  You might include fun bios of your staff, customer testimonials, entertaining photos, highlighted products and more.

4. Make that Website Mobile-friendly

Half of internet traffic is now done on mobile devices, so your website needs to be mobile-friendly.  Luckily, it’s pretty easy to do.  If you’re using a template platform like WordPress, make sure the template is described as “responsive.”  That means it automatically responds to the type of device displaying it.

5. Social Media

There’s a lot of debate as to whether you should focus on just one or two social media platforms or cover several, but you should seriously consider at least one account.  Each platform operates differently, with different pros and cons, so take some time and investigate which ones best suit your business.  With over a billion users, however, Facebook is becoming the social media must-have for just about everyone.

6. Use Photos in Social Media

When posting to Facebook and Twitter, include a photo whenever possible.  People are far more likely to read text or click on a link associated with photography.   Posts which are entirely text get lost in the news feed.

7. Time of Day Matters

You’ll find there are some parts of the day which get you more views.  Keep track of those trends and adjust accordingly.  However, don’t post at exactly the same time every day, as you’ll keep hitting the same people.  Vary your posts at least by a couple hours.

8. Hootsuite

If you’re using multiple social media accounts, consider a service like HootSuite through which to manage them all.  If you’re running a blog through WordPress or some other platforms, you can also automatically post new articles to social media accounts.

9. Scheduling Posts

Ideally, you should be publishing something to social media every day.  However, Facebook’s scheduling feature lets you schedule posts ahead of time. You can plan out your posts for the week, and then just add a few quick ones here and there as you think of them.


Image provided by Nic Hughes via Creative Commons 2.0.