Plant Your Small Business
Plant Your Small Business
By Calvin Webster
Determine Your Direction
It’s important that you first establish where your online brand is going. Do you expect to make constant updates? Will you be selling your product online? What pages will you offer for visitors?
These are all important questions to ask before you begin building an online presence. They can affect everything from which program you use to build your website to what social media outlets you utilize to engage your users.
Design Your Website
Your website is representative of your brand and it’s important that you don’t skimp on design. You need to make sure that your website utilizes responsive design since so much activity is generated from mobile users. You want your website to function properly no matter what device your user is using.
It’s also important to design using applications that don’t lock you into a certain platform. I always recommend that customers invest money in an html website so their website isn’t locked into one provider. WordPress sites are great since they can be easily updated, but the platform is not a guaranteed to last, which could leave you vulnerable to changes.
Optimize Your Site for SEO
Next, it’s important that you optimize your site so that it can be searchable. Make sure that your content represents your brand and uses keywords, especially in your titles and headers. Don’t load your content though, since this could negatively affect your search engine ranking.
You also want to make sure your metadata is provided for search engines. This includes entering a site description that contains important keywords, entering site keywords that focus on your target market and alt tags with effective descriptions. All of these are what search engines look for when deciding what web pages appear in searches.
Additionally, you want to link your site to as many directories as you can find, especially important ones including Yahoo, Bing and Google.
Incorporate Social Media
Finally you want to sign-up for Facebook Pages, Google + Pages, Twitter Account, LinkedIn Business Pages and YouTube. When signing up for these accounts you want to make sure to list your website URL wherever possible and include keywords in any content you create. Most importantly, be consistent with your design and ensure that they are representative of your brand.
Once these accounts are opened make sure that you connect each site with the other and include links on your website to help drive traffic to your social media sites.
All of this can be a learning experience, but it’s important that you at least understand these ideas if you’re a business owner. If you decide to let someone else handle this for you, you’ll want to understand their job requirements so you can pay them accordingly. It happens all too often that business owners get taken advantage of because they don’t understand the basics. Try to stay up-to-date and do as much of it as you can!
So what’s holding you back from building your online presence?