5 Reasons To Build Your Brand Online

build your brand online

Think of building your brand online as an opportunity for your business; an opportunity to grow as a business, an opportunity to communicate with your customers (talk AND listen), and an opportunity to simply inform your potential/returning customers in ways you haven’t been able to offline. If I haven’t convinced you yet, please read on.

1. Meet the demands of your customers

Customers are expecting you to be online. Roughly 80% of households in the U.S. are online, and anyone can access the internet from over 200,000 public hot spots  Those are some shocking numbers. Having this amount of access creates a large demand for customers expecting businesses like yours to be online as well.

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2. 24/7 Outlet to your information

By providing your information online, you give your customers a 24/7 outlet to everything they need to know. People are busy. They don’t have time to check your store hours by driving by your store. They want to see what kind of products or services you provide on their own time so when they find what they are looking for, they can stop in, purchase and leave. Of course not everyone is like this, but for the people who are, you would be providing a great resource for them.

3. E-commerce 

E-commerce may sound intimidating, but with today’s website programming, you can easily integrate this into your website. Once you plug in the products/services/prices/shipping costs/etc… it allows customers to purchase what they need from you online. This gives people the convenience of buying from you on their own time and it gives you more sales. It expands your reach to customers as well. E-commerce is not for every business, but it could work great for yours.

4. Conversationfacebook

Social media is another component to building your brand online. If you don’t have a Facebook Page, it is very simple to do (and it’s free). Click here to see how to build your first Facebook Profile. With Facebook, or other social media platforms, you can tell your customers what’s going on in your store (sales, events, etc…). Having a social media profile also allows you to communicate with your customers. They can let you know if they have any problems with your products or services, and you can correct/help/do whatever you need to do to fix those problems. This creates a great buzz around your business.

5. Cost efficiency

Many people have the perception of getting your business online costs you a lot of money. Surprisingly, building your online presence is much more cost efficient than any other channel (radio, newspaper, TV, out door, etc…). Click here to see a very inexpensive way to build your website.

Keep your brand in mind

You should extend your brand in a way that is consistent with your brand’s presence offline. Your hard costs are low to build your brand online, but invest in someone who can help you (not take advantage of you) so that you will continue to show customers why they keep returning to your store on this new online platform. Good luck with building your brand online. If you need help, or have questions, please feel free to contact me. Email: chandlerfaldet@gmail.com

Getting Google To Like You

Getting found online is tough. With all the businesses, schools, programs and everything else out there, how do you get found? Beyond that, where do you even start to try to get found? A great place to start is by tailoring your strategy to the highest used search engine out there: Google.

According to a comScore, nearly 17 billion searches were done in the month of November, 2012, with Google taking in 11.4 billion of those searches. The next biggest search engine was Bing, which took in 2.7 billion searches. All other search engines out there combined took the remaining 2.9 billion. Google is the obvious power house of today, and it doesn’t look like anything will be changing soon.

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Google is secretive about their algorithms which make up their search results, but they aren’t secretive about explaining what’s most important to them when searching for something. Listed below are a few ways to increase your rankings on Google so that you will have a better chance of being found.

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List Yourself
If you haven’t yet, it is important to list your business on the Google Places and other search engine websites. When listing your business, make sure to have consistency across the board. If your business is on Elm Street, make sure to spell out “Street” on each of your listings. Google likes seeing that you have all your listings with the same exact information. It would be good to list yourself on 5-10 different search engine websites (right).

Website Work
It is essential to have a website if you want to stay competitive. 5 Quick Tips To Build Your Website is a place you may want to look if you haven’t built yours yet. Once your website is published, the first thing you want to do to get Google to like you is to begin a Google analytics account. This makes sure Google can find you, and it will give you good tracking results in your website traffic.

Once you have completed the first step, consider these three important subjects: Meta Tags, keywords and links.

Meta Tags
Meta tags are the hidden words that allow Google to find your site and direct itself within it. You should tag each of your pages and describe them as well as you can by using words or phrases within the text of your site.

Keywords
You want words or phrases in place on your site that someone would type in when searching for business like yours on Google. Example: If you are a hardware store, you may want to include words like “hardware store”, “power tools” and “home repair”.

Links
By having internal links within your site that navigate from page to page smoothly, it allows Google to reach across your site quickly and find how relevant your site is to the search that’s being made. External links may be the hardest part. By having links that flow to your site from other sites, Google sees that as a good thing. I’m no link building guru, so here are 101 tips for link building which touches more extensively on this.

Social Media
The newest addition to Google’s secret formula is your online presence with social media.

Google+
The most important and easiest social networking site to join is Google+. Getting a Google+ account brings your business up in Google’s rankings.

YouTube
Another account to begin is a YouTube channel. Google owns YouTube, so it will give you another Google search boost. If you have any old (or new) commercials, any presentations or tours on video, add them to your YouTube Channel. That way you will have some content to share which Google likes to see.

Pick One
I would suggest joining one other social network. Choose which one you would prefer on what kind of information you want to share. If you are an interior design business, you may want to join Pinterest to show your past projects. If you provide a service of some kind, you may want to join Facebook so you can stay connected better with your customers. The most important aspect is to participate. That is what social media is all about.

When you are practicing these three methods, Google will notice-Not immediately, but the more you are updating, participating and growing online, the more Google will like you. Good luck!