This year, the number of people who prefer to shop online finally passed the 50% mark, and this proportion is even more significant for Generation Xers and Millennials. Thus, it is unusual that almost half of growing businesses are still without their own website to market their products and services online.

Even with “drag-and-drop” website builders making it easier for non-technical owners to build their own pages, potential customers need to be able to find your website from among the competition.

Thus, Sage have released a list of the crucial techniques and tools small businesses can use to maximize their website’s search ranking, improve their social customer-relationship management model, and boost their online visibility.

1. Master SEO.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the method by which search engines rank your website against others. By scanning for keywords, search engines “learn” what your business offers so it can better direct users towards your site.

However, while including lots of keywords in your website text might help improve its search ranking, customers will quickly detect if your text sounds unnatural.

One way around this is to make use of the media on your pages. Entitle your videos so they represent what your service provides, and make sure to add detailed descriptions to each of your images. Even if your customers don’t read them, Google does.

2. Blogs.

Speaking of SEO, there are only so many pages you can add to your website before it becomes too confusing to navigate.

Starting a blog allows you to consistently create new content with keywords that link back to your website.

As well as improving your SEO score, engaging regularly with customers will make them more likely to do with business with you. Further, the more you blog about your business, the more customers will trust you as an industry expert. Trust builds loyalty, and loyalty translates into repeat business.

3. Business Directories.

Whether a user stumbles upon your website on a search engine or social media, more and more platforms are integrating with business directories so they can display where the business operates, their opening times, and their contact details.

Google’s My Business is the most obvious and international directory, although there are numerous others available, and almost all of them are free.

4. Stay Social.

One in three customers now prefer to use social media contact businesses and customers are likely to spend 20-40% more with companies they can engage with online.

So, while social media is a great way of being able to advertise your goods and services for free, it is also important to integrate these platforms into your business’ customer-relationship model.

Customers engaging online expect quick responses; 84% of customers expect a response inside 24 hours. However, if you can cope with these demands, your customers will reward you, with 71% recommend businesses if they receive a good online customer experience.

With some good online ratings and positive feedback, your business will quickly become visible to more and more customers.

While not every company can use all of these techniques, we recommend implementing a strategy that takes advantage of as many of them as possible. By understanding and taking advantage of these tools, your business can begin to thrive online.

About The Author

This article was written by Samantha Evans.