Ever hear about those fabled land runs back when America was still the undiscovered new world? If you think about it, the Internet isn't that much different. Pretty much everyone wants to get a piece of this ever-expanding pie for themselves - especially local businesses.
The question is: what exactly should your piece of pie look like?
Way More Than a Website
A few years ago, a single, static website was plenty. But as millions of new websites, directories, review sites and more came on the scene, let's just say that the recipe has gotten a little more complex. Now, local businesses need to stake their claim to all kinds of virtual spaces - and occupy that space wisely. Your web presence is your:
- Reach across multiple sites. This includes any Web "property" where you can own a listing or account under your local business name, like your own website plus 3rd party websites that you can create content on (ex: Twitter, YouTube, Yelp, etc.)
- Multimedia content. A lot of content is text, but video and pictures bring your local business to life with dynamic, engaging personality that customers want to see.
- Fresh content. You don't just need content - you need a stream of fresh content pushed out frequently because search engines (and your customers!) love realtime updates.
- Reputation online. Your content gives customers something to talk about, but the conversation doesn't stop there! People online are saying stuff about you - without you - so it's up to you to listen and respond carefully to protect and improve your online reputation.
Focus on Discoverability
A new Nielsen study shows that Americans spend the majority of their online time on social networks. And search engine optimization (SEO) is no longer about having one or two links show up for your name, but dominating the entire page of results.
The bottom line? Improving your web presence will help you favorably influence what's being seen and said about your business on search engines, local directories, social networks, review sites and more. And the more places your business is seen online, the more chances you have of being discovered. To put it plainly, more content across more places equals more customers, period.
What are you doing to get the most reach and freshest content about your local business across the Web today?