According to the United States Small Business Administration, small businesses, with fewer than 500 employees, make up 99.7% of all employer firms in this country. It is a huge part of our economy-in fact, over the last few decades, the majority of new jobs have come from small businesses. That being said, with all the competition, it is difficult to succeed. Only about a third of small businesses are open after ten years.
Of course, a successful business needs successful people, a successful message and successful product. Yet so many businesses have all or a solid combination of these things—and they don’t make it. What sets one business apart from the competition? How does your business beat the competition and gain those critical customers? It seems fairly obvious, but, people need to know you exist. In this day and age, you have to have a strong web presence to get recognized by new customers. And, without a strong web presence, you won’t retain your current client base- there is always someone new out there. Simply put, customers need to know about you and they need to like you. They can’t do either if they can’t find you on google.
Here are a few things that you can do to be found on Google and other search engines:
1) Think about and cultivate your message and purpose and state it clearly.
Don’t make it difficult for people to figure out who you are and what you stand for. Remember, you don’t have a new audience for long: just a few seconds. Make it easy for people to understand your company. No one wants to search to figure out your purpose. Moreover, no one will dig to find out your message. They will just turn to the competition.
2) Make your site user-friendly.
It is important that people can find your company. But, they are really searching for your information or products. Make it easy for visitors to navigate your site. What’s worse than being one step away from the information that you need and coming up short? If you make it difficult for people to maneuver around your site, they won’t come back. It won’t matter how smart, educated or talented you and your colleagues are: It is opportunity lost.
3) Organize your information.
For your site to be successful, you need to develop a strong Information Architecture. Plan a site map and stick to it. Present your information in a way that makes sense. Don’t just be an information dump. Make your site intuitive and informative. People stay on websites for a very limited time. Help them make the most of the time that they invest. It is a key in attracting returning customers.
Make yourself stand out among your competition. Develop a strong web presence. Stick to your strategy. Make it easy for people to find you and your information. If you follow these rules, you will have a leg up on your competition.