During the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown, many business patterns were altered, customers’ buying habits changed too, and most businesses adjusted and created an online presence for their local businesses.
Having a strong online presence is very important for your local businesses as it helps you to increase your business visibility, gain credibility and trust, get more people to engage on your posts, create awareness and most importantly it helps you to expand your market and make more profits.
Let’s look at the benefits of creating an online presence for your local Business
Benefits of creating an online presence for your local Business:
Increase In Visibility and Reach
Creating an online presence for your local business helps it connect with a large audience and not just people within the same neighbourhood. Building a website for local businesses, creating and growing social media accounts, and optimising your website to rank on search engines like Google all help people locate your business with ease.
When your local business is able to reach more people, this means that you can get more customers, and more customers means making more sales and profits.
Establishing credibility and trust
Building a strong online presence can help local businesses to build credibility and gain more trust from potential customers, most customers will likely not purchase from a website that is not well designed or looks unprofessional, but will trust a website that is well designed, professional with informative contents about the goods and services that the offer, they can also choose to check reviews from other customers who have used your services.
So, maintaining a strong online presence tells the customer that your business is professional and invested in providing top-notch services or provides quality products.
Also, owning a business website with clear and concise information about your business, the services you offer, and the products that you sell with a payment system integrated into it can help to boost the trust of your customers when they visit your website.
Providing customer reviews, testimonials, and case studies can also help to build trust, and credibility and prove to the customer that the business has a track record of providing quality services to its customers.
Competing effectively in the local market
Having a solid online presence can help local businesses compete against big brands that are offering the same services or products around the neighbourhood. It is important for businesses to own a well-designed website and also maintain a strong online presence, so businesses that don’t have a website are at a disadvantage.
Online platforms can help local businesses to target a specific set of people or customers in a targetted location, you can use ads or SEO to reach a wider audience. These platforms make it possible to gather data and insight that you can use to make informed marketing decisions that will help the local business to compete better with bigger brands.
How to Create an Online Presence for Your Local Business
- Create a website for your local business
- List your business on local directories
- Optimise for local SEO
Create a website for your Local Business
Owning a website for your local business is one of the best ways to build ways to create an online presence because it is one of the first places that your customers will check to learn about your business and its services.
In most cases, you do not need a very complicated website. For small businesses like a local business, all you will need might be a website of 5 to 15 pages. However, we have seen some local businesses with a one-page website. These types of sites can be designed by you or you can hire a digital agency for local businesses. These small agencies tend to charge less, something a couple of hundred pounds, as opposed to big digital agencies. These UK big agencies would charge anywhere from £1000 to £50000 minimum per project while the small ones would start from £100 per small project. Here is a list of some big agencies in the UK.
List your business on local directories
You can list your businesses in directories to increase their visibility and customers can easily locate it if they visit a directory to search for your business services. The are lots of directories that you can get listed on like Yelp, Craiglist, Google My Business Profile, and other free listings.
When people search for businesses using directories, they usually want to see reviews and a brief description of the business and the services they offer. You can easily use this guide on how to get your business listed in directories.
How to Optimise Your Business for Local SEO
Here are some steps on how to optimise your business for local SEO:
- Optimize for Google My Business.
- Engage on social media and add posts to Google My Business.
- Ensure your name, address, and phone number are consistent online.
- Optimize online directories and citations.
- Perform a local SEO audit.
- Improve your internal linking structure.
- Optimize URL, title tags, headers, meta description, and content.
- Add location pages to your website.
- Create local content.
- Ensure your website is mobile-friendly.
- Get inbound links with relevance and authority.
- Participate in your local community.\
A strong online presence can help you gain more visibility, establish trust, get more clients and increase in sales and revenue, once you are fully set up, you can consider using social media marketing channels to grow and expand more.
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