Top 5 Keys to Small Business Online Success

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A strong online presence can make or break a small business. Businesses can use the Internet to reach countless customers, professionals and other contacts. Here are the best ways to utilize the Internet for a small business:

Improve Traffic

Improving the traffic to a website requires some work. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the quickest way to do this, with content that is easy to find as well as relevant. The business needs to be listed in directories and advertised on the same websites from which most customers are routed.

Outsource Hosting

If a small business were to run their own hosting infrastructure, they would need to buy the equipment, manage the equipment and hire additional staff to run the service. Outsourcing is not only much more cost effective and flexible, it allows small business owners to focus on running their businesses.

Any problem that a small business might face and doesn’t know how to handle, a competent web hosting service has probably already encountered, and dealt with. If the business is expanding and requires more virtual machines, a web host can provide these in less time than it would take to buy the extra equipment and set it up.

Webmaster Tools

Small business owners should verify their websites with Google, then read and understand the Google Webmaster guidelines. Following these guidelines helps Google to find, index and rank websites. It’s important to take note of the “quality guidelines” because some practices can block websites from Google.

Online rank tracking services like www.moz.com can also be used to see how a website is doing compared to others. By observing day-to-day or week-to-week analysis, small businesses can see trends in their reputations and mold their tactics accordingly.

Social Media

Social media is a great tool for advertising a small business and improving its brand image. If used well, it is a platform to connect to new customers and keep regulars informed. It’s wise to invest in Facebook and Twitter advertising and have regularly updated accounts for both.

LinkedIn is another amazing tool. Businesses that have LinkedIn accounts are generally viewed more favorably and as more credible.

Easy Contact

This may seem redundant, but many fail to do so. Make sure customers have all the information they will need, especially to establish contact. This means an easy-to-find street address, phone number and email address, as well as buttons for social media, and even a set message pad in the contact sub-menu. Every small business should be easy to reach and should reply to customers immediately, even if only to acknowledge receipt of their contact and let them know when to expect a more.

 

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About the Author

Jess Coburn

It's Jess's responsibility as CEO and Founder of Applied Innovations to set the direction of Applied Innovations services to ensure that as a company we're consistently meeting the needs of our customers to help drive their success. In his spare time, Jess enjoys many of the things that made him a geek to begin with. That includes sexy new hardware, learning new technology and even a videogame or two! When you can’t find him at the office (which admittedly is rare), you’ll likely find him at the grill or in front of his smoker getting ready for some lip-smacking ribs to enjoy with his wife and two kids.