Looking for ways to increase sales online?
Don’t overlook the value of your business’s Online Presence and Online Reputation and the potential for improvement as a way to increase sales.
Your Online Presence refers to your business’s overall footprint online and includes things like social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), directory sites (Yelp, Tripadvisor, Yellow Pages) and even apps plus a lot more. These are places where consumers can engage with your business online and hopefully make a connection that will lead to a sale, either now or in the future.
Your Online Reputation refers to online reviews and ratings for your business but also includes the mentions, comments and even photos and videos from your business, they all contribute to your reputation online.
Here are a few ways improving your presence and reputation online can help you get more sales.
Being listed in more places gets you found more
Its common sense! If your business is not listed where your customers look for you then you have no chance of them choosing your business. Even worse, you will be passing them straight to your competitors that are listed.
This does not mean you need to be listed in all the 100’s of places online relevant to your business, but you should aim to be listed on the services that are important to your client base (at the very least). You should also be listed on any niche services for your industry as people looking there are more likely to be interested in using a service like yours. Hyper-local services are also very important, these are services that only list business local to a region and are very important for local SEO.
While you are getting your business listed make each of your listings as compelling as possible. Include things like photos, offers, your logo and anything else that will stop consumers from looking further.
A better online presence helps you rank better
As a local business you need to be aware of the importance of local search. You are doing a Local Search if you search for a type of business in a certain area and when you do this you receive a special set of results that includes a map and 3 local listings. These local listings are often at the top of the page and are the most prominent results.
This is one of the last places you can get free access to the google homepage as a local business and it is very important that you optimize your business’s online presence so that you can rank in the top 3 that appear on the first page of results.
You can do this by creating more listings online where your business Name, Address and Phone Number appear and by ensuring that these are as consistent and accurate as possible across all your profiles.
Improving your information means interested customers can find you
It is hard enough attracting interested consumers to your profile, but when they arrive and the information is incorrect or incomplete you are creating a bigger problem. If a client tries to call or drives to your business location and finds it is incorrect then they are likely to move on and go to your competitors.
Reviews help your business stand out
Reviews are very important to all businesses, they play an important part in the decision process of deciding whether to patronise your business or your competitors.
When consumers see you have reviews they are more likely to choose your business to see more and it is often the extra information they find in your reviews (or your replies to reviews) that makes the difference.
Having reviews on your profiles will often mean your business will rank higher on these services, this is increasingly a big factor in getting to page 1 of search results on many services.
Bad ratings might mean people never see your business
If your ratings on a service are below the average ratings of your competitors then chances are your business will either be pushed off page 1 or may never be shown at all. If your ratings are letting you down on major sites like Yelp, Google and Tripadvisor then this can have a significant effect on your revenue.
Many of these sites allow you to filter by rating, so ensuring your business is as high as possible should be a priority.
Below is a ratings filter for google that allows you to focus on restaurants with a rating of 4 or better.
Your business will appear in places you never expected
Listing your business on some services will mean your business will not only be listed on that service but potentially hundreds (or even thousands) of other services. This is particularly true of services like Foursquare, Factual, Infogroup, Axciom and Localeze but many services will share their listing information with other services.
It is not only other websites where your business will be visible, one of the most important places where you want your business is in apps on phones or tablets. Ensuring your business is listed on services like Foursquare, Google Local, Yelp, Facebook and more will make your busiess available to anyone building an online service using their API. This is incredibly important and something most business owners are not aware of but having at least a presence on these services is highly recommended. As an example, Uber uses Foursquare for their place database and if your business is not in Foursquare then when people are using the Uber App they will not be able to select your business as a pickup location or (more importantly) destination.
Your business’s Presence and Reputation online is something that is only going to become more important every year as more and more consumers rely on online to connect with local business. You should aim to create a presence for your business that maximises your ability to get in front of consumers when they are looking for businesses like yours and then ensure when they find you they are impressed with what they find.
Once you have established a strong presence and enviable reputation for your business you will not only see an increase in revenue but will will be well positioned to benefit from the continued