All small business owners should be spending some time looking at new ways to promote their business. The great thing about online is that there are so many places you can list your business for free and lots of great new apps that can put your business in front of consumers at the point they are looking to find a business like yours.
With a little initial effort you can create an online presence that not only improves your chances of getting found in search engines but gives you a diversified network of places where consumers can find you. Some may only bring you a small amount of direct business each year but combined they can make a noticeable (and potentially large) difference to your bottom line.
Listing your business in more places online can improve your Local SEO. If you are a local business Local SEO is vital to your business. Local SEO helps you get found when people search with Local Intent, such as “Plumbers in Brisbane” or “restaurant in camp hill“.
When you perform a local intent search a special section appears on the first page called the Google Snack Pack. Your ranking (and even whether you appear here) is based on your Local SEO efforts.
It’s not enough to just list your business, your business data needs to be as consistent as possible across all of your listings. Ensure your NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) are as close as possible across all listings. Getting your business to appear in the Google 3 pack (shown below) for the keywords relevant to your business is gold for your business and conversely dropping off can make a big difference to your ability to be found online.
The free Online Services Explorer at www.mypresences.com/services/ is the best way to find the online services where you should list your business. It recommends the best services based on the type of business you are and the country your business is in.
Over 2000 online services and apps are supported worldwide. This is the world’s most comprehensive source of information on online services for small businesses.
There are lots of places you can list and many of them are free! You should list on as many of these services as possible to get your business found online more often than your competitors.
Follow these tips to get the most from the Services Explorer.
Select relevant Business Type and Location
We link services to business type and location so that only relevant services appear. If you don’t select the correct business type or location you will miss services that are relevant to your business.
The Services Explorer works globally. You will find services for most countries especially Australia, USA, UK, Canada and New Zealand.
We categorised all services into 6 recommendation levels based on how important that service is for your business.
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Focus on services that are Must List first and work your way down the list, do not add your business to any Services below Suggested unless you have researched the service and feel there is an advantage.
Engagement and Popularity
Services that are popular tend to have better engagement online, this will be reflected in the number of connections they have on social networks and how much traffic their site gets. This is not always the case however and it is possible that numbers may be inflated based on other factors, sometimes numbers may be inflated because a service has purchased social media favour but this is far less likely the more established a service is.
A great number to watch is Talking About on Facebook, this is an indication of the number of people who have engaged with their Facebook page in the last week. The Talking About number will changed from day to day based on the previous week and is a great way to see how engaged a services users are.
We also track the Talking About % which allows you to level the playing field and see how many people are engaged as a percentage of the total likers, this is a great way to see those services that are getting a lot of attention from their users right now. This will change every day so checking who is at the top of the Talking About % for your business is a great way to find trending and interesting services to keep your business ahead of your competitors.
Once you have selected a set of services you can then sort them by the following engagement metrics to see which are most likely to be effective for your business based on engagement.[table “2” not found /]
In the last few years we have seen a big move from desktop to mobile computing on phones and tablets. This trend will only continue and the most innovative companies are moving their focus to mobile. If a service has a mobile option then they are more likely to be forward focused and your business is more likely to be found by consumers looking for businesses around them when their ready to spend.
You should look for services that have a mobile option and make sure your business is listed on their platform.
You can’t beat free right! A lot of services are either free or provide a free option. Look for free services by selecting the Free filter and listing on all Suggested and above services.
Filter on SEO to find services that support a follow link to your website to improve SEO. (to help you rank better in search engines).
Business Type Specific Services
These services are only relevant to a specific business types. Look for services that are specific to your business in your location by using the Specific filter button. These services are worth listing your business on because some consumers will rely on these niche services when looking to find a particular type of business, they will also allow you to showcase your business better as they will be tailored to your type of business.
Services are making claims about their performance all the time, but it can be hard to remember which site claimed what and then to know if the claim is relevant anymore.
The internet changes so quickly that quoting traffic numbers from over 5 years ago can be meaningless and often a telling sign that things are not going well.
We collect claims made by Services so that you can see them side by side, we tell you when the claim was made and show you the source of the claim.
The older the claim the less relevant it becomes, if it is quite old it may indicate that the claimed value has not improved since.
In the above example you can see that Styleseat (www.styleseat.com) users have booked over 5.5 million appointments. If you are a hair or beauty salon then this is a good indication you should be listed on this fast growing niche service. On their profile page you can see this claim was made in January 2014 and link to the source.
Always check for recent claims when comparing services. Some of them may surprise you, that service you had never heard of may be serving millions of customers a month.
Looking for more information on a service? Each has its own profile page that can be found by clicking on the Full Profile button on the service (or by clicking on a service). Here you can find very detailed information on each service that can help you determine its popularity and user engagement.
On the service profile page you can:
- Track the trend over the last 60 days on statistics for the service. This will tell you where the service is improving or whether it is falling away.
- Add your Business to the Service. Clicking the link will take you to the business signup page .
- Login to the service as a User. This can also be used to login and access a backend management service if supported.
- See search trends for the service. Google Trends for the service name over the last 4 years is a good way to gauge popularity.
- See the types of information the service supports and the countries where the service is available.
If you have a myPresences account you can store your access credentials securely for each service. This is especially useful when an agent is managing your online presence for you and they need access to login credentials. All access to your credentials are logged and reported back to you.
We are always adding new services and updating details for existing services. To keep on top of the best services for your business check back periodically to see if there are any new services or changes to existing services that make them worth listing your business on. If you have a free account on the myPresences platform you will be automatically informed when new services launch or there are significant changes on existing services.
Good luck with promoting your business online! Most small business owners are doing very little to promote their business online. A little bit of effort will put you ahead of the majority of your competition.
As more and more consumers are looking online first when finding a local business it will only pay off more and more as consumers continue to move online.
If you are looking for a better way to manage your business’s entire online presence and reputation, please try a free trial at www.mypresences.com.