Don't Be a Well-Kept Secret: Get Found Online

In a previous century, the need for a product or service frequently resulted in a consultation with the (paper) yellow pages. While that is still the case for an increasingly small segment of the population, today an internet search is part of almost 90% of consumer purchase decisions.

The Yellow Pages itself is now online, offering a suite of online services to including mobile apps.

Even if you get most of your business through word of mouth, the potential clients who receive a recommendation from a friend or colleague will go online to get more information before making contact. Your online presence will tell the story of your business.

If you have avoided establishing an online presence, here is an easy plan to get you started.

1.) Claim your domain name. Ideally, the name of your business is available. If not, look for a domain name that is as close as possible. I also recommend owning your own name, too.

2.) Next, you will need to set up hosting for the site.

3.) Create a basic WordPress site on your domain. WordPress sites run the gamut from simple information pages to the sites of major brands. It's easy to expand as you grow. If you are pretty tech savvy, you can get a WordPress site up and running quickly. If not, find a service provider to help.

3.) Use your business name to set up a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, You Tube and Pinterest. You probably won't need to be active on all of them, but you can make that decision later.

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4.) Start populating your website and social media profiles with information that will help potential customers find you. If you've been in business for a while, you should have materials that can be repurposed for the web. If not, this is the perfect opportunity to start creating your brand.

5.) Set up a Google Alert for your company name and your own name as well. This free service will let you know whenever there is a mention of the terms you have an alert for. You can also search for key words and competitors. From this information, you discover what your customers are already saying about you and join the conversation.

When you've completed these five easy steps, you've staked your claim on the Internet. As you continue to grow your presence, you will add content, follow others and gather followers, and learn more about how best to serve your target market.

Source by Kimberly S Schramm

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