Six months ago, I was looking for a new dentist. My oral surgeon for over a decade had retired, and I had a sudden problem with two molars that had to be addressed immediately.
What do to? My insurance has a limited group of “in-network” dentists, and I wanted to find someone perfect for my entire family. I looked for a dentist who was:
(1) Excellent and highly-recommended
(2) Close to where I live
(3) Willing to accept my insurance plan
Here are the online steps I took:
- I went to my insurance company’s website and looked for in-network dentists in my zip code. I created a list of six websites.
- I went to each website and carefully looked at each dentist’s practice.
- I shortened my list down to two. Both websites were professional, easy to use, and gave me a positive view of each practice.
- I went directly to Yelp.com, found both dentists, and read all the user reviews.
- I picked the one with the best reviews.
Please know that no matter what your business is, many prospective customers will take similar steps above to find you. If you can position yourself properly on the web, as did my dentist, you will increase your chance of bringing in new clients.
Here are some important steps you can take to position your business on the web:
1. Company Listings
No matter what your niche, there are listings on the web with businesses similar to yours. Take a few minutes to locate these listings and find a way to get on them (Seventh Planet, Inc. can help!). Especially make sure that your information is current and that your zip code is correct. If you are a local business, prospective customers want to find a place close to where they live or work.
Even if you are a web-based business and not brick-and-mortar, if you have listings on numerous sites, your chances of being found increase significantly.
2. Your Website
Have a professional website that is highly-competitive. Look at the sites of similar businesses and be at least one step better!
Rule of thumb: if your site is over three or four years old, it may need a facelift or a full redesign. Design trends change rapidly, and if your site does not reflect the standards of this year, business may go to another business.
Also, and I cannot stress this enough: spend the resources necessary to make sure you are listed on the first page of Google. If you have a gym in the 10024 zip code, and a prospective client types, “gym 10024”, they should find you!
Make sure your business is listed on Yelp.com. It is easy to sign up, and if your most loyal clients are willing, have them write a short, stellar review. Social media is now king, and the opinions of others are now highly-leveraged marketing tools.
4. Social Media
No matter how good your website is, and no matter how well-placed your site is on Google or Bing, social media is now a powerful way to expand your customer base. Establishing a Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn presence, posting regularly, and growing your community increases your chances of bringing in new customers.
Your web presence can make a significant difference in expanding your business, and taking the steps above ensures that prospective clients will make a well-informed decision!
Seventh Planet, Inc. specializes in the creation of highly-competitive, affordable websites and in effective online marketing and social media practices. If you are looking to bring more clients into your business, we can help! Visit us at http://www.seventhplanet.net.