Let’s start with the obvious:
you want to be found on the web
When people are looking for information about your store there is almost a 100% chance they will search on the internet. If you do not have a website then the top search results will come from either Google, Facebook, Yelp, or Bing (really).
A personal pet peeve of mine is when I can’t find a store’s hours of operation online, usually on a Saturday, or evenings when there is a good chance the place maybe closed. (Walking up to a dark store to find out it closed 10 minutes ago is one of worst feelings a young urban professional can experience.) It is in these internet companies’ interest to keep local business’ data accurate, so they have spent time making it relatively easy to claim your business and edit your information. Here are four ways to establish your web presence and get hits.
The mighty Google is responsible for 68% of all Internet searches. Search results now prominently display local business “cards” with basic information (hours of operation, location, phone number, reviews, directions, photos etc.). If your customers use Google to search for your store, this card is most likely the first thing they will see (especially on mobile).
Fortunately, Google makes it easy to claim and update your business listing: Google Business.
A Facebook Business Page is all but guaranteed to be in the top 5 search results (usually second only to a website). Facebook is a great way to communicate and build relationships with your customers, and that goes a long ways towards web presence. Plus, you can set up a Page in just 4 steps. See? Set up a Facebook Page
Yelp is a business directory and the most popular review app. Yelp has essentially replaced the “yellow pages.” Personally, whenever I visit a city or town I check Yelp for the local restaurants and stores and bookmark my favorites. Claim your business on Yelp and give your web presence yet another hit.
Bing is Microsoft’s answer to the Google search engine and is used more than you would think. Bing now powers Yahoo’s search engine and is the default search engine for the popular Firefox browser. Also, Bing is the de facto search tool for new Windows 10 users (14 million and counting!). Bing results return Facebook and Yelp pages and “Bing Places” which are prioritized listings, similar to Google’s “Cards”. Claiming and editing your listing is simple: Bing Places
While websites are ultimately the best solution, since they offer you the most control and customization, you should definitely not underestimate or neglect these simple and free options.
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