A car, couch, cell phone, television or even a bicycle are items that may need some research before purchasing. As a consumer, the Internet - particularly Google - is one of the first places many search before making a purchase. For this reason, businesses should ensure they have a good online presence. Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers businesses tips on how to help consumers find them online.
BBB offers three steps to help businesses build an online presence that helps consumers find them:
- Comment Online. Writing brief but meaningful comments on sites that are relevant to your industry is an effective way to drive traffic to your website. You can also write reviews of books you’ve read or recommend relating to your industry on sites like Amazon or Google Books. Participating in online discourse allows you to network with like-minded people in your industry, and eventually, make your name more relevant in online searches. Furthermore, frequent commenting on well-chosen sites can increase the likelihood that people will find you on search engines like Google.
- Create YouTube Videos. Do not dismiss YouTube based on the assumption that it is solely a website for young people watching viral videos. Many businesses are now using YouTube to post all kinds of videos including tutorials, product demonstrations, and mini-advertisements. Include your YouTube channel link on your website so viewers can easily find you.
- Get Into Smartphone Applications (Apps). Apps are becoming necessary for many brick and mortar businesses. By registering your business on popular apps and sites such as FourSquare, Google Places and Better Business Bureau, you can take advantage of the ever increasing use of smartphones by current and potential customers. Consumers use apps not only to find a business, but also read reviews and link to their website.
Additional low cost ways to help consumers find you:
- Proper signage on company vehicles. Remember to include affiliations to community organizations such as BBB.
- Branded promotional items such as T-shirts, pens, lip balm, etc.
- Presence on major social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Online contests and giveaways.
- Follow up cards, emails and phone calls
- Seasonal promotions
- Charity and community sponsorship
- Referral exchange participation–you refer business to another company and they refer business to you.
- Business and community affiliation, such as BBB, Chamber of Commerce, and Air Conditioning Contractors of America.
- Contributions as an industry expert in blogs, seminars or community presentations.
About BBB of Central, Northern & Western Arizona
BBB is an unbiased organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. In 2014, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews® on more than 4.7 million businesses and 11,000 charities, all available free at bbb.org. Incorporated locally in 1938, BBB Serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona is supported by over 11,400 BBB Accredited Businesses. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free business reviews and charity reports, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust.