4 Reasons You May Not See Your Small Business Website When You Search Online

4 Reasons You May Not See Your Small Business Website When You Search Online

When you work with as many small businesses as Hibu, you hear a lot of the same reasons for needing a new website:

  • Your site looks old
  • Your site doesn’t have the functionality you need today
  • You can’t find your site online

Or maybe your friends and family say they can’t find it…and then you start thinking that your customers can’t find it either.

But if you’re not #1 on Google, don’t panic just yet. Here are four ways to see if your business is exactly where it should be online – even if you don’t recognize it right away.

1.) Search Smarter

Chances are, you’re just searching for your business name. Try searching for your business name and your city or zip code.

Even though search engines often return local results based on your location these days, it doesn’t hurt to get more specific — and there’s a good chance that’s what your customers will do too.

And if you’re just searching for what you do — like “landscaping” or “family dentist” — you probably have a lot more online competition than you think (more on that below).

2.) Look Deeper

You’re probably expecting to find your website, mylocalbusiness.com, when you search for your business name. But pay attention to everything else that shows up for your business:

  • Map / Local listings
  • Online directory listings
  • Online reviews sites
  • Social profiles (and sometimes even individual posts)
  • Paid ads (which can actually drive more traffic to your website by building brand awareness and consumer confidence)

Of course you want to find your website, but your customers might not be so picky. If they’re looking for basic info like your phone number or hours, or checking to see what other local customers are saying about you, these other results may deserve more of your attention (and get more of theirs).

And if these other listings for your business aren’t ones you created, make sure you have a plan to take control of them and correct any wrong information. The wrong phone number on Google or the wrong address on Apple Maps can mean the wrong results for your business.

3.) Check Out Your Competition

Search results are a mix of organic vs. paid results and local vs. regional (or national) results. You may know that there are only five other landscapers in town, but search for “landscaper & your area” and see for yourself how many results Google serves up:

That’s a lot more than five.

With this much competition, you need to make sure ALL the search results for your business (like the map and directory listings above) are up to date — and you need a plan to reach your customers elsewhere too (like on social media).

4.) Upgrade Your Website

Search engines look at thousands of factors when it comes to indexing (or recognizing) your website, determining its relevance, and deciding when to serve it up, but if your site isn’t built to be “search engine friendly,” you and your customers are going to have a hard time finding it. Period.

So do a quick check to make sure your site is playing by “Google’s rules” today:

  • Is your site mobile friendly?
  • Is your site secure (using HTTPS)?
    • This is especially important in Chrome (the most popular browser — and the default browser on most Android phones and tablets)
  • Have you optimized your On-Page and Off-Page SEO?
    • Is your metadata complete (especially your page titles)?
    • Do you have pages about each service, product or topic you’d like to be found for?
    • Are your pages filled with recent, useful, unique content?

Make sure you have a business website that gets seen drives visits builds your business.

At the end of the day, you need a site that makes your phone ring, fills your inbox with interested inquiries or brings customers through the door.

Finding your site when you Google yourself feels great — but what works great for your business is a site that turns your visitors into customers — no matter how they find you.

The Power of Crossposting on Social Media

The Power of Crossposting on Social Media

For small businesses, starting to use social media to market their business is a process:

  1. First, start using social media (you’d be surprised how many small businesses don’t!)
  2. Second, set up business pages and profiles — not just personal ones
  3. Third, make sure you post relevant content regularly — and respond to comments, @ mentions and DMs (direct messages)
  4. Finally, use paid ads to target and retarget your customers (and potential customers just like them)

Believe it or not, Step 3 can be the hardest. After all, even with the best intentions, how do you post to Facebook AND Instagram AND Twitter…and still have time to run your business?

That’s where crossposting is so valuable. You can create content in one social channel…and quickly share it in another to keep all your channels fresh, up to date, and worth visiting.

One post, three social networks, plenty of chances to get seen

Take a look at a recent example from Hibu – where the same post was shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:

You may need or want to make subtle changes that work best for each platform or audience (in this case, the Facebook post used a static image and Instagram and Twitter used a video) — but you don’t have to! You really can share the same content across social networks to get more exposure with much less effort.

And if you create your post with Instagram, you can crosspost to Facebook and Twitter with one click!

Sharing DIFFERENT content across social channels

While crossposting the same content (images especially) can absolutely save you time and effort…you may not want to “recycle” content every time. Or you may find that your audience isn’t interacting with a post on Facebook that they already “Liked” on Instagram.

Consider re-packaging your content as you switch channels:

  • A series of Facebook pictures could be turned into a gallery on Instagram
  • A video you tweet or retweet on Twitter without any introduction could become a longer post on Facebook
  • An Instagram post that didn’t get much engagement can be turned into a Facebook poll

Remember, there’s no “one size fits all” way to share content on social. Experiment with what works for you, and pay close attention to what works for your customers. Keeping an eye on likes, shares, retweets, comments and more should give you a real-time view into what’s working for them.

Share here, share there – just as long as you’re sharing SOMEWHERE

We know that not every local business has the time or resources to keep up with posting new, relevant content to multiple social media channels. Crossposting is a great way to save time and effort, but what matters most is that you’re posting SOMETHING valuable regularly to at least SOME of your channels.

Participation is definitely more important than efficiency when it comes to building and connecting with your customers on social media. Start small, focusing most of your efforts on one platform (like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter)…and then start using crossposting to double or even triple your impact!

4 Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs to Share “Curated Content” on Social

4 Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs to Share “Curated Content” on Social

Facebook and other social networks are great for sharing news and pictures, posting your thoughts and more. In fact, for most people and businesses, social media is all about YOU:

  • YOUR profile or Page
  • YOUR posts and updates
  • Connecting with YOUR customers

So why in the world would you share someone else’s content on YOUR social channels?

“Curated content” – content that’s relevant to your business or customers from other people that you share in your social media – can keep your customers engaged and coming back for more while saving you the time and effort required to create original posts.

1. Curated content keeps your social pages active… and keeps them from being empty.

There’s nothing more disappointing than visiting a small business’s Facebook Page or Twitter feed and seeing…nothing. Or nothing recent – that’s just as bad. An empty or inactive social page can send all the wrong messages:

  • Customers may think you’re not going to be responsive via email, @ mentions, direct messages and other digital options.
  • Customers may think you’re too busy to keep up with social media…and wonder if you’re too busy to keep up with them.
  • Worst of all — customers may actually think you’re out of business!

Sharing curated content is ideal for keeping your Pages active – and not having to constantly ask yourself “When was the last time I posted something?” in a panic.

2. Curated content is faster and easier to share than your own posts.

We’ve all been there: struggling to figure out WHAT to talk about on Facebook…then searching endlessly to find the right picture…or waiting for a video to upload on a slow connection.

Finding and sharing ready-made content can be the shortcut you need whenever work gets busy, or inspiration doesn’t strike. It can literally be as easy as clicking the “Share” button!

3. Curated content can look more professional and polished than your own posts.

Sometimes the pictures you took of a recent job just don’t look very good. Sometimes you can’t find the right words (or you write too much…or not nearly enough!) about a topic that you absolutely want to share with your local customers.

You can avoid worrying about whether your post is “perfect” by sharing someone else’s. Just set it up with a short message about why it matters to your customers – and you’re all set to share a quality post.

4. Curated content shows that you have your “ear to the ground” of your industry.

Your customers absolutely want to know about your business – but talking about yourself all the time on Facebook can get old fast. You can tell them about what you do without always telling them about your business.

Curated content lets your audience know that you’re paying attention to trends and keeping up with what’s new in your field. Try sharing content from different sources:

  • Leading figures in your industry
  • Publications in your industry
  • Local organizations you’re involved with
  • Local news publications
  • Infographics and other informative, information-rich content
  • Even clips from TV shows and movies that reference your industry!

Pro tip: Hire a curator!

Curated content can absolutely be a quick win to keep your social profiles active and up to date, but it still takes time to:

  • Find the content you want to share
  • Make sure it’s relevant to your audience
  • Write the short set-up paragraph to introduce the post and say where it came from
  • See if it’s working – if no one is Liking, Sharing or Commenting on your curated content, it’s obviously not what your audience is looking for

Let someone help with the heavy lifting!

Your focus should be on running your business and working with the leads and customers your social marketing drives to you. A digital marketing partner can take on the task of finding and sharing curated content for you, and you can get back the one thing that no small business has enough of…time!