As a small business owner, you know you need to market your business online. But where do you start? It can be overwhelming to compare social media sites, website platforms, and local directories. This article outlines four easy and effective online marketing strategies for small businesses.

1. Edit your business information on Google My Business. If a potential customer searches for your business on Google, the search produces information like operating hours, contact information, and customer reviews. It’s your responsibility to make sure this information is correct. You can manage how this information appears using Google My Business.

After you add and verify your business, you can edit business information like your address and photos. This is a simple and free way to ensure potential clients can find you online. Verify this information across a variety of local directories like Yelp and Bing Place.

2. Build a mobile-friendly website. According to December 2017 data by statcounter, mobile market share outranks desktop share by nearly 10 percent (52.48 percent to 43.26 percent). The popularity of mobile means your small business’ website needs to work flawlessly whether someone is viewing it on a phone or desktop. In short, you need a responsive website. A responsive website automatically reformats based on the user’s screen size, platform, and orientation.

3. Establish a presence on social media. You don’t need to be active on every social media platform. Depending on your audience, one platform may be enough. From Instagram to Facebook, Twitter to Snapchat, social media provides much-needed exposure for small businesses.

This is what each platform can help you accomplish:

  • Facebook: share diverse content (e.g. text-based posts, live videos etc.)
  • Instagram: visually showcase your business with pictures, video, and text
  • Twitter: quickly communicate with prospective and current customers
  • Snapchat: share candid videos of business-related activities in real time

4. Build an online network. As a business owner, you know the power of networking. LinkedIn provides an effective way to extend your small business network online. LinkedIn’s platform is built for the following small business purposes:

  • Showcase your expertise
  • Boost your company’s brand
  • Discover and connect with key people
  • Learn new business strategies

Since 2009, LinkedIn has grown from 37 million users to 467 million users. It’s a great platform for exchanging ideas and building a network.

Optimize Your Online Marketing

A 2017 KPMG survey found that when consumers research a product, 55 percent search for reviews and recommendations online compared to 26 percent who visit physical stores to see, try, or fit the product. Your small business must effectively market itself online.

Edit your business information across local directories, build a mobile-friendly (i.e. responsive) website, establish a strong presence on social media, and build a business network on LinkedIn. Your bottom line will thank you.

Electronic Merchant Systems is a leading provider of payment processing & merchant services. For more information please visit our website.