Getting Web Presence Started

Putting your business online

Today I want to talk about getting your business online.We’re gonna go over some of the steps that you need to take. Starting with some basic ones. And then also we’ll go into some a little bit deeper.

But let’s start from the beginning. So, getting your business online let’s say, let’s presume you’re starting kind of like from scratch. You just started a business and want to get some online presence. So, step one is going to be your website. There’s a lot of different platforms, like social media. No matter if you say well, I’m just gonna promote social media. I’m gonna do email campaigns, I’m going to do different things. You need an online presence. If you’re a local business you say well, I’m gonna distribute flyers.

No matter what your business is, even if your B2B and you say well, I get my business through bidding. Or through the City contracts, no matter what your business is, you need to have a website, you need to have a web presence. Not necessarily because your customers might be going there to shop. You may not be selling anything online. But that’s kind of where people are going to go to kind of get a glimpse of your company. They’re gonna see that website and they’re gonna take that as an impression of your business regardless whether it’s accurate or not. You have a great business and a shabby website. People are gonna presume that.

We always say don’t judge a book by its cover. It’s nice to say but in reality, people do judge books by their cover. And the cover is your business. One of the covers of your book in the business are gonna be your website. So, you need to have at the least a nice web presence professional look. When people go there, it doesn’t detract from your physical presence that they’ve already established. Kind of like having a business card. That’s one of the most basic things as well, is having a business card.

When I deal with somebody and they pitch me something like “Hey! I can do this, I can do that.” I ask for a business card. I could ask for their number but I asked for a business contact. Because if they don’t have a business card they haven’t spent the 30 minutes and 20 bucks it takes creating a business card. How professional are they? Are they going to come through for the rest of their business? They may be the greatest and just not good at marketing. But unfortunately, I’m gonna judge businesses by their website.

I’m gonna judge them by if they have a business card or not. If it’s a crappy business card I mean come on, those things are inexpensive. People are gonna judge you and your business. So, just a basic web presence. You don’t need bells and whistles but you need to have a modern website. Modern is when you look at a website from 10 years ago and now you can tell the difference. The average person can tell the difference. The graphics, the full screen, responsiveness and just other aspects that people can tell the quality of the images back in the day.

So, if you have an old website, you probably have really low-resolution images and things like that. You have to maximize the heck out of your images. Because if not people would go there and the page wouldn’t load. That has all changed. Now you put a full-screen image and it loads fine. That’s a good example right there. If somebody has a website and they did it 10 years ago. Didn’t get up to date with it and it still looks old-school. If I saw that reference to any business then that would be part of my judgment of the business.

And we do it every day. I get solicitations for different things. I ask them to send me an email give me your website – kind of like a test basically. If they don’t have a website, how legit are they? Did they start the business yesterday? Do they have no funds when building the website? I mean all those questions come to mind. And of course, it depends on the business. But if it’s something that you’re gonna establish, if it’s something that you’re going to be investing money, that you’re gonna need that company to be there, standing behind your product then if those things are not in place my judgment would be how serious are they?

When I really need them are they gonna be a fly-by-night businesses?. Now I’m not going to go into the full details of the website. Because there’s 27 things that involve the website. This is gonna be like a basic outline. So, website, number 1. You got to have a website. Business card I didn’t mention because that’s old-school it’s not online. But have yourself a business card. 2: and this I see pretty commonly, is your email should be a domain email. So, I see this a lot where people do have their website, But then their email is ABC construction at Gmail.

You really should have your email matching your web domain. Meaning let’s use ABC construction as an example. You should have Joe, info, administrator whatever the prefix is at ABC construction. That’s something just very basic but it lends more credibility and it’s just more professional. So, have your domain email.

The next items are going to be your Google Places. Or basically your info website is online, your referral site is online, your business listings are on different sites like Google and Yelp. Those kinds of things for reviews and things like that. The first one I would target is gonna be Google My Business. I’ve done some audios on that in the past. But you need to have your Google My Business presence. It’s Google’s version of your company online. There’s a lot of info that you can put there as well. You can put your business hours and some details of what you do. You can also put pictures, and show up on Google Map. And that’s where you’re gonna get your Google reviews. That would be the first of those sites that I would work with.

The second would be Yelp. (These could also be interchangeable if you’re in a restaurant for example.) Yelp actually might be even more important. But let’s not put them 1 & 2. Instead, we’ll put them both at number 1 because neither one is secondary to the other. Your Yelp review again is your Yelp listing. You would create an account there. The same thing you’re gonna have your hours and a little bit of info about the business. And that’s where your customers can go review. These things are huge. People are looking at reviews more than ever before. One of the best social signals you can have and it’s going to keep you on your toes.

Because when you’re dealing with a customer and you have an issue at hand. Keep in the back of your mind that a negative review is gonna go up there. So, it’s good. It’s good for everybody and keeps us on our toes as well to make sure that every customer is satisfied. Doesn’t matter if it was a bad review. Or at least a legitimate bad review. Because you could always get some competitors. Just slapping things up there that happens as well. There’s nothing you can do about that.

The third in that listing would be Bing. Which we don’t really talk about in search. But Bing is the default on your typical Windows machine. These things don’t cost anything. It costs time which I guess time is money. I would certainly put the time into doing Bing.

Next on that list would be depending on your business. In your area, you may have a strong Chamber of Commerce. So, that’s something to take a look at. Sometimes these chambers of commerce I’ve seen them cost $1,000 to join the chamber. So, depending on your business and how strong that chamber connection is, it’s something to consider. Many times if you’re a member of that chamber, you’re gonna get a link on their site. So, that’s something to think about as well.

Another one to consider is the Better Business Bureau. That at least in my business I don’t really see that strong. But there may be areas where it’s a little poor, it’s more prominent, more important. But I’m gonna give you all the ones to make a list of and then check them. See if depending on your business your area if it really applies to you. The first few obviously apply to every business and some of the other ones are going not to apply to everybody as well.

At Better Business Bureau, take a look at that. Again those do cost money to sign up? And with the Better Business Bureau, you got some paperwork to fill out. And it’s a little bit more complex than the others but definitely something to consider doing as well. Moving along, depending on your industry, are other industry clubs, associations etc that you should be listed on. Examples could be like in the computer business. There’s the National Association of computer repair shops and things like that.

A lot of those things are really cheap. They might be 50 bucks a year or something like that. So, you wanna have a listing there. There are a couple reasons for having the listing there. First is, when you get involved in these associations, they keep you up to date with what’s going on. Part of your business is to stay on top of things. But also, many times you’re going to get a link, a listing on their site and that’s something definitely to look at with some of these listings. If you’re gonna get on the Chamber and pay a grand you want a link on that site. That alone might be worth a $1000 depending again on your business.

These small associations can get you a link on their site. The links are gonna help boost your internet presence. Continuing along also again depending on your business. For example, if you’re into air conditioning, do your vendors have a site? This is available here. Many national distributors and vendors don’t sell direct. They typically are very common and they’re going to have a link to their local vendors in different areas. So, if you were gonna buy a big air conditioning unit as an example, training or something like that they might have a link to local suppliers in your area. And you may be able to get a link there.

So that’s up to consider as well. Again, take a look at your vendors. Do they have referral sites that you can get listed on. And always think of trying to get that link back. Sometimes you might just have your information there which is fine. Because that’s a citation that’s another place on the internet or your name phone and addresses and that’s very important. And then if you can get the link and that’s like the cherry on top of the icing on the cake. So, that’s another benefit for you as well.

From here let’s go into the social media platforms which we should have probably talked about first. But we’ll move these around in the order. So, in social media again all these things depend on what you’re doing. For example, if you’re into life insurance it’s fine. I’m going to be important to have a Snapchat account. But I would definitely say a Facebook account I would have no matter what. Everybody has an account on Facebook whether they’re using it or not. They claim to have around two billion people something like that. How many people are using it?

We probably find more where I find more and more that people have their accounts. And they’re not really using the but leave all that aside, you need to have a presence. Whether you’re going to be active or not, you want to be there. Because people are on Facebook, your name comes up. Maybe they want to look you up, see what’s going on. Maybe they need some contact info. Many different reasons why people just may want to look you up and see what’s going on with your company with your business.

So, at the very least, I’m not going to get into the others but Facebook for sure. The other one actually lets ‘s get into one more. Let’s get into LinkedIn. LinkedIn specifically for the general rule there, I would only do a LinkedIn if you’re in business-to-business. So, if you’re a distributor selling to businesses that would be there. If you’re a retail direct customer, direct to the customer I probably wouldn’t mess with it. And these initially would not be on my top 10 lists. But if you’re B2B business, the business you definitely need to be on LinkedIn.