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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Improving Visibility Online: Advice For Businesses

Limited VisibilityThe question comes up repeatedly: How can I improve my business' digital visibility? How can I be more visible online?

Here's my answer.

Take advantage of social networks. You see, search engines really like social networks. [Interesting, in fact, to note that LinkedIn has a PageRank of 9; Facebook, 10; and Twitter, 9.]

1. Are you on LinkedIn? If not, create a robust profile for yourself and your company - one that includes keywords important to  you and  your business.

Here's my personal LinkedIn profile as well as Simple Marketing Now's LinkedIn listing.

If you need advice about LinkedIn, consider reading How Do I Make the Most of LinkedIn?

2. Have you created a Google Places listing?  This is particularly relevant if you have a physical location. Although I'm more of a virtual business, here's Simple Marketing Now's Google Places listing. Note that your Google Places listing will give you a QR code that you can use in marketing communications. When that QR code is scanned with a smartphone reader, it will direct visitors to your Google Places listing.

[You can also create your own QR codes using a resource such as Kaywa.com and direct potential customers to your website or to specific marketing messages.]

3. What about a Facebook page for your business? If you're considering creating a Facebook presence for your business, don't do it using a personal profile page. Not only does that go against the Facebook rules of engagement, but you won't benefit from search engines sharing your content.  Instead, create a Facebook Fan page.

Once you do, you'll need to engage with your fans and share content with them that they find interesting.  Here's Simple Marketing Now's Facebook Fan page.

4. Are you considering Twitter? If yes, create a profile description that uses keywords relevant to you and your business. You'll also need to think about what content you'll publish on Twitter and how you'll interact and add value to those who decide to follow you.  Here is my Twitter page [note: although I've also claimed a Twitter account for Simple Marketing Now, my cbwhittemore Twitter account is where I am consistently active on Twitter.]

If you'd like more information about Twitter, consider reading How Do I? Do Twitter.

Be aware that, the more complete your profiles are and the more active your presence is, the more visible you will be. That's true for your website, too. You should definitely be updating and refreshing your website content on a regular basis - and I'm not talking once a year, more like once a month.

Ideally, you'll consider creating a content strategy that supports your business objectives so that all of your digital outposts work consistently in your favor and reinforce the value that your business offers customers and the marketplace.

Don't be overwhelmed by the digital world. Keep in mind that it offers businesses unheard of opportunities for visibility and connecting with customers. What's most important is getting started in consistent small doses.
  • Create Outlook or Google calendar reminders and spend 15 minutes a day exploring, monitoring and experiencing the digital world.
  • Think like your customers. Search using terms they might use. Think how you might apply what you observe to the profiles your create and the content you develop.
I guarantee you'll be amazed at what you learn!

Please, let me know how it goes and how I might help. As you come across other ideas for creating visibility online, I hope you'll share them here, too.


Simple Marketing Now, a marketing communications consultancy, helps organizations integrate social media and content marketing with traditional marketing to better connect with customers and improve business profitability.  Simple Marketing Now issues the Social Flooring Index which monitors the social state of the Flooring Industry and Flooring The Consumer, about marketing to women and the retail experience. For more information, visit http://SimpleMarketingNow.com.

Image credit: Limited Visibility originally uploaded by I'm George.
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