Small Business: 5 Cheap Ways to Be Findable
By not keeping up with evolving consumer behavior that’s increasingly mobile-based and socially networked, many of these businesses are missing profitable opportunities because prospects and customers can’t find or contact them the way that they want to—fast and on-the-go via digital and mobile devices.
SMB DigitalScape’s analysis of over 1 million SMB global websites in fourteen countries, of which 700,000 SMBs were in the US, revealed that most small businesses aren’t findable where their prospects are looking for them.
- 60% of SMB websites lack a toll-free or local phone number on the first page of their website.
- 75% of SMB websites lack an email link on the first page of their website that allows prospects and customers to contact them.
- 66% of SMB websites lack a form-fill option to enable prospects and customers to request information.
- 93% of SMB websites aren’t mobile compatible and don’t render successfully on smartphones or tablets.
Many of these problems are associated with older websites created by third parties years ago. SMB owners are often unaware that their websites’ shortcomings will drive potential customers to seek other more user-friendly alternatives. If your business information changes frequently, it may make sense to use an easy CMS (content management system) like a blog so that you’re not paying your web developer every time you need to tweak your information.
Small business information checklist
For small businesses, it’s a cheap, no-brainer to ensure all of your marketing assets contain the following information, even if you use a third party to create them.
- Have a phone number. To ensure your phone number is recognizable as dialable on a mobile device, employ dashes. Skip the fancier dots and spaces. Here’s how your phone number should look: XXX-XXX-XXXX.
- Include your physical address. Prospects may just be checking where to find your retail location.
- Present a map (or store locator). Remember your goal is to get prospects and customers into your location.
- Set your hours of operation. Post when you’re open. This helps reduce phone calls and lost opportunities.
- Provide an email address. Let people contact you if they have questions or other business. For example you can use an email@example.com. This is particularly important if you’re not open 24/7 which most retail establishments aren’t.
- Provide a contact form. This can be a general email or can gather more specific information.
- Add social follow links. If you’ve got an active presence on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest, let prospects know. Also, make it easy for them to share your information!
5 Cheap ways to be findable (aka Where to place your small business information)
Include your business information on these five marketing channels. Where appropriate, ensure that they’re mobile optimized.
- Website. Where possible, ensure that your business contact information is available on every page. Also include a tab or navigation item called “Contact Us.”
- Email. This includes your emailings to prospects and customers. Make sure that you collect email addresses where appropriate. It also includes your regular business email signature file. Ensure that every communication helps your business promote itself with your URL, address and phone number.
- Receipts. Leverage the power of your receipts to keep your business top of mind and encourage customers to return to your establishment.
- Social media. Let your social connections know how to contact you in the real world.
- Printed materials. Don’t forget to include your business name and information on every piece of collateral you hand out. (Think old-fashioned rubber stamp.)
Remember—Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes. If your business information requires clicking into or searching through your site, you’ve lost a business opportunity!
What is the state of your small business website and what are the challenges you face?
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Branding, by definition, is about imprinting our identity onto others. Traditionally, it’s been about telling people, “if you want to fit in, first you must buy in.”
In this manifesto, CJ argues that Belonging is more powerful. When you’re in the business of helping others design their identity, you access something deeper and more permanent than their desire to just keep up, you access their desire to matter.
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