Online with Dock Line

By Dock Line Social Media Team

Is Your Business Seen, Heard and Followed?

No matter the size of your business, family owned and operated, home-based or franchised, we’ve got a few tips for you!

Your brand is the most important part of your business and there are many things you can do to make sure you are getting the best exposure out of your website, social media platforms and review sites. In order for your business to be found on all search engines, you could be increasing your online visibility by including keywords that best represent your company.

When you use keywords that are applicable to your type of business, search engines like Google and Bing identify them which raises you up higher in their search results. Discuss with your webmaster the list of keywords and long tail keywords that are being used on your website to be sure you are targeting potential customers. Use this list and implement it into the description of your business on your social media platforms. You could also use them on your social media posts and tweets. Being consistent improves branding and exposure. But, keep in mind that keywords won’t help if your website is considered undesirable to the search engines “bots”.

Keywords attract bots that are constantly searching for information that is relevant to users when they are searching for something specific, such as your type of business or service that you provide. Think of it this way, someone is searching for a plumber. They Google, “broken toilet, Lake Conroe”. The plumbers that pop up will have “broken toilet” used as a keyword on their website. What other words do people search for? “Unclogging drains”, “fix leaks”, “24-hour service” and so on. This is done through SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

There are sites online that can help you find keywords and long tail keywords if you are unsure what words best represent your industry. Remember, your webmaster should be available to update, improve and edit your chosen words. Your website should reflect new products, services or changes in your business regularly. Using correct keywords are crucial in having SEO discover your company as an option for the person who is looking for a business like yours. SEO is organic in how it finds the keywords which lead people to your business. Hiring an SEO specialist is recommended to ensure optimum results.

Reputation is important!

Whether you have a family member managing your online presence or you’ve retained an online reputation management/social media strategist team, it’s important that you know what’s going on and you don’t take anything for granted. To optimize your branding, it is crucial to make sure that your website is strong, with little or no errors.

Your website is where you want all of your potential customers to land no matter what platform they used to get there. Make sure when they arrive, they have all of the information they need to become new customers. Check all of the links on your website to make sure none of them are broken. A user-friendly, well functioning, updated website is the equivalent of a storefront. It is the digital representation of your company and your brand.

Is your website user-friendly? It seems obvious that it would be because you’ve invested time, energy and money into it, but have you tested it? In order to be competitive in any business, your website must be accessible to everyone. Go online using a computer not your smartphone and find mobile emulator sites such as http://www.mobilephoneemulator.com/. Input your website URL into the link and choose a few different devices to see what your site looks like from different tablets and smartphones. When someone visits your website, no matter from what device they use, it should be easy to navigate.

If you’re connected to a virtual map, make sure it is directly connected to your site and it does not take them to a third party or an additional link. If a user has to make too many clicks you’ll lose them as a customer.

Other things to take into consideration are spelling and grammar mistakes which can hurt your credibility. Also, your contact information should be identical in all areas. With sites like https://validator.w3.org it is easy to analyze how strong your website truly is.
Common errors are ill-fitting graphics, typos, too many keywords which is considered spammy and missing or broken links.Your webmaster can discuss with you what they consider acceptable errors. An example of that could be, “the graphics you gave me didn’t fit properly”. Maybe that’s an acceptable error to them, but now you know better. Find out what size graphics are needed and send them over. Let them know you want to be notified of any future issues like this because it is important to you and your business. Search engines only work with strong and secure sites and your goal is to be in the top 10 of search engines results.

Make sure that you populate your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Google Business, Instagram, YouTube, Google Maps, Yelp and any other review sites that are applicable to your business with consistent information. This includes your logos, contact information, and mission statement. All of these platforms should have a link to your website and your website should have links back to them.

We would like to recommend that you watch the movie “The Founder”, based on a true story which is an excellent example of the importance of branding, perseverance, and growing your business. The setting begins in 1954 when there were no websites or social media. Watching this movie may help you get back to the basics, remembering what is truly important and why you started the business you have now. While watching it you’ll see how “word of mouth” is now social media, websites and review sites. You need to be doing more than just posting daily. You should also be liking, commenting, corresponding and following other business as your business. Get involved and be active in your community online as much as possible.

“THE FOUNDER, directed by John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr. Banks), features the true story of how Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a struggling salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who was running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers’ speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. Writer Robert Siegel (THE WRESTLER) details how Kroc maneuvered himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a billion-dollar empire. The film also stars Laura Dern as Ray Kroc’s first wife Ethel; John Carroll Lynch as Mac McDonald and Nick Offerman as Dick McDonald.”
(Source: http://thefounderfilm.com/ )

We look forward to following you back on Twitter and Instagram!

Do you have a question, comment or a suggestion topic for our next article? Message us at docklinemagazine.com/contact. We look forward to hearing from you!