As is customary, I carried out the task of updating my mailing list. As I came to the end of entering the business cards I had collected, I spotted a couple of bits of paper with the names and businesses of two interesting people I wanted to know more about. Naturally, I went to Google them and their businesses and struggled to locate either.
Do You Have An Internet Footprint?
One of the most common complaints of small businesses are a lack of clients, often in part, through a lack of web-traffic and minimal conversions. Basically a lack of visibility. Despite this complaint, many startups and small business owners don’t take the time to make sure that them and their business are ‘Googleable’. Now whilst Google is not the only way to raise awareness of yourself or your business it is a very good start and the digital equivalent of being in the Yellow Pages or any other local paper directory. In addition, for many people a lack of online presence will set alarm bells ringing. This could lead to a potential client or prospect not contacting you. I mean after all, if you’re really doing what you say you do, you should be locatable online right?
The Goal is to Get Noticed
As a newbie in your field, it’s unlikely your business will make the first page of Google without an SEO strategy. However, what you can do is make sure that if someone knows your name and that of your business they are able to locate you. At the very least someone should be able to find your name online and follow the breadcrumbs to find out more about you and what you do. A point to note is that if your name is common, or your namesake is doing lots of wonderful things in the world, your entry may not appear in the first few pages of Google search results. This is even more likely if you haven’t set up a Google + account. While web privacy is important as a business owner it is essential to be able to be found on the internet.
- Log out of Google Chrome and search for your name and business to see what others see when they look for you.
- Make sure that all listings are based on your current name (whether changed by marriage or deed pole)
- If you haven’t already set up a Google + account for yourself and your business. I would advise doing so, even if you never plan to use it. Your Google + page ranks higher than your website in Google searches.
- In addition to your Google + page also set up a Linkedin page. Linked in has become the go-to platform for professional networking
- If you’ve been mentioned in print, ask publications to repeat the information in their online version
- Get listed in directories. Here are some to get you started:
On a final note, be sure to check your images to make sure there aren’t any old Myspace of Hi5 pictures you’ve forgotten about.