Local Business Digital Checklist

Starting a new business is an exciting, albeit daunting, task. Many local business owners may not sell anything online, and therefore, don’t see the need for a strong online presence. Your potential clients may not see it the same way. Founder of RetailMinded, Nicole Leinbach-Reyhle wrote in an article for Forbes:

Many businesses, particularly those that don’t actually sell anything online, often complain that there’s not enough time in the day to “do it all” and as a result, online marketing gets shoved to the side. Unfortunately, this isn’t how customers make decisions. The reality is consumers – likely even you – turn to the internet to discover what to do, where to go, who to buy things from and more.

While you don’t have to be a digital expert, here’s a few very simple steps you should complete to make sure your digital presence is ready to go when you’re ready to open for business.

Are you SURE that’s the name you should use?

Use a service such as namechk.com to see if your brand name is available as a website and social media account.

If you want to have a consistent, professional brand presence online, you’ve got to see what is still available. There are several online tools to determine internet name availability, but the one we recommend is namechk.com. Simply type in a username, and the site returns the availability of that name as a website name (such as hogwildwidgets.com, or .net… etc.), as well as on the largest social media networks (such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and many more).

Having the domain name and social media accounts match is nice, but definitely not required. For instance, a Harry Potter fan has the Twitter handle @hogradio, so we chose to use hogradioinc for our social media accounts, so it would be consistent across all social media.

A Professional Website

Okay, you’ve settled on your online name. Now it’s time to set up a website. You can hire a professional website designer, and they’ll take care of all the technical stuff and make sure you have a great-looking website. There’s also many do-it-yourself options if you have the time to invest. Squarespace is probably the most well-known, but there are many others. A quick Google search for website builder should point you in the right direction. No matter whether you DIY or hire a professional, ensure that your website is “mobile responsive,” which simply means that the site will conform to the size of the screen it’s on. Over half of all internet time is now on a mobile device! Ensure that all your basic information is included on the website, including location and hours of operation. You’d be shocked how many websites are void of this vital information for your potential customers!

A Website Isn’t “Set and Forget”

Part of your digital presence is maintaining information. If you change your operating hours, remember to adjust your website accordingly. Moving? Update your address. Make sure it’s easy to contact you via your website, and provide your phone number as well.

Social Media

Social media has become such a buzz term in business over the years, but having a Facebook page isn’t enough. You must ENGAGE your potential and current clients in order for them to be effective. We’ll provide more insights into engagement and social media management in a later post, but for now, here are a few resources to help you establish your business on the three largest social networks:

 

These few simple steps outlined above will help guide you towards a consistent online presence for your business. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help out!