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Easy optimization: If you build it they will come...but only if they can find it

Posted by Devin Cole  November 16, 2011 11:52 AM

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In our last post we hammered home just how important it is for every small business to have a website. So important that it bears repeating: Every business MUST have a website.

So now your website is done, it looks great…why aren’t people visiting?

Well, your site is one of the over 350,000,000 websites that exist. With that much out there, people are going to need a little help finding yours.

So how do you do it?

By thinking like a babysitter. It sounds crazy, but think about how babysitters (or at least my little sister) gets customers. She makes a flyer and posts it everywhere she thinks people will bring their kids. Your website is your flyer, and the internet is filled with places you can post it.

In the case of Mehak, since it's a restaurant the first place the website we posted the website was Yelp. Whether you are a Yelp fan or not, it must be acknowledged that Yelp is a juggernaut in cyberspace business reviews. Yelp gets about 41 million visitors A MONTH and that is only growing. (In a future post we will talk about the impact of Yelp on growing your business but that’s an article in and of itself.) Mehak already had dozens of Yelp reviews, but little information on the business hours, prices, or menu offerings. We decided to add the Mehak personality to the Yelp site by adding pictures and most importantly, the menu so that people could quickly act upon the good reviews they came across.

Mehak Yelp Entry.JPG

From there, we posted the website to every place we could find, from food review sites to Halal-specific listings. And how much did this cost? Zero dollars and zero cents. Many sites WANT your website listed there and almost none will charge you for it.

When you decide where to post your site, think about who your target customer is and how they would find you. Are they going straight to your website because they need a mechanic and they know that you are located close by, or are they looking at a number of review sites to find the one who is going to treat them most fairly? Find where your customers would go when they need you, and make sure your site is there.

Once your presence is established, think of each site as a neutral space to converse with customers. Check the reviews often for positive and negative feedback and take it as suggestions for improvement. Add more information as your hours or offerings change – let your customers know that you care enough to give them all of the info they are looking for.

Next week – How to check your progress

Main Street Partners is a nonprofit that seeks to create jobs and improve local economies by providing Small Businesses with the resources and human capital necessary to dramatically improve their business. They offer all-volunteer consulting services to eligible companies.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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