The Importance of Having a Web and Social Media Presence for Small Businesses and Startups

The Importance of Having a Web and Social Media Presence for Small Businesses and Startups

Why is this important?

It is a well-known fact that the world is becoming an increasingly electronic place. We turn to the internet to buy our clothes, to see where the nearest gas station is located, or to read reviews about a hair salon before booking an appointment. We use social media to connect with our peers and celebrities, stay updated about world events, and be notified of what’s coming next from our favorite companies.

With this rather recent shift in the way that we live our lives, it is important for companies to adapt to this shift as well. Those who do not stay ahead of the curve risk losing relevance in the modern world, hence placing their company in peril.

This is especially important for small businesses and startup companies. Small businesses typically rely on locals for their business, so it is important to have a strong presence in your community—especially when communities are becoming increasingly online. Additionally, the internet makes it possible to extend your small business outside of your local community if applicable, like buying anytime and anywhere from online retailers, for example. For startups, the internet and social media are the best and easiest ways to get your name out there to new customers. The internet can also be a fantastic sole medium to use for startups due to low overhead costs, the ease of connecting with customers, and essentially being “open” 24/7.

Aside from the benefits that websites and social media provide for businesses, there is also risk involved for ignoring this aspect of all of our lives. As a 20-something on the cusp of the Gen Z and Millennial generations, regardless of whether I am a customer online or in-person, I almost always cross-reference any business establishment online (whether that be a website or social media). Let’s take a restaurant for example. I rarely choose a new restaurant without doing research online before going out for dinner. With that said, if I cannot find a link to a website or at least a social media page that allows me to view the menu, I am unlikely to pick that restaurant.

Restaurants are only just an example, but the same rules apply to all kinds of businesses. In general, if I cannot find a website or social media presence to back up the company, the credibility of the establishment is severely diminished in my eyes. There is also a very slim chance that I will choose that company over one that I can do ample research on beforehand.

Web

What  information should I include on a website?

The most important element to include on a website is who your company is and what you company is trying to accomplish—include an about page for further details. List products and services offered, even if they are not available for purchase online. Most importantly, list ways to contact the company. This includes but is not limited to: address, phone number, email, and social media links. Other things to include that may not always be applicable are login portals, career pages, help pages, etc.

How do I create the website and maintain it?

There are many good options currently available for website creation. Creating a site from scratch is always an option, but there are also dozens of simple platforms available such as Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, etc. where you have the skeleton of a website already given to you to then fill with content. After purchasing a domain and filling the site with content, the website is ready to go live.

However, websites require maintenance and updating content, themes, and products/services. For further reference, check out the Web Content and Maintenance Service offered by Enterprise Iowa here: https://www.enterpriseiowa.com/services/

Social Media

Which platform(s) should I choose?

There are dozens of social media platforms available, and it is best to hone in on just a few that will best help your company succeed. Here is a list of some popular social media platforms that business should consider using:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Snapchat

However, not all of these platforms are appropriate for every kind of business. For example, if you are a bank, photo sharing sites like Instagram may be difficult to regularly post content, and therefore while not completely useless, Instagram is likely not the best option. On the flipside, more creative firms would flourish with the Instagram platform. Knowing your company and where your customer’s eyes will be is key when considering which social media platforms to focus on.

How should I upkeep social media?

Social media does require a fair amount of upkeep to stay relevant. However, it is a much cheaper alternative to traditional marketing and a much easier way to connect with your current customers plus attract new ones. Using social media management tools such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social to plan out content in advance can be extremely helpful, but if you are unable or unwilling to take on that extra cost, live posting within the platform is always an option. All in all, the benefits of connecting with and attracting customers typically far outweighs the cost of neglecting social media all together this day in age. Enterprise Iowa also offers social media management services for your business to utilize. 

All in all, the advantages of implementing a web and social media presence can only elevate your business. Especially for small businesses and startups, consider creating a website and utilizing social media profiles on some of the suggested platforms. All of the details involved with starting or owning a business are a large undertaking. To avoid some of the chaos, consider hiring an outside firm to assist with your web and social presence. Visit https://www.enterpriseiowa.com/services/ for more information.

Understanding SEO and How It Can Help Better Your Business

Understanding SEO and How It Can Help Better Your Business

Whether you own a small business or lead a large organization, finding new ways to meet objectives can be challenging. Developing a marketing and communications plan can help you identify creative new sources of revenue. From targeting new customers to reeling in potential donors, your marketing strategy is key, and incorporating web services into your overall plan is crucial – after all, your website is the unsung hero when it comes to boosting your brand and increasing earnings.

In today’s digital age, most people rely on the internet to gather information about a potential vendor, investment or product. In many cases, when a user doesn’t know where to look, he or she will engage in a Google search, entering key words to lead them in the right direction.

According to Moz, the average Google search session lasts just under a minute. This means your website needs to appear high in the Google search results listings in order to gain new views, which means paying attention to your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization is the practice of writing and posting web content in a way that encourages search engines to promote it to searchers. Because search engines like Google use an algorithm that helps connect users to content that best matches their search criteria, writing content with this algorithm in mind can be a highly effective marketing and communications strategy for bringing in new business.

Search engine optimization is a complex process that aims to put your company’s name and website in front of more potential customers. While this may not seem like a top priority but instead like a complicated way to spend man hours, it is actually an important strategy for successful online marketing. As a business owner in the Des Moines metro area, this is just another way for you to stay ahead of the competition and see more dollars.

Why Should Your Business Implement an SEO Strategy?

Enhance your company’s web presence by incorporating SEO into your marketing and communications plan. Search engine optimization is a the process of raising your online visibility, and a detailed strategy can help you get the attention and results you need to bring in new customers and encourage repeat clients.  In fact, there are three main reasons to implement this type of content strategy: (1) to improve search engine results rankings, (2) to connect with customers more effectively and (3) to establish local authority.

1. You Want to Rank Better in Search Results

Typically, a person uses a search engine to find businesses, choosing — whether they realize it or not — based on rankings. If you’ve performed a Google search for your services and location and noticed your business’s website didn’t show up on the first page of results, you should start looking into SEO strategies. Think about it logically: How are potential customers supposed to find your company when most internet users don’t look beyond the first page of search results? This is where an SEO strategy can make a big difference.

Additionally, by designing content specifically for a local audience, a strategy known as geo-targeting, you can better hone your strategy and bring in more business. Search engines like Google take geo-targeting into consideration when displaying web pages, meaning your company’s website could rank higher with a local-based strategy. An experienced blogging team can not only boost your website’s traffic by increasing visibility with searchers, but also keep up with algorithms, relevant industry topics and local keywords.

2. You Want to Connect With Customers More Effectively

Without the right SEO strategy, it can be difficult to reach your desired audience. In the Des Moines metro area, there is a lot of competition, so you want to have a strong, professional web presence that encourages potential clients to choose you. But if they can’t find you on the web, then they can’t choose you. With a detailed marketing and communications plan that includes SEO, you can better reach your audience and hopefully convert curious searchers into clients.

3. You Want to Establish Your Local Authority

Potential customers want to know that the business they are researching is trustworthy and competent. As a part of search engine algorithms, a large emphasis is placed on having authority as a business, including knowing what you’re doing and providing information to customers effectively. Additionally, if your content uses proper geo-targeting for the Des Moines metro area, for example, people living in Des Moines will see you are knowledgeable on the area and have experience in the industry.

Establishing trust and local authority through SEO can directly influence how your customer base grows. The more content you produce, the more trust you develop with the search engines and the better you will rank, giving your company a competitive edge when it comes to a potential customer’s first impression. In fact, “72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles,” according to a 2017 study by iMPACT.  This means that ranking higher for a local Google search for your local services could significantly improve traffic to your website – and hopefully help bring in new revenue. Through detailed web pages, blog posts, and more, you can build a relationship of trust and authority, not only with search engine algorithms but also with searchers.

Should You Hire an Outside Company for SEO?

If you own or operate a business, your time is likely stretched thin already, and curating new content on a regular basis would only further stretch that time. Hiring a company that specializes in web content and maintenance can help you improve your website’s visibility in a simple Google search, as well as posture your business as a local industry expert. Among other things, a company experienced with writing for SEO adapts your website to increase visibility.

If you need help starting a blog or improving SEO on your current website, contact Enterprise Iowa. We help clients generate new, engaging blog content to entice new customers and retain existing ones.