Search Engine Land has a solid article on how “Small Businesses With Low Visibility Can Easily Improve”. Out of 194,000 small and medium-sized businesses in the San Diego area, around 7% have what can be categorized as medium visibility and less than 1% have high visibility. Around 40% have low visibility, and the rest (52%) can be assumed to have no visibility. Let’s take a look at what is meant by visibility.
Businesses with low visibility have begun to make some effort to be online. They have a basic website, and they have “claimed” their listing on Google Places. This is a good start and can possibly begin giving the business visibility when customers search for their business name.
These businesses have taken additional steps to optimize their visibility. They have optimized their website for specific keywords, and they are blogging, but perhaps, not regularly. They have created a Facebook page for their business as well as a Twitter account. They have set up automatic pings to their Facebook page and Twitter account whenever they publish a new blog posting, and they are spending some money on online advertising primarily on directories like Superpages or Yellowbook. In addition, they have gone beyond claiming their local profile on just Google, and now have optimized profiles on Yahoo!, Bing, Hotfrog, and Manta.
These businesses are very active in their Internet marketing activity. They have a well-optimized, dynamic website that is updated regularly with blog postings. These blog postings are distributed through their Facebook page and Twitter account, and the business is actively participating in conversations with their Facebook friends and Twitter followers as well as posting items of interest to their networks. They have spent time customizing their Facebook page and Twitter page to best represent their business in those channels with the most relevant information possible.
On the local front, the business has optimized their Yelp profile and is using group coupon services like Groupon and Living Social to distribute offers to help build their customer base. Their website is regularly appearing in the Google 7-pack for relevant keywords for their business.
They have also created optimized online videos that they post to their blog and distribute through YouTube. And, finally, they are investing heavily in pay-per-click marketing to drive leads to their website to convert to customers.
What This Means for You
When it comes to Internet marketing, there are many things that small businesses can do themselves to get started with increasing their online visibility. It’s mostly time and comfort level with making it happen that can limit you from getting the word out online.
Once you see the positive impact that being visible online can have for your business, you will be ready and willing to increase your involvement whether it’s working with an Internet marketing services provider or doing it yourself.