I thought it would be a good idea to do a case study today to show how you can boost your business by doing a few basic things online.
The company we’re choosing is Haywards Heath Carpet Cleaners. They have a good website, part of Horsham Carpet Cleaners, which you can check it out by clicking on the link above.
But there’s far more to getting your name out there. Having a website by itself is like having a pile of business cards in your pocket. No-one sees it unless you get it out there!
So the first thing to do when you launch a business and get your website is to have someone do citations for you. Citations are simply listings of your business in directories. There are hundreds of these, mostly free, and it’s simply a case of going through and listing your company name, address and phone number, together with your website address and a few other details. This says to the search engines that your business is real.
In the search engine world, Google is the 100lb gorilla! They rule the world, although the other search engines do have some influence too. So it’s best to keep Google happy and they like you to be real. Doing citations is very tedious so I recommend you pay someone a couple of hundred pounds to work through them on your behalf.
As well as citations, you need a Facebook page, which is simplicity itself to set up if you are already on Facebook. Simply add a business page and add your details. Then you can post a couple of times a week and engage with your potential customers. You can see the Facebook page for the carpet cleaners at facebook.com/alphahorshamcarpetcleaners
The reason it’s called “Alpha Horsham Carpet Cleaners” is because there was already a company called Horsham Carpet Cleaners, although this is now defunct. Sometimes one has to be inventive.
After Facebook, there are other social sites you can set up, such as Google My Business, Twitter etc.
You may not be aware of Google My Business but it’s an important one because it gives access to the Maps that show up when you do a search for a local business. You need to get your entry verified by mail. Google sends a postcard with a code that you enter to confirm that you actually trade at that address. As I said, Google wants to know that you’re a genuine business.
We haven’t yet set up a Twitter account for Horsham Carpet Cleaners, but it’s something we may tackle in the future.
As well as online marketing, of course, you also need to do the usual networking round to ensure your business is known in the area. Get to know people, give our your business cards – and ensure they have your website prominently featured. Everyone goes straight online to look at your “brochure” so it’s important that it really showcases your business and doesn’t let you down.
Next time we’ll continue the case study by having a look at how the website is put together and the information it contains.