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5 Practical Tips to Compete Online

 

reposted from Australian Small Business Commissioner Blog 06 July 2015

Guest post by Luke Imbong, Inspire Education

 

Standing out online can be challenging for small businesses. If you’re thinking of starting your own business (or already have), then you’re probably wondering about this, right?

In today's internet age, your website needs to be easy for search engines to find or you risk missing out on customers and therefore sales. The problem is your competitors are probably doing the same thing. So, how can you standout?

Below are 5 practical tips we’ve learned that may help you get started.

1. Help search engines find you

Search engines work out what’s on web pages by looking at lots of different factors. Improve your visibility by using:

  • Exciting and accurate page titles
  • Keywords in your page title, text and URL
  • Written alternate text to describe the content of images
  • Pages that are indexed and crawlable

2. Answer questions

Do you get asked questions about your products or services?

  • Answer questions on your website.
  • Answering FAQs, explaining concepts and exploring ideas can be valuable to your customers.
  • It can also help improve your SEO (search engine optimisation).

3. Reach out to local businesses

Finding other local websites that will link to yours will improve your local search ranking when people look for products.

Think about:

  • Other small businesses in your local area
  • Related products or services
  • What can you do for the other business

4. Register on relevant directories

Make your business easier to find by signing up for relevant online directories. DO NOT overdo this by joining every directory as it can have the opposite effect. Instead, choose directories that:

  • Are genuinely helpful to users
  • Don’t look spammy
  • Are specific to your location or industry

5. Be personal (and professional) on social media

Adding a personal touch to Facebook and Twitter posts helps your business be more memorable. Take advantage of your relationship with local customers by posting about local events, places and people.

Most Facebook messages go unanswered. Check your page every day and respond to any customer questions promptly.