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      2. 03 Nov 19 Online Presence, Web Presence, Google My Business

        How to Increase Web Presence for Free

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        How do people discover your local business? Is it through word of mouth, ads, and/or road signage? If so, you're not alone.

        Many small business owners use paid methods and referrals to earn their business. The only problem is this can stunt your company's growth.

        How do you growth hack road signage and word of mouth? It's impossible to scale this way, which is why having an online web presence is critical. Not only does it give you more control over your visibility, it also builds brand awareness faster.

        Let's take a look at why you need to increase web presence for your business today.

        Why Increase Web Presence for Your Business?

        People are using the internet to find products, services, and information. It's become the norm to conduct searches on Google (and Google Maps) when looking for a local business.

        Whatever shows up at the top is likely to get the majority of the clicks. This includes Google 3-pack business listings and links to websites.

        Just to note, around 84% of consumers think small businesses are more credible when they have a website. Yet, a whopping 60% of businesses do NOT have a website.

        An estimated 46% of small businesses with no web presence whatsoever (not even on social media).

        And guess what else—55% of people search for online reviews and recommendations before making a purchase. About 26% of those people will end up at a physical store afterwards.

        The lesson here: You need a website that prospects can visit. And you need to have at least a Google My Business page so you can be found (along with your reviews).

        Let's take a closer look at what businesses can do to increase web presence for free.

        Use Local Keywords to Increase Web Presence

        Once your site is up and running, you'll need to focus on your content. This includes what's written on the home page, about us page, service pages, and blog (if you have one).

        You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner (for free) to find low-competition local keywords. Insert these keywords in your titles (H1s), subheadings (H2s), as well as throughout the content.

        Local keywords are search terms relating to your business and city you service. For instance, "tooth fillings in Pasadena."

        If you have a blog, make sure to update the content regularly with fresh and engaging content. The more unique content you have, the more you'll increase web presence for your site.

        Write Guest Posts to Increase Web Presence

        One issue business owners have with online marketing is that it can take a while to increase your ranking in search engines. This is true when you're using purely organic SEO.

        And this is also what makes guest writing an exceptional way to increase web presence faster. Now, this is only possible when you write for sites with high-authority (a.k.a., ranking on the first page and having a high domain authority).

        It's also critical for the site to be related to your niche. If you're a restaurant, then find foodie sites to submit your blog post to.

        The owner of the site will allow you to include a bio with a link back to your business site. This will potentially drive some of their traffic to your website.

        Claim Your Business Listings On All Directories

        Or as many as you can. The more business directories you're listed on, the easier it'll be to increase web presence for your site. It'll also improve the odds of prospects finding you during their search.

        There are over 70 directories you can add your citations to, including Google My Business, Yahoo Local, and Yelp. Although this may take some footwork (or fingerwork, to be exact), but it's well worth it.

        Of course, there are other options you can use to speed up the process. For instance, GoSite's placement tool allows you to quickly add and manage your listings across all business directories (via a single dashboard).

        Create an Infographic (and Hope it Goes Viral)

        Social media continues to be a thriving platform for local businesses. But getting seen through all the noise can be tough.

        One way businesses are beating the odds is by creating visual content. Infographics feed into the desire of today's consumers. They're constantly viewing images.

        If you can create a visual piece with interesting or helpful information, then you can capture the attention of prospects (and increase web presence for your brand). And they'll be inclined to share it with others they know on social media.

        Host or Make a Guest Appearance On a Podcast

        Podcasting is big business, especially for advertisers. People are consuming hours of podcasts each week, making it the ideal platform for companies to increase web presence and reach their target audiences.

        If you decide to be a guest, then look for one your customers are likely to listen to. It doesn't cost anything to be a guest (unless you're promoting a new product or service, or targeting high-traffic podcasts).

        The other option is to host your own podcast to grow your audience. This can work if you have a lot of potential content to share that your prospects will enjoy. Otherwise, your voice will be streaming to nothing but virtual crickets.

        Setting up for a podcast is cheap—you can get a good mic, pop filter, and desk stand for a couple hundred dollars. From there, you don't have any fees, especially if you're uploading them to your own website, YouTube, or other free platforms.

        Increase Web Presence for Your Business for Cheap

        Having a presence on the web is an excellent way to advertise your business for free (and for the long-term). Once you get your content optimized, published, and ranked, it'll continue working for you for years.

        But having your listing on directories like Google My Business takes the cake. This is how most consumers find local businesses to shop with. And they like to read the reviews, which can help them decide whether or not to choose your company.

        Plus, once you claim your business, it's ranked fairly quickly.

        GoSite is the tool many local businesses are using to manage their listings and reviews all in one place.

        Learn how you can use it to maximize your local search results in our free SEO guide!

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