The Small Business Guide to Building Your Reputation Online

Small businesses can maximize their potential by building a solid reputation, both online and in the real world. Developing a strong online profile is essential for all areas of business, as customers and potential customers expect businesses to have an online and social media presence. If you want to grow your business and reach your target audience, there are a few rules to follow when building your reputation online.

 

Create a User-Friendly Website

Regardless of the type of business you run, a well-designed website is essential for reaching your intended audience. Most consumers judge businesses and their products on the quality of their website. Cluttered, clunky and poorly designed websites that are difficult to navigate convey an unprofessional image to visitors. Make it easy for visitors to find what they need. If your website is complex, separate your web pages or blog posts into categories and provide a site map to aid navigation. In addition, make sure that your site can be viewed on a variety of devices, including e-readers, tablets and smartphones.

 

Choose the Right Social Media Platforms

A social media presence is crucial for all businesses, but it can be difficult to maintain an active presence on multiple social media platforms. Unless you have a dedicated social media team that can spend all their time maintaining your profiles, you need to choose the most effective platforms to focus on. Choosing the best platforms will depend on your intended audience and the type of business you are running. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are popular social media sites for businesses, but other platforms, such as YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest, may be more appropriate for your target audience.

 

Build a Recognizable Brand

Building a recognizable brand is an important task that requires synchronization across all of your business communications and online profiles. Profile titles, taglines, slogans and visual elements, such as your logo and the colour scheme of your website, need to be the same across all of your websites, blogs, social media accounts and email communications, as this will help to foster a sense of familiarity. Once your audience becomes familiar with your brand, it's much easier to gain their trust and encourage repeated custom. Headed notepaper should also show your logo and fit with the style of your online communications.

 

Link Your Activities

Linking your social media accounts, blogs, websites and other online activities together increases connectivity and enables you to reach a wider audience. Allowing website visitors to follow your social media accounts directly from your site is a great way to boost your audience. Similarly, providing links to your websites and blogs on your social media profiles increases traffic to your sites and can bring in new customers.

 

Building a good reputation online will take some time, especially if you are starting a new business, as there will be thousands of other businesses competing for the attention of your intended audience. Your website, social media profiles and brand are the most important elements in building your reputation and linking your online activities together can boost your marketing efforts even more.