Digital marketing is the promotion of your business, products or services using digital technologies or any type of digital medium. If you’re a business owner and you’re not investing some time into digital marketing, you’re missing out on an easy way to find new customers and bring existing customers back in.
Time is a key word there. Many of the basic digital marketing techniques, and basic digital marketing can be all you need to set yourself apart, are completely free. What you will need to invest is your time. It can seem like a lot of effort to put forth, but it’s worth it to help promote your business and legitimize yourself online.
So – maybe you’re already bought in on digital marketing and need no more convincing – but how can you tell if you’re doing it right?
Here are some ways to check:
Make sure you’re showing up in the digital phone book.
Placing a business listing in a printed phone book used to be the way to go. I still remember checking the phone book to find pizza delivery options in my neighborhood with my mom when I was a kid. If they weren’t in there, they weren’t getting our business! While I’m sure there are some people out there still using the phone book (please comment below if you are), there are new listings you should secure for your business to be findable – and those listings are all online.
How to check if you’re doing it right: google your business name. Did you pop up? Can you easily find your phone number, hours of operation and address? If so, you’re on the right track.
Make sure it’s easy to find your location.
Taking the step to list your address online is important if you’re a brick and mortar business for obvious reasons. If people can’t find you, they can’t visit you! Add too many barriers for a potential new patron to visit you and they simply won’t.
How to check if you’re doing it right: first of all, your address should be easy to find. We covered that in the first section. Take it a step further by searching for your establishment by name on the most popular mapping app: Google Maps (with 154.4 million users according to Statista, it’s your best bet). See if you show up in the right place.
Make sure it’s easy to understand what your business does.
Not only is it important that potential patrons can get a feel for what your business does online, you should be findable by what your business does! Someone who doesn’t know about your business yet won’t be searching for your business name, they’ll be searching for what you provide. In our case, that’s ‘slot machines.’ In your case, it could be ‘slot machines’ as well, or maybe ‘pizza’, or ‘coffee’, or ‘gas.’ Or maybe it’s a combination of some of those things and a lot of other things!
How to check if you’re doing it right: we’ve already searched for your business name, now search for what your business offers and your general location. Try different combinations and different offerings (i.e. ‘coffee in Lemont Illinois’ or ‘café in Lemont Illinois’ to see how what shows up. This is also a great way to check out what your location is doing online!
If you’re concerned about any of the above results, there are a few tools we recommend using:
- For starters, the Yellow Pages is still a thing! Visit https://www.yellowpages.com/ and click the yellow button, “Get my free listing”, and then just follow the prompts. I don’t know many people who visit the Yellow Pages often, but all we’re looking for is listings allowing your business name and information to show up when you’re googled – and this will help with that.
- Yelp is another space where you can share your business information. We talk about getting started with Yelp in three easy steps here. Worried about dealing with online reviews? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered there too.
- Facebook is a powerful tool for business. The first step to taking advantage of all Facebook has to offer is to create a page for your business, which we cover here.
- Finally, a Google my Business account is key. This creates a general listing, but also puts your business on Google Maps. We cover the basics for starting a Google my Business account, as well as give helpful step by step instructions for setting up Yelp and Facebook here.
This is key: Make sure all of these platforms always have your accurate business name, hours, address AND descriptive words of what you do (i.e. coffee, slot machines, gas) to make sure you’re showing up when you should.
You never know where someone will be when looking for a new option for a convenience store, restaurant, bar or slot machines. They might be on their couch, walking down the street or even in the passenger seat of their friend’s car. One thing all of these made-up people have in common: they’re probably searching for you on their phone.
How to check if you’re doing it right: If you’ve done all of the above, listing your business on Facebook, Yelp, Google and more, not to worry! Those spaces all have mobile-friendly sites and apps to ensure mobile users are able to easily access their sites, and that includes your listing.
If you have a website, however, you should check out your site on mobile. That’s as easy as grabbing a smart phone and taking a look at your site. Test the navigation, get a feel for how it looks when you scroll. If any pages or parts have you squinting or ending up at dead ends, you have a problem you should address with your site master.