Running a small business is like playing chess while driving and reading a newspaper at the same time. The business world moves quickly. It is ever-changing. As a small businesses owner you must adjust quickly and strategically to those changes. While you’re at it, try to soak up as much industry news and information as you can before walking in to another meeting.

With so many things going on just to keep the business running, many small businesses neglect one of the most important pieces of their brand and their business—their online presence.

The bad news is that a company’s online presence is even more important than ever in 2014. The good news is that it’s easier than ever to strengthen that presence.

Here are seven easy tips to cranking up your small businesses online presence.

Define your most important goal

Okay, so you’ve got a website. That’s a great start! But what is the goal of your website? Is it to sell product? To raise brand awareness?

A website can do many things for you, but which one is most important? Emphasise that goal wherever possible.

Keep it Simple

This applies to the design of your website. Yes, you can do almost anything under the sun; but just because you can does not mean you should. Sit down with your team and ask yourselves how to easily convey your most important goal. Don’t add gratuities bells and whistles just because you can. Be concise!

After all, that’s the objective of your site.

Generate content

Content can bring people to your company. See? It’s doing that for us right now. No matter what industry you are in, there’s a fair chance that your end-user could benefit from inside information. That doesn’t mean you need to go start an industry-wide newsletter (although you could), but it does mean publishing content about that industry will give people a reason to visit your website and an opportunity to get to know your team.

Business websites built on the popular WordPress blogging platform are soaring in popularity, WordPress powers over 22% of the worlds websites; and combining a blog with a eNewsletter service such as MailChimp or Constant Contact is a powerful way to generate return traffic to your site.

Be an informer

That sounds complicated but it’s really not. Your basic business information (phone number, address, website, etc.) should be uniform across search engine platforms, review sites and other business listings.

Take advantage of tools like Google+ Business to make sure your business listing information is correct.

Keep tabs on your digital brand

Use Google Alerts to keep your staff in-the-know when people start talking about your brand online. Remember, good customers like to be rewarded. And your most critical customers are your biggest learning tools. Google Alerts can send you an email whenever your company starts making headlines.

It goes without saying that you should always be professional when responding to reviews and comments.

Stay social

This should be a no-brainer in today’s world, but it needs to be said: take advantage of social networks to get your name out there. You don’t have to spend a huge amount on social advertising, but you will need to spend some.

While you’re at it, make sure your icons, profile pictures and imagery are well-presented and a perfect reflection of your brand.

Know when to hire a pro

Let’s face it—sometimes you simply don’t have enough time in the day to do everything. Most small businesses rely on employees to fill several key roles, but a strong online presence can eventually snowball into its own full-time role. When you reach that point, it’s time to hire a pro.

Bloggers, designers and social media professionals abound in today’s job market, and many of them offer very reasonable rates. Feel free to get in touch to discover more about the range of services we offer and how we can assist you in achieving online success.