Small Business Marketing: The Business of Being Found

We frequently speak with our clients about the big ways to help customers find them: paid advertising, digital marketing, print and direct mail, and participating in events. There are several little ways that you can market your business and make sure that you get found when people come looking for a business like yours. They probably won’t drive thousands of customers to your door, but they are easy, basically free, and often considered a standard best practice that you should follow.

Here are some free and low-cost ways to make sure people can find your business:

Optimize Social Media

Facebook pages show up in searches. Searching for a business or organization through Facebook is something people frequently do. I was looking for a restaurant the other day and wanted to know their hours, address, and what’s on their menu. A quick search revealed they didn’t have a website, but they did have a Facebook page which showed up in the top three entries of my Google search. On the page, they included their location, hours, and menu. Having a website is still important, but this is an example of a free way that you can make your information easy to find for customers. Even if you hardly ever post to social media, having a page up with updated information can be a good way to be sure customers find you.

Set Up Your Google Business Listing

Google is still the king of web searches. Love them or hate them, you need to be there. Google Places for Business is a way to get listed in Google for free. Make sure your customers have accurate information for where you’re located and when you’re open, if nothing else. If you’re really interested in optimizing your digital presence, you’ll watch this page for reviews, and respond to them all. Either way, you want to have this listing claimed so that your information is accurate.

Use Your Email Signature

One time, I was out visiting local small businesses and I had forgotten to jot down their address. I figured I could just use my phone to Google the name of the business and find their website and address. They didn’t have a website. Then I thought I’d search in Facebook and find their Facebook page. They didn’t have a Facebook page. Finally, I logged into my email and sought the address or phone number that I was sure would be listed in their email signature. Was it there? No. This is not ideal. People should be able to find your information in this common spot.

Don’t Hide!

Are you hiding from people who are trying to find you? Putting your information in some of these seemingly small places may have a big effect. You never know how people are going to find you! Do everything you can to put your details in the right places.

Ask some customers how they heard of you. Ask your friends to take a minute to search for your business and see if it appears. Google the name of your business, and search the category of your business. See if you appear for something general that people would search if they wanted to your product or service. If you’re not showing up, take these suggestions to heart. Start looking into Search Engine Optimization, too. Don’t be afraid of the term—it just means finding ways to get your business connected to more places and using strategic keywords so that you show up in searches.

You can’t afford to hide from your customers. You never know what seemingly minor marketing is going to change the future of your business.