open for business updates
We won't send a ton of junk, just the good stuff.
Many years ago, in 1998, I started my own business. My mentor told me the most important thing I could do for my business was to purchase a Yellow Pages ad. If you start a business today, the advice I would give is the most important thing a business needs to do is build an online presence.
Shoppers search online before buying. This is true whether you’re talking about restaurant goers looking at the menu, consumers looking up reviews or customers just wanting to know the hours a store is open.
So, how does a small business owner build an online presence?
A great place to start is the “Get Your Business Online” website at gybo.com. At this site, you’ll learn how to get your business listed on Google Maps and how to enrich your listing and get statistics on how your listing is viewed and used.
Getting your business on a service like Google Maps is important, but how do you advertise your products to consumers in your town or across the country? One way is to advertise online.
Online advertising can often be intimidating to small business owners. However, once you get started, it’s not actually all that difficult to do and it can be incredibly effective and cost efficient. Using Google Adwords as an example, the basic idea is for you to get in front of customers at the moment they want to see an ad for your service or product.
When I was finishing my home theater, I searched for projection screens. On the Google search results page ads popped up for companies that sell projection screens. I actually appreciated seeing these ads and I bought a screen from one of the advertisers.
Compare this experience to when I see ads for hair care products on TV during a Huskers game. Look at my photo, I don’t need hair care products. When you get an ad in front of a customer at the right time, they can be impactful, even wanted by a customer instead of distracting and annoying.
Go to adwords.google.com and Google will show you how to get started with advertising online.
What about the now humble website? It’s still key to your online presence. Your customers will look to your website as the authoritative source of information. It’s important that your website can be found. Google Webmasters tools can tell you how Google search sees your website and helps you optimize it so it can be found. It can even alert you if your website gets hacked. Check it out at webmasters.google.com.
Everything I’ve mentioned, except advertising, is free. Even when advertising online with Google, you can set a strict budget so you don’t accidentally spend more than you wanted to. So, get online, experiment and have fun! Your business will thank you.
Chris is the Operations Manager for all of Google's Midwest data centers, including the Council Bluffs, Iowa, location. He has a degree in Computer Science and Business Management. He serves on the advisory board for UNO's college of IS&T and IWCC's Computer Science program, the Iowa Governor's Southwest STEM Advisory Board, as well as the Board of Directors for the Technology Association of Iowa.
New credit cards and technology affect businesses The instatement of Europay, Mastercard and Visa (EMV) cards officially launched in O..
The resource for building your online presence Many years ago, in 1998, I started my own business. My mentor told me the..
Moving cash to the Cloud The future is here… well, isn’t it always, if you consider where we’ve come from te..
It's... not legal. (Yet.) THE DRONE DEBATE Twenty years ago, if a farmer had to assess the damage to the crops from a recent hail..
Enhance your business with online services The internet gives us access to unlimited resources. This is good news for business professionals...
If you build it they may fund Crowdfunding has gained popularity in recent years, providing entrepreneurs the opportunity to have their p..
Why your business needs a website Your company needs a website. It's as simple as that. Well, not really. Not only should your busines..
Facebook algorithm affects fan page success rate Your Facebook Page isn't being seen by as many people as it used to. For the pas..
Manage consumption, bottom line Energy continually seeps from the walls and outlets of offices and homes. That’s money..
Cloud computing takes businesses to the next level Every cloud has a silver lining...or at least a vast amount of room to sto..
Implementing technology into marketing strategy QR (Quick Response) codes might seem like a new marketing tool, but they have actuall..
Smartphone apps increase efficiency (http://www.mint.com)Small business owners must wear several hats. In one day, tasks may range from be..