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Image problem? Five things to improve your business’ online presence

Image Problem? Improve your online presence

We’ve been in business for almost 20 years. Over that time, we’ve built up a (thankfully!) short list of little niggles that we see regularly. And although we really are not the boasting sort, these bugbears are easily solved and will result in a better online presence for your business. 

Rather than rant on about stuff we don’t like (never a good look), we’re going to give you the heads up so you don’t fall into the same trap. So, let’s cut to the chase: here are our top 5 business image irks and the things that you can do to solve them. They’ll help you maintain a professional business front, enhance your external image and improve your chances of business success.

Show that you mean business.

Having an email address that incorporates your domain name is a great start. We hate to see johnsplumbers@gmail.com when john@johnsplumbers.com is cheap and simple to achieve. Piggybacking off Google or Microsoft by using a Gmail or Hotmail email account doesn’t look professional, nor does it instil confidence in your prospects or clients. You want to show the world you mean business and that you can afford its domain name. Yes, it’ll cost you, but not too much, and the amount you’ll gain in trust and confidence from your clients and prospects will be well worth the investment.

Get busy with Google My Business.

Google My Business is a free way to improve the visibility of your company. Rather than solely relying on your website, you can give your business an additional home on Google that conveys essential information quickly. It’s another channel of communication that’s swift to access and easy to digest. 

Even though you might not recognise the name, you’ll know a My Business Profile when you see one. With an account, you can let clients know where you are, give them a link to your website and telephone number, keep them up to date with business changes like opening times, and you can respond to reviews. You have to confirm that you have a legitimate claim over your business, but once you’ve done that, you’re off. To find out more, visit the Google Business website.

We’re all told, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”. Perhaps not, but a Google My Business Profile is free, it streamlines the most relevant information, and your online presence will certainly benefit as a result.

Be security conscious. Get an SSL certificate.

The acronym SSL means “Secure Sockets Layer”. Thankfully, you don’t need to know the nitty-gritty to understand that an SSL certificate is pretty important. Especially if you are processing your clients’ information. 

An SSL certificate is evidence of a secure site that has end to end encryption. It’s the difference between “http://” and “https://” in a web address, the additional “s” meaning “secure”. There are different types of SSL, but regardless of which you have, its function is to protect your clients’ data from being swiped. Having an SSL certificate will engender trust in your prospects, who will feel far more comfortable leaving their personal details.

We’re on a different mission here, so we can’t delve too deep, but check out this website if you want to know the details.

Stay true to your brand.

You can see your branding in two ways: from your own perspective — as the business owner, from the inside — or you can see it from your client’s viewpoint. 

Consistency is King. Mastering your online presence.

The first way is easy. You know who you are, what you do, and what your brand stands for. But what about the second? How do your prospects and clients see you? Their perspective is entirely different from yours: they see you from the outside. Do you know what they see? How can you be sure that what they see is good?

 

Seriously considering your branding and being consistent in how you express it is vital. To have the biggest impact, ensure your brand is true to form and well-communicated over all your media outlets. This includes your website, social media platforms, the emails you send, and any reviews you respond to. If you don’t, you’ll confuse your prospects, and they won’t know what to think of you. Make sure you know your brand inside out and how you want to portray it. Run with it, and don’t deviate.

“Use your voice wisely”, said the wise old owl.

Ok, this one really gets us. We could write a whole blog just on this single point (and maybe we will one day!), but for now, we’ll just say that professionalism is key. The way you speak (or write) to your prospects and customers should always be with the voice of your brand. 

You might have based your brand heavily on you as a person, but there is a subtle yet distinct difference between the two. Whether via email, social or another outlet, don’t forget that you’re representing your business and brand. Don’t get too personal or express any sentiments that your brand, if it could talk, wouldn’t. Being unprofessional will only chase prospects away.

Wrapping it up.

These five tips aren’t expensive or difficult to put in place: some are free, some cost a little, and some require a bit of thought. But at the end of the day, your client’s perspective is what matters — they’re the ones with the money to pay you for your services, and if they’re not convinced, they won’t part with a penny.  

We think these points are well worth the small expense, the time and the effort of thought. Hey! You might even enjoy consolidating what you have already built up, and it’ll get your creative juices flowing! And we’re all about creativity!

We hope you’ve found this blog helpful. If you’d like to know more about any — or all — of the points above, drop us a line; we’d love to hear from you! You can even reach us through our Google My Business page… So that you know, we do practise what we preach!

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