Nearly 8 in 10 Americans can be classified as “online shoppers.” This means that 79% of American shoppers use the internet to find, research, and ultimately commit to buying a product or service all from some sort of device – a phone, tablet, or sometimes “home assistants.”

With such a large group of consumers (and potential customers) existing and connecting with businesses, it becomes vital for your business to be visible to consumers searching for your services, and reflective of what you have to offer.

Aside from providing a useful and valuable product or service, be sure to check off the following to ensure that potential customers can actually find your business.

Business Website

The best place to share the identity of your business is with an owned website. This is an area of the internet that you can control the most, using the language, terminology, and personality that best represents the products and/or services that you offer to the public. This is also where you can use images of your own (or legally-obtained stock images) to visually convey who you are and what your business can do for others.

While building and maintaining a website is challenging for most who did not go to school for such a thing, the task is made simpler when you remember that the internet is a world filled with resources. With a few searches, you can find professional web designers and builders at varying price points that can help give your business the online look it needs—or, you can find and use one of several  “drag and drop” do-it-yourself sites that let you take full control. (There are even online classes and tutorials to show you how best to utilize these self-building platforms!)

Appropriate URL

A part of having your own website is buying and promoting the Universal Resource Locator (commonly abbreviated as “URL”) of that site. The most important step in buying a website domain is choosing one that accurately and succinctly represents your business. For example, if you own a construction company that specializes in building homes company called “Dan’s Construction,” you’d want your website domain to include your name, and what you offer. “Dans.com” would not be the best choice as it does not give the consumer enough information about what they are about to search. Instead, opt for a domain along the lines of “Danbuilds.com,” or “Danshomes.com.”

Note: With common names and/or phrases, there may be a chance that the URL you want is already being used. (You can check this simply by trying to visit that particular URL in any browser.) If this happens to be the case, consider using a domain extension other than “.com.” If the construction firm owner in the previous example would run into this problem, he may decide to go with a domain like “danbuilds.homes,” or “danshomes.build.”

Optimized Website

Website optimization can be tough even for professional marketers. Essentially what optimization entails is allowing your website to be searchable—ensuring that the necessary keywords and phrases are embedded in your website and online advertising to make your business visible to consumers searching for what you’re selling. Without the proper training and education, optimizing your business online can be tough. Thankfully, there are thousands of marketers with this experience and understanding of its importance that are looking to work with small businesses.

Consistent social media

If your business is more modern and appealing to a younger audience, odds are that you have decided to tackle social media. One of the easiest ways for your business to be found on the various social media platforms is to secure the same social media handle. When a customer commits to following you across social media platforms, you want to make the process simple. Consider having “@danbuilds” has your social handle for all social accounts like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, instead of a different username for each platform.

 

From small local businesses to national franchises, you don’t want to miss out on losing customers simply because they do not know you exist. Going through and fine-tuning your business’s online identity is only the foundation of having a searchable (and findable!) name. Building an online identity may seem daunting at first—however, using the four steps in this list as a guide will set you on your way.