As economists point to rising inflation and reduced consumer spending, you may consider investing in advertising to ensure your small business remains top of mind for new and existing customers. Maureen Ezekwugo, CEO of Oggvo, is dedicated to sharing with small business owners how a little time and attention spent on your digital footprint can save ad dollars while ensuring you stand out during challenging times.
Understanding the Silent Step
Small businesses are the heart and soul of our communities, and we’ve likely all seen firsthand how important it is for SMBs to build a solid online presence. One of the best ways to do that is by generating a steady flow of consumer reviews.
In today’s world, an estimated 88% of people read reviews to determine the quality of a local business. At Oggvo, we refer to this as the “silent step,” as consumers increasingly rely on the opinions and experiences of others. The silent step also means it’s more important than ever for your business to rank higher in search results.
Claim and Optimize Your Profiles
Another great way to improve your online presence and get discovered by potential customers is to claim your Google Business Page and other profiles on popular sites where your customers may be searching, like Facebook and Yelp. Once you’ve claimed your profiles, you can make them stand out by optimizing them with keywords, photos, and videos. Regularly updating your details and sharing special offers is a great way to keep your customers engaged and interested.
And here’s a little secret: search engines love when businesses have claimed profiles on popular sites like these. That’s because these sites provide valuable information about your business, like customer reviews, that can help boost your relevance in search results.
Simplify the Process for Getting Customer Reviews
Reviews help potential customers build trust and confidence in your business during the silent step and send a powerful signal to search engines that your business is top-notch and deserves to rank higher in search results.
If you’re struggling to get those reviews rolling in, don’t worry! One great way to encourage customers to leave reviews is by implementing a simple and easy process that makes it a breeze for them to do so. We recommend setting up a funnel page that guides customers through the process and makes it super quick and easy for them to leave a review in just a few clicks. A funnel page is simply a separate web page that helps guide someone through a series of steps to achieve the goal intended, such as leaving a customer review.
Search engines like Google use various factors to determine your business’s relevance and value for its search results. One of these is how much people are interacting with your digital footprint. Interactions can include click rates to your website, comments, and time spent reading your content. Ensuring your profiles have interactive content doesn’t have to be time-consuming. I recommend you make a habit of taking a few minutes each day to interact with your customers and potential customers online. Sharing reviews to your other profiles and responding to reviews is doubly impactful, as it shows your followers and potential customers that you appreciate their feedback.
Tap into Tools
Many small business owners struggle with how they can expand their digital footprint while also running their business–and I know how challenging it is to feel like you have to do it all yourself. One way to streamline the process is by trying software tools to help automate processes that can help you drive interactions, increase reviews, and, in turn, influence your search engine rankings.
Social media management tools such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social can help you manage your social accounts, including scheduling posts. Services like Oggvo help you ensure your reviews are easily converted into powerful testimonials, and we even offer personalized account management support to help you strategically prioritize the tactics that will have the most impact.
By focusing on expanding your digital footprint with optimized profiles, reviews, and increased interactions, you can stand out against local competitors and attract new customers without spending money on ads. With a consistent approach to your online presence, you can help your business not only survive–but thrive in 2023 and beyond.
About the Author
Maureen Ezekwugo is the Chief Executive Officer of Oggvo, a technology company that is on a mission to help level the playing field between small businesses and big companies that have access to more resources for brand awareness and growth. Maureen is obsessed with helping businesses thrive online with products that transform how they market themselves and connect with today’s modern online consumer.