The sheer number of online marketing tools can be mindboggling. There are at least five apps, a website and too many digital tools to account for every marketing tactic. But some of the best tools to improve your digital footprint are right in front of you—and they are free.
Google My Business
Have you noticed the outlined box on the right side of your Google search? That is Google My Business and the box is called a “knowledge box.” GMB is a free tool that helps businesses manage their online presence and appearance. At a minimum GMB contains important basic information about your businesses, such as phone number, website and location. What most businesses don’t realize it that GMB can act more like a swiss army knife, than a business listing, with many free custom options. For example, GMB has an option to add reviews collected from other websites, respond to customer reviews, add posts, social media news feeds and event listings – all queued up to make a great first impression.
Facebook has evolved to be more than vacation and family posts. At least 50 percent of consumers report that they had used Facebook to recommend or review a local business to others within the previous 12 months. Facebook’s accessibility and reach makes it easy to find – and win- new customers. A single Facebook review is automatically shared with all of the user’s connections. If one of their connections likes, comments, or even better shares, than you have easily doubled the number of people who have seen the review. And remember GMB’s features? There is an option to include reviews from Facebook so people can see what others are saying about your business without leaving their search.
You can turn on Facebook reviews in in the settings of your Facebook Business Page.
Online reviews can be intimidating, particularly when you can’t respond before the post is public. Don’t let that keep you from using this valuable tool. Ninety percent of people say that the online reviews they read influence their decisions. One way to keep negative reviews from dominating the review box is by asking your customers to leave a review. Your business may have many satisfied customers who have never left a review. Why? Because they haven’t been asked. Most customers said they would provide an online review if they were asked and could do so easily.
While Google and Facebook are the top sites for reviews, be sure and check for industry-specific review options. For example, GMB includes Healthgrades reviews for medical businesses.
The success of your digital footprint is determined in 30 seconds, the time it takes to search and peruse search results. Don’t leave the impression of your company to chance. A robust knowledge box can drive as much as 7 times more traffic to your website. Take time to review your digital presence and take advantage of the free tools at your fingertips. If you would like help with a digital assessment, or to improve your digital footprint contact us.