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Three Essential Things Every Local Business Needs Online

12 September, 2022
9 min
Three Essential Things Every Local Business Needs Online

The world wide web can be a web of confusion if you don’t know where to start. Yes, there are bountiful tools available to bolster your businesses online and cleverly convert clicks into footfall, warm leads and ultimately profitable sales. But before you get down to the niche requirements of your specific business, there are some basic actions that every business needs if they want to be seen online. In this article the Blue Llama team share the first three on your hit-list: 

1) A Brilliantly Simple Website

It’s no secret that these days the first place someone will look for products, services, support, contact details, expert advice etc is…online. 

But when someone types into Google key search terms, for example, “top gym near me” or “local family law firm in Jersey” you want your business to instantly present itself front and centre. It needs to look beautiful, be easy to navigate and ready to convert visitors into leads or direct sales. The best and most effective tool for doing this is your website! 

Your website is your digital shop window (or possibly your business premises in their entirety) and enables you to control the experience of your potential customer from start to finish with consistency and precision. 

But sometimes the idea of business being online can lead to business owners overloading their site with information that just isn’t needed. This can make a site slow to load, hard to navigate and generally overwhelming for your target audience to process, making them unsure what to do and click happy. 

The secret to a brilliant site is to be brilliantly simple. Keep your audience in mind, showcase your expertise and products/services whilst providing a clear call to action which feels safe and secure. Contact details must be easy to find and you may wish to enhance your site with tactical SEO tools that help you rank in Google searches, but we’ll come onto that next…

2) Google My Business

When it comes to online marketing, you need to keep Google on your side. The company’s entire purpose is to help your audience find you. Everything it is set up to do is about sending business your way.

First off, Google My Business acts as a directory, making your business’s profile easily accessible for anyone looking directly for your company or generally searching for businesses that work in the same sector as yours. By setting up a business profile you can use this platform to amplify traffic to your site (or physical premises). It includes links to your website, your products and services, opening hours, physical location, and importantly reviews from customers and clients. This endorsement does wonders for instilling trust in your business and your find-ability online. 

Google also comes with a whole suite of promotional tools to boost your business, including digital advertising (Google Ads) linked to key search terms and visual digital advertising on third party websites or its own Youtube platform. 

3) Social Media 

Now let’s be honest, not every business is social – we get it. But your customers and your team are. The role of social media has changed pretty dramatically over recent years with our key players carving out niche roles and strengths within their field which can really benefit both business and individuals. 

Where Facebook is brilliant for community engagement, events and interest groups, LinkedIn is more geared to B2B and individuals in a professional capacity. Instagram is great for showcasing your products with creative content that can be enjoyed during down-time whilst Twitter is short-form, factual and very much in real-time. The power of TikTok and its emphasis on the User paves the way for micro and macro influencers on a global scale with an increased likelihood of going viral. So, all platforms now clearly have their own strengths and vision. But which is right for you?

In any case, all Social Media platforms play a key role in SEO and can be amongst the first places someone will look for a specific business, especially when B2C. It also offers a valuable opportunity to engage and build relationships and positive endorsements with your client-base. At the end of the day, social media is built to be social. If you use it properly, utilising the tools developed for both you and your audience to interact and engage with each other, you are setting yourself up for success. 

That said, your business doesn’t need to be on all of these social platforms and if you really know your target audience well, you probably shouldn’t be. Focus simply on the platforms geared up for your people, bolster them with value and ensure clear call to actions that drive traffic to your site. 

Extra Tip: Using hashtags when posting on social media is an important means of increasing your visibility. Researching the key hashtags for your target audience and industry is a key component of any social media strategy. But in Jersey, quality is better than quantity, make sure you include locally relevant top hashtags such as #Jersey #JerseyCI #VisitJersey #IslandLife and all of your parish hashtags to be seen on a local level. 

There are so many more tools and tactics that can boost your digital presence and increase your business online. If you would like help tapping into your digital potential, get in touch with the Blue Llama team.

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Phil de Gruchy

Phil is the owner of Blue Llama, a digital agency in Jersey, Channel Islands. He has worked in digital for most of his career and has a wide knowledge of UX, web and app design and digital marketing.