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5 things SMBs must resolve to do in 2013

December 27th, 2012

While SMB DigitalScape findings make it clear that local providers in the US (and other places) are not leveraging the web, here’s what they must do to come up to speed in the coming year:

1. Step up mobile presence

Get a website that is optimized for hand-held devices, as people are increasingly using them to browse and shop.

2. Step up local presence

Localize the pages of the website, specifically the Home page, so that the business can be found via local searches which are on the rise.   Include local phone, local address, location map and directions.  Step up presence in local directories like Yellow Pages, Yahoo Local, Bing Local, and Google Places.

3. Step up social presence

Promote user engagement where users are.  Nowadays they are on social networks and that’s where they will increasingly be.  Include social media widgets and links on the Home page; get a blog and social media pages on major social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Flickr)

4. Befriend search engines and step up SEO

Resolve canonicalization issues and make sure the site is indexed on major search engines; knock off frames that hinder them; guide them by including an XML sitemap and robots file; use microformats to leverage Google’s rich snippets. Optimize meta-title, keywords, meta-description, include alt-tags, and don’t use multiple H1 tags.   Enhance Google page-rank by increasing back- links to the website that can be accomplished via article submission and social book-marking.  Also include a privacy policy statement, so the business can run a Google AdWords campaign if need be.

5. Step up user engagement

Include a gallery and embed a video to showcase the work.  Include a toll-free number and also a spam-proof contact form to encourage user feedback.  Also leverage social media effectively to promote user engagement.

With that said, if small businesses don’t have a website, they must get a robust one that follows standards and best practices.  If they already have a website but a deficient one, it is easier to tack together a brand new website than trying to figure out how to fix the existing one.  The inadequacies with SMB online presence identified by SMB DigitalScape sum up to a market opportunity worth $19B for US small business providers and a phenomenally bigger opportunity world-wide.  Small business providers can use strategically packaged offerings to help SMBs step up their online presence and performance.


vSplash Team

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