Google coach on how to make a firm fly online

Google's Digital Garage in Sheffield. Amy Coghlan of Attercliffe-based Plastic Tokens
Google's Digital Garage in Sheffield. Amy Coghlan of Attercliffe-based Plastic Tokens

It’s not just big established businesses that can have a strong presence online. Here are ways in which you can be found more easily and attract new customers.

Make sure you are visible:

You don’t need to immediately invest in a website, although it is generally worth the effort. You can get your business online quickly by signing up for a free ‘Google my Business’ page which displays your location, opening hours and reviews.

Be ‘mobile ready’:

People in the UK spend two hours on their smartphones every day, twice as long as on laptops and PCs. Make sure your website is navigable on mobile and has a design that formats properly for a smaller screen. Make sure that phone numbers and emails are clickable - if it’s too hard to contact you most people will just try elsewhere!

Think about social:

Set up social media accounts and make sure to include a link to your website in the bio section. Here you can share information and offers with customers, speak directly to them and learn from their feedback. But use it responsibly – it’s another shop front for your business.

Be visual!

It’s so much easier to understand what a product or service is like when there is a picture alongside. Make sure you invest in good photography and think about how videos could work so that potential customers can visualise their purchase first.

Measure your progress:

It’s important to measure what is and what isn’t working by learning how to understand the analytics of any software you are using. Yorkshire-based Jonathan Blackburn used Google Adwords to advertise his company ‘The Houseman’. However, he found he was receiving a lot of irrelevant enquiries and it was only when he learnt how to understand and use the analytics that he could tweak the process and target the right audiences.

Visit Google’s Digital Garage on Barker’s Pool in Sheffield city centre for free digital training or visit g.co/digitalgarage

Read more

Google Garage is helping to bridge the digital divide