In an interactive world led by Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs, maintaining a strong web presence can seem overwhelming. Unlike the old days of telephone listings and newspaper ads, more and more people are online using search engines, social media, and valuable content when it comes to choosing local businesses. If you're tired of watching your competition flourish, and you're ready for a major boost in business, check out these three tips for starting or improving your company's website.

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    Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    Search Engine Optimization is the process of increasing the visibility of your website through natural search results. Unlike the myth that that sites must be "submitted" in order to appear on major search engines like Google, there are three fundamental ways to properly optimize your website. By providing updated content relevant to your business, using commonly searched terms, and offering links to both your website and applicable external websites, the more frequently your site will show up in search results - thus increasing your traffic.

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    Attracting your customers with valuable, compelling content is a perfect way to indirectly promote your brand while illustrating your expertise. When done properly, you build a relationship with your prospects and you become an “expert” who they can rely on in the future for advice, services, or products. If you capture their attention with beneficial information, your audience will be engaged and therefore they will increase the amount of time they are spending with your site. For example, a hair salon could offer frequent beauty tips and updated style guides while a bike shop may provide detailed information about local bike routes.
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    Social Media

    Developing a strong presence on the various Social Media platforms is crucial for businesses. Many consumers turn to social networks such as Facebook and twitter first when searching for local businesses. Thus, it is key to provide updated, relevant, and resourceful information about your business on the appropriate social networks. In 2012, using your Social Media pages to deliver your website's content and interact with your prospects is just as important as face-to-face interaction with your customers.

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