Building Your Facebook Page

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Before you create your Facebook page, you will want to have some basic information ready ahead of time.

WHO: Who is your ideal customer? Consider the age, gender, job, and income, as much as you can to identify your perfect client.

WHY: Why are you creating this page? (Not just because I told you to, I hope.) Are you hoping to find new leads and customers? Do you want to build a community and loyalty with your existing customers? The page can have more than one purpose, but one should be dominant.

WHAT: What do you want your fans to do at this page? Can they post messages to your wall? Pictures, video, and audio? Just play with some of the many apps available? You want to engage them in a community. I know you may be wary of giving up brand control, but your brand image has always been in the consumer’s hands, anyway. Create the best experience for your customers you can, and the rest will take care of itself.

NAME: What will be the name for your page? If you have an established business name, you will want that to be the name, of course. If you are an independent professional, such as a consultant, CPA, doctor or lawyer, use your own name for your page. It’s OK to have this even if (as you should) you already have a personal profile under the same name.

Have some pictures ready, at least a couple of profile pics. Make them as personal as you can. People connect with people, not corporations, so you will want a human face for your profile pic. You want it to be the face people associate with your business, whether that is the hostess at your restaurant or your delivery driver. Use you own face if appropriate. Don’t let ego get in your way, that’s what your personal profile is for.

To create your Facebook page, go to http://www.facebook.com/advertising/?pages. There you’ll start on the Overview tab. I highly suggest you download the Product Guide; it will answer a lot or questions you may have.

Click the large green “Create a Page” button to begin. Select the category for your business, and enter the name you chose for your page. You can select the “Do not make Page publicly visible at this time.” if you are worried about people seeing the page before it is ready. Not many people will see the page for the first few days anyway, so I never worry about it.

Click “Create Page” and you’re ready to begin the real work of customizing your page, driving traffic to it, and engaging your new fans.

Choosing Your Domain Names

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Yes, that’s domain names, plural. You want the domain name for your business, of course, www.yourcompanyname.com, and one or more names to drive visitors to your main site.

You really want the .com if you can get it. It is the de-facto standard, it is what people expect and will naturally type in from habit. This will probably be a bigger problem for sole proprietorships and other smaller businesses. If you are Joes Diner, I will bet dollars to donuts that someone already has joesdiner.com, joesdiner.net and joesdiner.biz. (I just checked, and they are indeed all taken :-p )You may have to get a little more creative, maybe add your city or state name to the URL: joesdinerkent.com or joesdinerohio.com.

Dr. Ralph F. Wilson, of Web Marketing Today suggests four important points in mind as you choose your main domain name:

  1. Short
  2. Easy to remember
  3. Related to your business name or core business
  4. hard to misspell

SHORT: This helps with so many things, savvy business are willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for good, short names. This especially helps with points 2 and 4.

EASY TO REMEMBER: Especially for a local business, people still tell their friends and associates about websites. You want them to be able to say “go to JoesDiner.com” and not “Joes SomethingOrOther, Google it and you should find it.” They’re likely to find your competitor instead.

RELATED TO YOUR BUSINESS NAME, OR CORE BUSINESS: This should be a no-brainer, but over and again we see names like AzureSkies.com for auto detailing businesses.

HARD TO MISSPELL: A lot of people are really poor spellers; even more are extremely poor typists. Put the two together and it’s a wonder anyone finds anything on the Internet.

Now you have your main business site up. That’s great, but it won’t find you many new customers. Maybe a few people will search for “diner in Kent” or “diner in Ohio,” but there likely won’t be many. You need a site optimized for the words people are searching for. How do you know what words people are using to search for the goods and services you provide? There are a lot of commercial tools available, but they all pretty much rely on Google’s keyword tools http://www.google.com/sktool/ and https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal and http://www.google.com/insights/search/#. These tools will tell you the actual words people are using to search. You want to choose the keyword phrases that get good traffic, with acceptable competition, so that you can rank well for these terms in organic search.

Choose one of these keyphrases and try to get a domain for it. “keyphrase.com” is best; get .net or .org if it is taken. If they are also taken, try a hyphen or two in the phrase, then a suffix if you need to.

So in order of preference you want:
keyphrase.com
keyphrase.net
keyphrase.org
key-phrase.com
key-phrase.net
key-phrase.org
keyphraseblog.com, keyphraseinfo.com, keyphrase1.com, etc. (don’t even bother with .net or .org if you have to go this deep.)

You use this site to build out a nice informational blog about your product or service that attracts buyers and sends them to your main site.

You may ask “That seems like extra work and complexity. Can’t I just put up a page on my site targeted to those phrases?”

Yes, you could optimize pages on your main site for the keywords, but a domain to that keyword always has the potential to be optimized better, and as soon as one of your competitors does this, he will eat your lunch.

Easy, Low Cost Things You Can Do For Your Small Business Online

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My thanks to Ed Dale for his wonderful YouTube video; I just want to flesh things out a bit for you, and put things in a slightly different order.

The first thing you can do to help your business is free, other than about 15 minutes of your time. Get it listed with Google Local. Google is the largest search engine in English-speaking countries, and feeds results to many smaller niche engines.

People often prefer to deal with a local company when possible, and online search is fast becoming the preferred method to finding businesses, rather than those old phone books. The internet is more up-to-date and complete, providing more information to them, at a lower cost to you. Everybody wins.

Google will often find your information from other sources, such as Localeze or InfoUSA, but don’t rely on these, as they may be incomplete or inaccurate.

Visit Google Local here: http://Google.com/local/add

In addition, Google checks authority sites like these for ranking purposes. If your information is consistent across these authority sites, your reputation is stronger and ranking is improved. So it makes sense to visit these sites to ensure your listings are up to date and complete.

If you are a member of your local Better Business Bureau, make sure that your listing there is complete: http://www.bbb.org

Some other Local Business Directories Authority sites to visit:

InfoUSA: http://www.license.infousa.com/UpdateListing.aspx

SuperPages.com: http://advertising.superpages.com/spportal/businessprofilebegin.do

Localeze.com: http://webapp.localeze.com/extranet/

Make certain all of your listings at these directories are correct and current. Next: Your Domain

from the Market Squirrel