Want to grow your small business? It’s time to get online. In today’s digital age, small and medium-sized business owners need to take advantage of digital real estate to be successful. The internet offers numerous solutions for small business owners, from cost-effective advertising to providing customer service online. If you want to take your digital presence to the next level, it’s time to build a functional, mobile-friendly website, optimize local search and directories, and maintain your reputation online.

A small business owner strategizes about how to reach more customers. He can do so by focusing on his digital presence.

Step 1: Make sure your website is responsive

60% of all internet access comes from mobile devices. That means if your website doesn’t look good on tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices, you could be missing out on valuable visitors and customers. Responsive design matters when it comes to search, too. Because search engines like Google use mobile-first indexing, foregoing responsive design can hurt your rankings and make your business less visible.

Building a website from scratch can be expensive, or time-consuming if you try to do it yourself. As a busy small business owner, a website builder that factors in responsive design may be the way to go. CenturyLink partners with Vivial to offer our small business internet customers smart solutions. You don’t have to know how to code—their team will help you build a professional website that is beautifully designed and easy to maintain. Vivial can customize your website for your brand, products and/or services, and business goals. Making updates is easy too.

A small business owner works on optimizing her local search results to boost her digital presence.

Step 2: Optimize for local search

How often have you typed “Find restaurants near me”? You can replace “restaurants” with nearly any type of business or product—the same principle applies. We all use Google a lot, and so do your customers and prospects. There are nearly 40,000 search queries every second and the volume grows by 10% every year.

Local directory management works in tandem with search engine optimization (SEO) to help your business show up in relevant local searches. Where traditional SEO focuses on targeting keywords related to your business, local optimization adds a focus on business listings on platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook. These sites not only help customers and prospects find you, but they also direct traffic to your website. Therefore, having business information—business name, address and hours, photos, menus, etc.—up to date and accurate is extremely important.

You should list your business on as many relevant sites as possible to maximize your digital presence and make it easier for people to find your company and improve your Google rankings. The information you enter should also be consistent across all sites you’re signed up with. To manage your listings and keep them current, we advise partnering with a company, like Vivial, that will help you manage this process. This frees up your time for more important tasks, like running your business.

Managing your online reputation can help you maximize your digital presence online.

Step 3: Manage your online reputation

For local businesses, word of mouth has always been an essential part of building a customer base. Now, consumers take their feedback online, posting on review sites and social media. The general consumer expects a business to respond to all reviews, but especially if customers have a negative experience. With eight in ten consumers consulting online reviews for local businesses according to Oberlo, this information can make or break your business.

But managing all those reviews and social media posts can be time-consuming, especially as your business grows. With CenturyLink’s partner, Vivial, you can easily manage all reviews through one platform. You can even engage with your followers on social media through the platform and respond to any of their comments or concerns. By managing your online reputation, you can build your relationships with customers and nurture business-building reviews.

CenturyLink and Vivial

With a CenturyLink internet connection and Vivial digital marketing solutions, your business will be ready to broaden your reach and engage with customers in new and innovative ways. Use Vivial’s expert website design, content development, video, and social media options to take your small business’s digital presence to the next level.

To get started with Vivial, call 866-476-9909 today.