For a small business, diving head first into the world of digital marketing may be a little daunting. SEO... Facebook ads... video... content... Twitter... the list can get lengthy—fast. That said, there are a handful of "digital housekeeping" to-do items that every small business can tackle to make sure they're footprint is, at minimum, accurate and useful...
Google Your Business...
... because you can bet your potential customers are. The first page of search results can give you a pretty good snapshot of how your business is depicted on the web. What shows up? Of the results presented, which can you edit, claim or update for free? Anything negative or inaccurate? Do you show up on Google's map?
Set Up a Website
If you fall into the category of "I don't need a website," think again. Not having a website these days is like opting out of being included in the phone book decades ago. While it may not be the direct way in which people find your business (though you'll be surprised), it's very likely that they're using the web to research your business. So why not put your best foot forward? Creating a simple, informational business website is much easier than it used to be. In fact, there are services out there that take care of the whole backend of getting a business website up and running. (We're particularly fond of OnePagerApp.)
Bonus tip: While it goes without saying to purchase your own domain name (i.e., www.yourbusinessnamehere.com), you should consider buying the "surrounding" domain names. So if your business is Smith Construction, buy smithconstruction.com, smith-construction.com, smithconstruction.biz, smithconstruction.co, etc. Then have them all redirect to your main page.
Claim Your Business on Yelp
Even if Yelp doesn't seem like a natural channel for customers or clients, there's a good chance prospectives stumble across it when they're researching you. So why not make sure what shows up is accurate? While you can't "stuff" positive reviews, you can claim your business page which will allow you to update and edit basic information like business name, address, phone number, website, etc. Doing so will also allow you to add photos of your business, products, etc. And since it's free to claim your business on Yelp, there's just about no reason not to.
Claim Your Business with the Search Engines
Bing has "Places for Business." Google has the same. Yahoo as well. Basically, all the major search engines offer free opportunities for you to list you business, share basic information, upload images and more. Why does it behove you to make sure your business is listed with these guys? Their own results usually come right to the top.