Go search yourself

Some would say that with the advent of the internet that the days of the little guy in a local market are numbered. Then again, a lot of folks don't really understand the opportunities before us that allow the small companies to jump out into larger markets.

The biggest obstacle is often time.

Time. A commodity that is not infinite in the game. Being able to take the time to build your online presence can be a challenge, but the alternative can be costly.

For many small companies the time factor is the killer.

I encounter so many small businesses that can't afford the big marketing companies budget, and can't even or have not claimed their business in Google Business. Google for this minute in the internet stratosphere is the king. Then there is social media. A shifty moving target that works for some and not for others. Again, it's all about time. Take the time to sit down and look at your digital presence. Block off time in your week to study. You will be rewarded.

If I had a dollar for every email I get from companies purporting to revolutionize our website and improve our SEO (search engine optimization) I would be retired now.

If you are going to go the route of hiring a company, then do your research. You can spend a lot of money for very poor return on investment. If you want to do a better job on your own then I advise you try the following:

1) Google your company. See where you show up and note all sites that list you and your services. Sites like Bing, Yelp or Yellow Pages can affect your inbound traffic.

2) Claim your own business on google. Make sure your location in Google places is correct. When you claim your business Google will send you a postcard with a code that will allow you to control your own identity. Do the same for Yelp and Bing and any other site that allows you to claim. You will be surprised to find that some of the information about you is wrong right down to the address.

3) Review your website content. Make it real and tell a story. Landing pages with keywords that can be found in a search are more effective. Use Google keyword planner to help out. If you sell widgets then make sure that you say that on your landing pages.