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By Andrea Rowland, GoDaddy Garage, Editing Manager

It’s a fact: If your small business isn’t online, you’re missing opportunities.

Take your small business online.Stats from the Pew Research Center show that nearly 90 percent of adults in America use the internet — and they turn to the web more than any other source to find local businesses and services. A web presence gives your business the opportunity to:

  • Be more accessible. Unlike a physical storefront, a website is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to showcase your products and services, contact information, store hours, and more.
  • Build your brand. You don’t need a huge advertising budget to build your brand. No matter how small you are, you can afford to use a website, social media profiles and other web-based efforts to raise brand awareness, establish credibility, and develop a loyal customer base.
  • Establish credibility. These days, if your business doesn’t show up online — with a website, a Facebook page, online reviews — people don’t think you’re legitimate.
  • Connect with customers. From social media to email marketing, web-based tools offer endless possibilities for engaging with your target audience. And you don’t even have to change out of your sweats.
  • Generate leads. By taking a strategic approach to online marketing, you can leverage a website, social media profiles, contact forms and email marketing campaigns to get sales leads. And that’s what it’s all about, right?

With a little help, you can get your business on the web — with a dedicated website, social media pages, and online directory and map listings — in less time (and likely with less money) than you think.

Get a step-by-step guide to take your small business online:

If you’re ready to take your business online but aren’t sure how to get started, check out our new ebook: Take Your Small Business Online: A Step-by-Step Guide for Launching Your SMB on the Web. Just follow that link over to the GoDaddy Garage to download your free copy and learn how to:

  • Secure a domain name that represents who you are and what you do at a glance. Get the skinny on new industry- and geo-specific domain extensions.
  • Launch a website dedicated to telling your story. We’ll walk you through your website building options, whether you want to take a DIY approach or hire a pro to create a site for you.
  • Create web content that will resonate with customers and potential customers. Learn how to text and images can work together to make your brand shine online.
  • Get started with search engine optimization to make sure the right people see that content. From incorporating keywords into your website copy to taking advantage of metadata, you’ll learn how to take SEO baby steps to attract the attention of search engines.
  • Use social media to promote your brand and build relationships with customers and prospects.
  • Generate leads with your website, professional email and online directories.
  • Measure your website’s effectiveness with Google Analytics.

The free ebook includes practical worksheets to help you plan and execute your online strategy. Plus, checklists at the end of each chapter make managing your progress a breeze. Ready to get started?

Bio:

Andrea RowlandA former small business owner and newspaper journalist, and a published nonfiction author, Andrea Rowland helps craft compelling communications for small businesses through her work as managing editor of the GoDaddy Garage. When she’s not writing or editing, she likes to experiment with baking, travel, read, and dip her toes in the ocean.