Building an online presence for your business is hard work. It takes time and financial commitment to do so. For these reasons and many others, it’s important to make it as easy as possible for people to find and connect with you and/or your business online.
Here are six FREE ways to make it easier for people to find you online. Little time is needed to get these setup. And, once you’re set up you’re pretty much done.
1. Create a custom web address for each of your social networks
A custom web address for each of your social networks will help you easily remember and share with others how to connect with you on social media. For instance, twitter.com/SueCockburn or facebook.com/AfroJunkRemoval.
Social networks tend to refer to a custom web address in different ways. For instance, they’ll use the term ‘username’ or ‘public profile URL’. Essentially, this is the web address people enter into their browser to reach one of your social profiles.
Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and usually, but not always, Facebook have you create a custom web address when you sign up for your account. Facebook may require that you have a certain number of fans on your Page before they let you choose your custom web address. YouTube requires a premium account and as of this writing 100 followers.
LinkedIn allows you to immediately create your own custom web address, or as LinkedIn calls it, your public profile URL. The LinkedIn process is simple but not automatic. Click here to learn how to ‘Create Your Custom LinkedIn Web Address In 4 Easy Steps.’
Without a custom LinkedIn web address for your social media profiles, you’ll be asking people to find you by searching for you by name. You’re unlikely to say, “find me on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/sue-cockburn-312674139/.”
A custom web address for your social media accounts will allow you to point people to a customized name, a web address, that is much easier to remember.
2. Title case your website and social network web addresses
Title casing your website address means to capitalize the first letter of each unique word. When you title case your website address and social network web addresses, they pop or stand out when people see them in print or online. This makes it easier to read, recognize and remember with minimal effort.
The longer your website address is, or the distinct portion of your social network web address, the more important title casing is.
Consider how difficult it is to read facebook.com/annessimplestitches or twitter.com/bobsautoshop as opposed to facebook.com/AnnesSimpleStitches or twitter.com/BobsAutoShop.
Title casing makes your website address pop and the unique portion of your social network web address(es) readable at a glance.
Visitors don’t need to ‘focus’ on the lettering to be able to read what it says. The words are recognizable with a quick look rather than having to consciously focus on the letters to figure out what they are saying.
Not all social networks will allow you to create your custom web address using title casing. Facebook and Twitter do.
Even if you aren’t able to create your web address using title casing, you can still title case your name where it appears as text.
Any online or offline materials showing your name in print, including business cards and other marketing materials, should show your name title cased.
How people enter your web address into their browser won’t matter. Whether all upper case, all lower case, or a combination of upper and lower case, they will still arrive on your website or account on social media.
Title casing will simply make it easy for people to SEE your name at a glance, with no real thought. Thus making your name and web address easier for them to recognize and remember.
3. Add your website and social networks as clickable links to your email signature
Adding your website and social networks as clickable links to your email signature makes it easy for people to find you online with a simple click.
For instance, one of my US clients uses the following email signature at the bottom of all of her outgoing emails.
4. Add social media icon(s) to your website, that link to your social network(s)
This one is pretty basic but I’m surprised how often social icons and links are missing from websites. Or, the icons are visible on the website but they either don’t lead anywhere or they lead to social networks but for the wrong business.
I often see this on websites people have designed themselves. Always check your links to make sure they are going through to the right place!
Here are a few other things to watch for:
- Set social media links to open your social networks in a NEW browser tab. It’s always best to have links to external websites, including your social networks, open in a new browser tab. This way visitors can check out your social network and, once done, your website remains open so they can continue to browse.
- Ensure social icons that link to your social networks are easy to find on your website. At the top of a sidebar or at the top of the page, in or near the header area. You could include them in your site footer too, as well as close to the top of the page.
- Make sure social media icons are large enough, and/or have enough space between them so that they are easy to click. This is particularly important for those who may be viewing your website on a smartphone or other mobile device. If they are too close they will impact how Google rates your site in terms of mobile friendliness.
5. Add your website and other social networks as clickable links to your social profiles
It seems common sense but be sure to add your website address and links to your other social networks to each social media account. Do this with any other listings and online directories too.
This lets visitors know the other social networks you are active on, so they can connect with you there if they so choose. If you’re only able to list a few, make sure the ones you list are your top sites.
6. Include your title-cased website address and custom social web addresses on everything
Your website address and the web addresses to your major social media accounts should be listed on all of your print and online material.
Not only marketing stuff, everything! Business cards, invoices, letterheads, in-store and mail out fliers, product promotional packaging, brochures, newspaper ads, and anything else you can think of.
They should also be added as clickable links on any eNewsletters, online documents, ebooks, resources, etc.
And remember to title case so that the names pop and are easy to read!
In our online and socially networked world, it’s important to make it as easy as possible for people to find you online.
Using the free opportunities available, and outlined above, just makes sense!
Original article June 7, 2017. Updated February 27, 2020.