Your Company Needs to Be on These 8 Third-Party Websites

Third party sites

Have you Googled your company recently?

Try it. Odds are, you’ll find a litany of familiar first- and second-page results. You might be surprised or shocked by a few. Maybe you’ll see one or two downright derogatory results that need urgent attention.

Many business owners who try this exercise are just as shocked, if not more so, by what they don’t see when they Google their companies.

For most small businesses without extensive press mentions, blue-chip platforms and sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Yelp are as close to guaranteed first-page placement as one can get in this topsy-turvy SEO world. If you’re not listed on such sites, you’re leaving valuable exposure (and potentially lucrative leads) on the table.

Virtually every small and midsize business should target these eight high-quality, heavily trafficked third-party websites and platforms. How many are you missing out on?

  1. LinkedIn

You almost certainly have a personal LinkedIn profile. Whether you keep it in good shape is another matter, one not particularly germane to this discussion.

If your company doesn’t yet have a corporate LinkedIn page, it’s time to get cracking. Marketing Land identifies five simple steps to optimize your LinkedIn company page:

  • Optimization Pre-Planning: Focus on consistency, accuracy, and semantics. Consistency means keeping your LinkedIn profile’s content consistent with your brand’s; there should be little to no daylight between your website and LinkedIn profile, for instance. Accuracy is as it sounds; you need to present accurate, reliable information. Semantics describes industry-specific keywords and common search terms associated with your company; you’ll want to conduct thorough keyword research before continuing.
  • Visual Optimization: Fully optimized LinkedIn profiles boast pages targeted to customer metrics like geography and job function; hyperlinked banners where appropriate; and embedded video content.
  • Attract Followers: This is part art, part science. Once low-hanging opportunity: simply getting all your employees up and running on LinkedIn. Once their profiles are connected to your company page, you’ll have first-degree access to their connections.
  • Create and Share Content Regularly: There’s a loose but clear correlation between publishing frequency and engagement. In other words, prolific publishers tend to attract more engagement to their posts. Quality matters, too, so be sure to work with sharp copywriters.
  • Attract Recommendations: Recommendations flow naturally to high-quality company pages, but it doesn’t hurt to give your audience a nudge. Include appropriate calls-to-action in longform content and short posts alike, and encourage employees and vendors in offline settings to make their feelings known on your LinkedIn page.
  1. YouTube

YouTube is the original online video hub, and it hasn’t yet lost its luster. Even if you run a perfectly competent embedded Facebook video game, your company YouTube video should serve as a hub for advertorial content, explainers, and live streams that position you and your team as thought leaders.

  1. Facebook

Facebook is even more popular than LinkedIn — actually, by an order of magnitude — among individuals. With more than 2 billion active users, it’s the planet’s most popular social network.

Facebook is quite popular with small businesses too, especially consumer-facing, locally oriented shops that don’t have the resources or expertise to invest in a professionally designed and developed standalone website.

Facebook is free — you’ll never pay a membership fee for your page, and you’ll only face out-of-pocket expenses if and when you choose to pay for Facebook advertising.

Facebook is intuitive — you can almost certainly create your own Facebook page without professional assistance.

And, increasingly, Facebook is the first and only stop for consumers searching for products and services in their areas. If you haven’t yet set up and built out a Facebook Business page, the time has come.

  1. Yelp

Contrary to popular belief, Yelp isn’t only for brick-and-mortar merchants that market within specific geographies. If you sell direct to consumers, you need a Yelp listing — period, end of story. Like Facebook, Yelp is super intuitive; you won’t need professional assistance unless you’re investing in a Yelp-based marketing campaign, which can be daunting for first-timers.

  1. Manta

Manta is Yelp’s lesser-known cousin. It lives at the intersection of B2C and B2B, making it appropriate for a pretty wide range of businesses. Manta’s marketing tools are more accessible than Yelp’s, too, though you’ll have to pay to unlock premium features designed to maximize your company’s exposure. If you don’t have an in-house marketing team or external marketing partner, it’s worth the cost.

  1. Crunchbase

Crunchbase is a hotbed for startups and early-stage investors alike, but you don’t need to be the Uber of your industry to find a home here. Crunchbase’s no-nonsense listings are appropriate for virtually any small to midsize service company. Don’t neglect its personal listings either; an individual Crunchbase profile goes a long way toward burnishing your credentials as an entrepreneur.

  1. Twitter

Twitter has gone through lots of changes over the past few years, but it remains an indispensable marketing channel for B2C companies seeking wider, more sophisticated audiences. Its SEO value can’t be discounted, either — even if you’re not a prolific tweeter, an active profile is almost certain to appear on the first search results page for your company’s target keyword(s). That’s half the battle right there.

  1. Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau predates all these other platforms. In fact, it predates the Internet.

While it’s no longer the grand arbiter of business quality, BBB remains an essential marker of legitimacy — one with impressive search visibility to boot. Make the relatively modest investment in BBB accreditation and you’ll set your company apart from competitors whose founders simply couldn’t be bothered.

Go Where the Leads Are

Do you know where your leads are?

For many companies, these eight social media platforms, directories, and catch-all websites collectively hold the answer to that question.

For others, the answer is more elusive. Virtually every business can find slivers of its audience on some or all of these sites, to be sure. But, depending on what your company does and who its products and services are designed for, you may be leaving leads on the table when you focus on them alone.

There’s no easy remedy for “missing” prospects. If you haven’t already done so, conduct a thorough market analysis that includes a detailed review of your competitors’ prospecting practices. Adopt their best ideas. Shelve the rest. Incorporate what works into an original marketing plan. Set it in motion. And never, ever, stop iterating.

You got this.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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