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Virtual Identity for Business

Andrew previously talked about the importance of virtual real estate for businesses. Most of us get that a good domain can make or break an online business –and of course a great website is a huge boon– but did you know that virtual identity matters as much to the corner shop on 1 Well St. as it does to an online store?

Come with us now as we explore the invisible yet oh-so-important connection between virtual and real world business identity.

Written By
Dan McIvor

Make location an advantage. Wherever you are.

I am of course talking about marketing your business on the web. It’s all quite similar to making sure the Yellow Pages, Thompson Directory and any decent local directories have your business details, but oh-so-very much more important, valuable and fun –though maybe that last one is just our opinion!

Why does it matter? More people search for businesses online than anywhere else. There are over 60 reputable directories for local business, serving over 10 million local searches a month. That’s a pretty big opportunity for exposure to be missing out on.

Having your business website listed when a user makes a relevant search for local businesses is a great start, but the potential is far greater than that even.

You’ve only got to look at the convergence of mapping services (like google maps) and location data with browser enabled phones to get an idea of the ways users may be interfacing with both real and virtual storefronts in the years to come –particularly as smart phones and tablet PC’s become the norm.

Search providers like Google and Bing already provide a range of location based services for businesses to take advantage of. For example, when a user searches for a particular product or service on their mobile, they can request to see only the physically closest businesses which meet their need. If they like one of the businesses listed they can be directed right to the real world door.

Unfortunately none of this is possible if your virtual businesses identity is lacking. Search providers need business owners to engage with the new tools they have available to make these kind of services possible. Good thing for you SwankyApple is developing a service package which offers comprehensive submission to and management of these 60 largest directories for less than the cost of an advert in the Yellow Pages –and yes, our package will includes a listing in Yell.com.

A strong virtual identity for your business is easily the most powerful way for any organisation to interface with a wider audience. The convergence of location based data and mobile browsing only makes that virtual identity more important in getting the edge on rivals.

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