Top 4 Reasons Why You Should Join an Online Business Community

As a small business, building your online presence can be a long journey. However, one of the most efficient ways to establish yourself is to join a prominent business network or local chamber of commerce. Becoming a member or partner to such an organization can fast track your SEO ranking and increase lead generation to your website.
Here are the top four reasons how investing your time and money in online business communities can help grow your business:
Builds Trust with Businesses and Leads

Businesses are built on relationships, and relationships are based on trust. Potential clients aren’t going to part with their hard-earned money unless they feel comfortable with what you’re about, and trust you’ll deliver on your offerings. Joining a chamber of commerce or similar community connects you with a large network of other business owners. Develop genuine relationships with these contacts and you will accumulate valuable associates and advocates who can introduce you to potential clients, or even become clients themselves.

Builds Trust with Google
The trust-building doesn’t end there; a chamber of commerce community can boost your SEO because these established sites have a high “trust” score with search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. By being in the membership directory with links to your website, you can piggyback off their trust score to help your own website’s Google rankings.
In addition, these membership directories are often passed along to online media companies or business community portals such as Yellow pages, Yelp, BBB and other industry directories. Being included in these directories further affirms to Google that you are known in your community and promotes your ranking even more!

Achieves Greater Visibility on Social Media

Online business communities provide you with a valuable way to increase your presence on social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Participating in online events through your business community can result in far-reaching posts, shares, and links back to your website. Social Media is an extremely popular facet of the web and therefore one of the most important ways to stay “top of mind” with potential clients!
Attracts Local Prospects
Up to 97% of consumers will conduct online research before purchasing from a local business and about 600 million searches for local businesses are conducted annually. This means targeting local prospects is essential for small businesses, and joining a local chamber of commerce will help you capitalize on these efforts. This is because, for the past couple years, Google has been prioritizing local businesses, increasing your ranking even more within local searches.

Smaller businesses are often hesitant to invest in online Memberships for local business networks, but the rate of return is definitely worth the consideration. Not only does it allow you to stay current with what’s happening in your industry, but it also produces a myriad of opportunities to generate leads and attract relevant traffic to your business website.
About the Author

Corrie Alexander is a writer and blogger for Prospect Solutions, as well as a team manager in the logistics industry near Toronto, Ontario. She enjoys writing about career development and workplace wellness, delving into any topic ranging from best interview techniques to the importance of having filtered water in the workplace.