Quick, name the one marketing step you can take that will have the largest possible effect on your company’s online presence, yet is totally, completely free?
I’d have been hard pressed to come up with a good response before last week, when brilliant young CBS Interactive editor Andrew Nusca tipped me off. The answer is: make sure you have a Wikipedia page.
A Wikipedia page not only immediately lists your business in one of the most-searched global databases, it also adds organic (and valid) search engine weight to your own website, when you make sure Wikipedia links back to it.
I stumbled on this tip when Nusca and I were at a Philly Beer Week dinner and chatting about craft beer. He had recently picked up a case of Philadelphia Brewing Company’s Fleur de Lehigh, and was shocked when he found PBC had no Wikipedia listing. Like any good netizen, he quickly created a page for the brewery.
However, even though that page had led him down an internet rabbit hole of regional Southeastern Pennsylvania breweries, he had not found any of the five young breweries who were pouring at this specific dinner. A brewer from Croydon’s Neshaminy Creek sat across from us, and Nusca had never once heard the name of this newcomer. “Why aren’t you listed on Wikipedia?” he asked, “I would have visited your website and I’d have become interested to find your beer.”
Why not? No one at the brewery had thought of it. “Make sure you’re on Wikipedia!” isn’t yet a mantra for new businesses. But it should be.
Anyone can create a Wikipedia page, and as long as you write with neutrality and cite outside sources, there’s nothing that stops you from creating one about your own business or ventures in which you have some sort of interest. If you’re not sure how to start, search for one of your competitors’ pages, or someone in a similar industry, and just copy that structure.
Certainly it’s easier for web editors to whip up a page on the fly — and that’s exactly what Nusca did for Neshaminy Creek Brewing after enjoying great beer pairings at Iron Hill that night — but it’s worth putting something up, no matter what.