There are lots of things that a business can do to increase their online presence. However, some businesses don’t necessarily see the value in investing time and money in doing this.
This may be because they feel that their business is too locally focused to benefit from significant investment in the web, or because they feel that the skills and expertise needed to create a good web presence aren’t currently attainable to them. This is, however, not usually the case and a lot of the things involved in creating a good web presence can be done with minimum spend and without specialist IT skills.
Here we’re going to look at some of the reasons why your online presence is valuable no matter what type of industry you are in or whether your focus is local, national or global.
Online Is the First Port of Call for Most Consumers
The primary reason why your online presence is so very significant to your success as a business is that online is the first port of call for most people looking for products or services. This is the case whether we are talking about someone who is looking to buy something new and wants to scope out what’s available, or somebody looking for a local service like a place to eat or get their hair cut. In 2016 mobile searches on Google outperformed desktop searches for the first time, and this has remained the case ever since. This means that when people are on the go they are certainly likely to look online on their phones for places to go or things to do. People also check out consumer reviews and opinions on social media before making purchases these days, so whatever you are selling and however far you are reaching for customers, the web is where most people you want to reach will be looking for businesses like yours.
Social Shares Boost Brand Impact
Another key reason why you need to be concerned with your online presence is that social media is a great way to boost brand recognition and enhance your business’s reputation. Managing a social media presence, for instance a Twitter account or a Facebook page is relatively simple and can be free. If you share things that people who are interested in what you do are likely to find useful, you can see them go on to share this with their own friends and network, propagating your brand recognition and helping you reach more people organically.
When done well, social media can be one of your biggest assets as a business and again, this is the case whether you are looking for local customers or people all over the world.
Your Competition May Gain an Edge If You Can’t Match Their Online Presence
A third reason why you should be more concerned with your online presence is that it is now pretty much the norm in business for companies to put a lot of effort into their online activities. This is partly because users expect it, but also because finding new and innovative ways to reach people online can give a business a competitive edge. Some companies have used this to their advantage in the past by being early adopters of things like social media or mobile apps, but once these things become mainstream they no longer offer an edge to the people who adopt them, but they do offer a competitive disadvantage to those who don’t. This means that if you don’t keep up with what your competitors are doing online you will lose out to your rivals.
Naturally, the best group to be in is the one that is doing things that are still new enough to create an advantage, but you at the very least need to be keeping up with things like social media marketing trends, and responsive web design so that you are not in the disadvantaged group of slow adopters.
Sometimes, improving your web presence can be as simple as adding a blog to your website, redesigning an old company website that no longer has a lot of the features that people expect on sites. For instance using something like the Web Eden website builder if you’re inexperienced in web design, thinking more about search engine optimisation when adding content to your site, and having a strategy for social media. These things are all relatively simple to do and there are plenty of third party companies who can help you if you do not feel confident managing these processes yourself.
It can be a good idea to audit your current online strategy and perhaps make 2018 the year that you start taking full advantage of all of the benefits of strong web presence can bring.