Small businesses depend on a variety of different things for acquiring customers. Word of mouth, promotions, and a prime location for their stores are just a few key elements. A strong online presence is becoming more and more important in today’s economy. Investing in building an online presence can be one of the most important investments for any business. The majority of today’s consumers are active on the internet so a creative and effective web presence makes all the difference for your profits. A strong online presence requires more than having a website and social media accounts, it requires staying visible and relevant to your customers. Working on your online presence is no easy task and is sure to come with its fair share of obstacles, below you will see the most common and how to avoid them.
- Not having a website
Since so many people use the internet nowadays and it is constantly increasing, having an online presence is a must. Regardless if your business is primarily offline having a website where people can look your business up will drive more traffic to your business.
Your website must also have a blog section for customers to have a reference to your products and services. A place where they can acquire more information when you are not around to help. This approach builds relationships with customers and offers useful tools for them to guide them in the right direction.
- Having a bad website
You have a website now! Congrats. But remember, first impressions are important for business owners. Therefore, your website must be visually appealing, and you must make sure the message you are giving is clear and inviting. Strong visual imagery, quality content and quicker load times are also key parts of building a strong and good website. Most of the times, business owners are clueless as to how to make a website. Make sure to do your research and hire the right agency that will deliver the results you need to make your business grow.
- Not optimizing for mobile
Most people use mobile devices to search the web. Therefore, you must be optimized for mobile views and interactions. As the years go by, the number of mobile users go up. It goes without saying that a functional website, optimized for phones, is essential to any business with an online presence.
What do you have to do to optimize your website for mobile?
- It should load in three seconds
- key message or selling point needs to be clear and inviting
- needs to be easy to navigate
- It should have a prominent call to action
- Not creating device-specific ads
Behavior and search intent is different among desktop and mobile phone users. Desktops and tablets are usually not ready to commit to what they are searching and are looking for more information. This is not always the case for mobile phone users. Mobile phone users are looking for fast results, and will most likely respond to your CTA. In the end, your ad should be altered according to the device category.
When your ads are optimized for mobile phones they receive a higher click-through rate compared to ads that are not optimized. Knowing this, set a mobile preference for your ads on Google and make sure to have a creative output and a clear CTA. Also, make sure to allow for one-touch dialing through your ads
- Not being accessible
Many times, before potential customers commit to your store, they will look your business up online first. If you have a solid online presence across all platforms, it will entice those potential consumers to go with your product/service. You will have a competitive edge over other industry leaders. The internet gives you the power to interact with your customers even after store hours. Your website gives customers information, tips and tricks, directions and more when you’re not available.
It is important to make sure that your business is accessible to your customers and all information is up-to-date and available at all times. Diversify payment options and be open to all forms of communication.
- Not implementing local SEO
In a survey, 89 percent of participants said they searched for a local business on their smartphone at least once a week. This only means one thing: You can’t ignore local SEO if you want to build your business’ online presence.
Even if your goal is to reach our on a global level, local campaigns will help your business with good rankings on the search results page. This will eventually boost your business’s visibility and provide exposure to local internet users. You can boost local SEO by implementing local keywords into your website content and optimizing meta tags. Another way to help with the ranking is to embed google maps on your contact us page and verify your Google My Business listing.
- Abandoning it all
Completely abandoning your efforts to build your online presence can become the break to your business. Regardless if it’s a stationary website or unmonitored Facebook page it will have negative effects on your business. Think about it this way, if a potential customer is on your Facebook or Twitter page which is inactive for quite a while, they are inclined to wonder if you are still open for business, and eventually move on to the next business.
Most often, business owners abandon their efforts to have an online presence because they can see the ROI ( Return on Investment ). It’s crucial to understand that this is going to be a long-term process and with many obstacles.
There’s no doubt about it, having a strong online presence can benefit businesses in more ways than one. With the information provided here, you now know what mistakes to avoid when taking your business online. So get started on building your online presence and unlock the immense potential that’s in store for your business!