For some business owners, maintaining an online presence is an afterthought. That’s especially true of businesses with no online store – and yet, having an online presence is a must for every business.
At Titan Web Agency I help my clients grow their businesses – and the core of that is building a comprehensive, well thought out online marketing strategy.
If you’ve been neglecting your online presence, then the good news is that it’s never too late to get on track. Here’s what you need to know.
Why You Can’t Afford to Neglect Your Online Presence
Even if you think that your business doesn’t need an online presence, it may be helpful to review the numbers – because they don’t lie. Check this out:
- Very few consumers are “online-only” or “offline only” purchasers. Instead, in most categories, more than 80% of consumers do online research before making an offline purchase.
- Three quarters of mobile users are more likely to buy from a company if its mobile site is informative and addresses their concerns and questions.
- 70% of mobile users who made an in-store purchase did so only after doing research on their phones.
Despite these facts, approximately 46% of all small businesses had no significant web presence as of 2018.
The good news? If you hire the right online marketing company, creating a solid online presence can completely transform your business.
The Benefits of Having a Strong Online Presence
Let’s look at the ways that building an online presence can help you and your business.
You Can Reach a Big Audience
Most people use the internet at least some of the time. Many – as noted above – rely on online research to find businesses and service providers. Building an online presence for your company will allow the people in your target audience to find you – and give you the opportunity to turn them into paying customers.
You Can Build Trust and Authority
When people search for businesses online, they’re looking for information to help them make purchasing decisions. More specifically, they want to know whether they can trust your business or product to solve a problem for them. A strong online presence will show them that you are trustworthy and have nothing to hide.
Your Business Will Be Accessible
Consumers value accessibility, meaning that they want to be able to communicate directly with companies in ways that are convenient to them. For many people, the ability to ask questions and get speedy answers is a must. A strong online presence makes it easy for consumers to get in touch with you and for you to help them.
You Can Create a Strong Brand
Your brand is the core of what people know about your business – or, it should be. Maintaining a consistent online presence is one of the best ways to build your brand. When a company’s website, social media pages, advertising, and review pages all send a consistent message about the company’s products and core values, it ensures that consumers understand the company. That’s a huge plus.
You Can Keep an Eye on the Competition
Competitor research is an essential part of building an online presence. When you know what your competitors are up to, you can use what you learn to differentiate yourself from them – and to take advantage of gaps in their product or service offerings.
The Risks of Neglecting Your Online Presence
Perhaps you’re not convinced that the benefits of having a strong online presence are enough to warrant the time it would take to build one. Keep in mind that there are some ways that not having an online presence can hurt your business, too.
People Won’t Be Able to Find You
There are people who don’t know about your business who are in the market for a product or service that you provide. The statistics show that most of those people are likely to begin their search for a solution online. If they can’t find your company – or they find limited or confusing information – they are extremely unlikely to turn into paying customers.
You’ll Lose Out to Your Competitors
The chances are good that your competitors do have a strong online presence that includes a website, a social media presence, and consistent online listings and reviews. If that’s the case, their information is accessible to potential customers and they’re far more likely to choose your competitors instead of you.
On a related note, you won’t know what your competitors are doing online. That means you’ll miss out on chances to differentiate yourself from them. You’ll be giving them a free shot at your existing and potential future customers because the people in the market for your products won’t know about your business.
Your Reputation May Be Damaged
It may surprise you to learn that even if you don’t take the time to build your online presence, people may still be able to learn about you online. The catch is that you may not like what they learn. When you neglect your online presence, you’re essentially leaving it up to other people to define your business and brand on their own. Even if you ignore them, people may find things such as:
- Negative reviews
- Unflattering social media mentions
- Inconsistent online listings
- Inaccurate information about your products, prices, and service
In other words, your lack of a consistent online presence will become your online presence. Consumers will notice if you ignore reviews and don’t make yourself accessible to them. And ultimately, they’ll look elsewhere for the products and solutions they need.
Building an online presence might seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t need to be complicated, time-consuming, or expensive. Neglecting your online presence will hurt your business. And, you should keep in mind that the work you put into creating a strong online presence is likely to pay off quickly as you attract a whole new audience to your business.
What are you doing to build your online presence? Let us know what you've found to be effective in the comment section below.