The Truth About Why Your Business Needs to Be Online
Let’s face it. We now live in a world where there is one answer to every question: “Google it.” In these increasingly technological and social times, businesses need to recognize that they need to go to where their customer are: the web. Your business needs to have an online presence, and here’s why…
Search Engine Results
When you hop onto a search engine to look something up, you typically only look at the results that pop up on that first page. Maybe you don’t even look past the first five results. Guess what? Your customers do the same thing. If you are a plumber in Naples, Florida, and a potential customer googles “Naples, FL plumbers,” do you pop up on that fist page of results? Are you in the top 5? If you aren’t, think of how many potential customers you are losing every time they search! Your website needs to be optimized for the search engines so that you are automatically at the top of the search results every time to capture that business.
Your First Impression
Building off of the googling culture that our society has developed, a majority of individuals will look up a business before hiring them. Customers like to have all of the information before they make a decision, and the Internet allows them the opportunity to do their research quickly and easily. Therefore, your online presence is your first impression for the customer. When they call or visit your office, that is really your second interaction, because they’ve already looked you up online. Since this is the case, your website and social profiles need to professionally represent your company and brand, as they could be your only chance to win over the customer.
Your Competitors' Presence
If you are a small business, chances are that your larger competitors have a significant online presence. Take a minute and Google each of your local competitors, and take a look at where they pop up in search results, the state of their websites, and any social profiles they have. How do theirs compare to yours? In this fight for the attention of potential customers, you not only need to have an online presence, but you need to strive to have a bigger, more polished presence than your competitors.
Leading the Conversation
Many businesses, especially those in the business-to-business (B2B) industry, question the need for social media profiles. Not only are they necessary to connect socially with your customer base, but they provide businesses with an outlet of opportunity to drive the conversations in their industry and local markets. Social media is an excellent tool for businesses to not only promote their services, but to educate their customers, show involvement in their community, and connect with customers, and build a following. By showcasing their views, tips, blog posts, etc., businesses can lead the conversation about industry and community issues with the use of social media, increasing their relevancy.
Building Your Reputation
In addition to the reasons above, being online builds your reputation. With a combination of press releases, newspaper articles, social posts, testimonials on your website, and other reports on your business, you build a reputation for your business that will withstand the test of time. We all know that once something hits the internet, it’s there forever. Use this to your advantage, and build your reputation by developing your online presence, which will lead to building trust with your customer base.
These are only a few of the many reasons your business needs to have an online presence. The internet is only getting bigger, and more powerful. Don’t get caught in the Stone Age, and lose business because of it! Bolster your website and social profiles, and see how many more customers come calling on you.
Abby Yetter is the CEO and Chief Consultant of Bright Ideas Small Business Solutions, LLC. She is a driven, enthusiastic businesswoman, with a talent for organizing the chaotic, and branding the unfamed. Abby strives to use her creativity, and experience, to solve the many problems of small businesses. With a background based in customer service management, social media, technological organization, sales, marketing, and customer experience specialties, she enjoys taking everyday complications, and finding the newest, most productive ways to execute the tasks.All stories by: Abby Yetter