Being in the digital age means most interactions and transactions are happening online. Therefore, all business owners must ensure they have a strong online presence. The major constraints businesses face in building a strong online presence are resources and time. However, the time and resources spent building a strong online presence will soon bring returns. This article will examine why a strong online presence matters for your business. But before we do that, let us start by looking at the types of an online presence.
Types of Online Presence
One can classify a business’s online presence based not only on the different digital channels but also on the objectives and functions of the platforms. Some websites are set up as transactional sites where buyers can place product orders. Other websites are set up for relationship-building with customers. Buyers cannot place an order for products on these sites. A good example is a website for a car manufacturer. Also, some websites are designed for brand building with no product sales. For instance, the Coca-cola website.
Besides websites, another essential type of online presence for any business is Social Media. Social Media is important for businesses to interact with their customers and for customers to interact with themselves. Other forms of online presence are online reviews, business location on Google Maps, directory listings, and digital advertising. Here are some reasons for every business to have a strong online presence, whether it’s an e-commerce site, social media pages, or any other platform:
Consumers Search Google and Other Search Engines First
When prospective clients need the products you offer, in most cases, their first step will be to Google it or search for the related keywords in a search engine. If you have a strong online presence, your business will show up, and consumers can engage with you. Online search is the de facto way businesses gain new clients because the days of looking up yellow pages are long gone. Today, potential clients will find your business using the power of search engines which makes it vital to invest in search engine optimization and search engine marketing.
Your Followers Want to Communicate With You Via Email
Keeping in touch with customers after the first contact or purchase is desirable for all businesses. Email is an important digital marketing feature that is very underutilized by most people. Email marketing is a way to connect and communicate with your clients and leads. About 65% of purchases are said to be return clients for most businesses, making it important to pay attention to your mailing list and not only to acquire new leads. Send that email to your customers whenever you have a sale or new product. In addition, an email is a great way to respond to customer questions and complaints in detail.
Make Sure Your Google My Business Listing is Up-to-Date
We have already mentioned that the first step for most internet users looking for products is to Google them. But what are some of the information they are looking for that affects their purchase decision? Reports indicate that 60% of online buyers check Google reviews before purchasing. It is inherent for humans to gauge the experiences others have had with a product before trying it out. Besides raising your business profile, reviews are vital for SEO, with Google ranking sites with good reviews highly.
With buyers looking for your reviews online, one of the best ways to build reviews is to have a Google My Business Listing and then send that link to your clients, asking them for a review. Another essential aspect of Google My Business is to keep your listing updated. When you are active on GMB, Google interprets it to mean the accuracy and trustworthiness of your listing are high. The effect is that Google will rank you higher on Google Maps and local searches. Finally, remember to send a thank you note to clients for leaving you a review.
The average internet user spends roughly six hours online daily. Your business is positioned to benefit immensely by having a strong online presence. Your potential clients will find you easily because you will be visible where they already are, which could be on search engines searching for related keywords or browsing social media. Besides, having a strong digital presence enhances customer support and increases sales. Every resource spent building a strong presence online will bring back returns in the end!
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