It's no secret that tech is taking over the world. You can't go anywhere without seeing someone who's glued to their smartphone or tablet.
Yet, despite the prevalence of tech in our culture, nearly half of all small businesses still don't have a website.
If you're part of this group, it's important to establish an online presence as soon as possible.
Read on to learn more about why every business needs to have a website if they want to succeed long-term
Types of Online Presences
The most obvious type of online presence that every business should have is a website. But, there's more to establishing yourself in the digital world than just throwing a website up.
It's important to figure out which type of website is going to be most beneficial to your business. Some of the most common types of websites that businesses utilize include:
- eCommerce sites: websites that are dedicated to selling specific products or services
- Services-oriented relationship-building sites: websites that provide information about the business and its products or services and encourage offline sales
- Brand-building siles: websites designed for increasing awareness of the business to drive sales, either online or offline
In addition to developing a website, it's also important to establish a strong social media presence.
You should use sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to build your brand, engage with potential customers, and get them excited about what you have to offer.
Benefits of an Online Presence for Businesses
If you're still on the fence about setting up an online presence for your business, understanding these benefits might change your mind.
Keep Up with the Joneses
Perhaps the number one reason why your business should have an online presence is that your competition probably does. Or, at the very least, they're probably working on setting one up.
If you want to get ahead of your competition and make it easier for customers to find you, you need to make sure your business shows up in their search engine results.
After all, the majority of consumers start by searching for products or services online before they shop in-store.
Increased Audience Size
Being present online also makes it easier for new customers to learn about your business. You can reach far more people on the internet than you can with print ads or other traditional marketing methods.
This is especially true if you are active on your social media accounts in addition to regularly updating your website.
Establish Trust and Credibility
These days, a well-maintained website is a sign of credibility for a business.
If you don't have a website where people can learn more about your products and services (as well as the mission of your company), they are less likely to buy from you.
A website also makes it easier for you to provide quick, effective customer service.
This is something else that consumers appreciate, and it will increase your chances of retaining customers and letting them know that your business is the real deal.
Easier Marketing Opportunities
An online presence also makes it easier for you to market your products and services at a lower cost.
It's free to publish blog posts and post information on social media. You can also purchase ads for sites like Facebook and Instagram at a lower cost than what you'd pay for traditional marketing.
Track Results More Easily
It's also easier to track the effectiveness of online advertising. This is especially true for social media ads.
With just a few clicks, you can find out how many people are viewing your posts and what kind of information they like to see. From there, you can tweak your presence to make it better fit what your customers want to see more of.
Tips for Establishing a Credible Online Presence
As you can see, an online presence is incredibly important. If you're not sure where to begin when it comes to setting up your website to make sure it's effective, these tips can help.
Build Your Website
There are lots of programs that will help you easily set up a basic website. This can be enough to get you started.
Over time, though, you may need to work with a web developer to create a more detailed and visually appealing website.
Optimize Your Site
It's also important to make sure people can find your website. Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential part of maintaining your online presence.
Some basic steps that can help improve your search engine rankings include:
- Make sure you're updating your site regularly, especially if you have a blog
- Post regularly to your social media channels
- Make sure your site works just as well on mobile devices as it does on desktop computers
- Do research to figure out which keywords and phrases people use when they search for products and services like yours
You can read more here to how to improve your business results on search engines like Google.
Choose the Right Design
The design makes a big difference to the effectiveness of your website. Make sure you're using a good color scheme and text that is easy to read.
It's also important to make sure your site is easy to navigate and loads quickly. In most cases, people will stop visiting your website if it does load within a couple seconds.
Look at a variety of websites to gain design inspiration and figure out what type of layout will work best for your customers.
Promote Your Site on Social Media
Finally, make sure you're promoting your website on your social media channels. This will help bring in traffic and boost your search engine rankings.
Set Up Your Website Today
As you can see, a strong online presence is a must for all businesses. These tips can help you establish a credible presence and appeal to current and potential customers.
If you need help putting your website together, a web developer is an invaluable resource.
Not sure where to turn for web development support? Check out this article for tips on hiring the right developer to work with your business today.