The importance of getting your business online
Posted on 10th May 2018 by More Pixels
You’re reading this article on the internet, maybe even on your phone whilst on the go. Millions of other people are doing the same thing. I mean, who isn’t on the internet these days, right? Getting your business online has never been more important.
The internet has changed the way that people look for what they want. The first port of call is often Google when looking for a local shop, opening times, and reviews. There has never been a more competitive time for small businesses than now.
But I don’t sell online!
Whether you’re selling products or services online or not, getting your small business online is equally important. A study by Bazaarvoice found that 45% of offline buyers research products online beforehand. In an era of choice, ROBO (research online, buy offline) has become very common. I don’t know about you, but when I’m in-store trying to choose between two products I check for online reviews on my mobile.
Anyway, having an online presence helps people make decisions on just about everything: Where they want to eat with their friends on the weekend, get their phone screen repaired, get their yearly MOT, and so much more.
There’s an old saying: You’ve got to be in it to win it.
When a customer is doing their online research on what restaurant to go to or shop to buy their shoes from, you can’t expect them to choose you if you wasn’t in the search results. If you’re not in it, you can’t win it. This is where your online presence comes in.
So, what is my online presence?
Your online presence is made up of many different elements and is something that will continue to grow overtime. We have put together a small list of things to get you started:
- A website (obviously)
- Your business on Google Maps
- Online reviews (Google, Facebook, Tripadvisor)
- Social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
- Oh, and a blog
Your websites is like your online HQ. Like your brick-and-mortar store is to the high street, your website is for the internet. It’s where customers can come and find you. Customers will just assume you have a website in this day and age.
When on your website, they should be able to find whatever they’re looking for with great ease. If they struggle to find what they’re looking for then they will associate your business with bad experiences. A good user experience and well thought out design is crucial. That’s where we can help: Web design. It’s nice to have FAQs on your website too so customers can find out any information they want without having to call you.
Most websites these days also have a blog, whether it’s taken advantage of or not. A blog can be used for content marketing which in turn can generate traffic to your website, which can turn into more sales. According to Hubspot, B2B (business to business) marketers who blog recieve 67% more leads.
Google My Business
Once you’ve got your website up and running, you should then register with Google My Business. Have you ever typed in a business name and seen its business listing on the right hand of your search?
Having your business registered with Google My Business allows local searchers to find your business easily. It’s suggested that you fill out as much information here as you can for the best results.
When your business is listed on Google My Business, customers can review their experience with you which is a great opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd. As mentioned previously, many people research reviews online before making purchases or visiting somewhere. But, did you know that 80% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation?
So, Google My Business allows:
- Local searchers to find you easier
- You to add your website and contact details
- Display your opening times
- Customers to leave you reviews
But, I’ve not told you the best part yet. It’s totally free!
The final ingredient to getting your business online is social media. There are 2.62 billion social media users worldwide as of 2018, with the number predicted to keep growing year on year. It’s clear social media has the attention of the majority of the world right now, so it’s a great opportunity for small businesses to make people aware of your brand.
Having a business social media account is a great way to engage directly with your customers and tell them about your products. But, it’s not only a one way street. Social media is also good for hearing what your customers have to say to you. Listening to what they have to say will allow you to continue improving your service and products.
It’s also no secret that social media allows you to post targeted advertisements to your chosen demographic. For a small price you can reach thousands of people who may be interested in what you have to sell.
So, will you be getting your business online?
In short, the internet opens up a whole new can of opportunity for your business. With the vast majority of the UK and the rest of the world being on the internet you’ll find many of your customers there too. Getting your business online allows you to increase your brand awareness, learn more about your customers, gain constructive feedback, and generate more business. So why wouldn’t you want to get your business online? If you need a friendly hand in getting started, why not get in touch with us? We’d love to help you.