Online presence: it's a phrase that you likely encounter daily as a small or medium-sized business owner. You’ve read articles that tell you to optimize your online presence, that it's not an optional tactic, but a fundamental action in building or maintaining the health of your business.
Are you still jogging behind the optimization train, having yet to leap up on the railcar and stand with the business owners who have built web presences that are strengthening their businesses for the long term?
Well, I'm here to tell you optimizing your online presence is a must, and not just because your direct competitors are doing it, but because your potential customers are online.
As you read this sentence, human beings are typing keywords into search engines, seeking goods and services: 81% of shoppers do research online before heading out to a physical store.
And, yes, you may feel overwhelmed when you think about optimizing your online presence, not knowing where to start. If so, you are not alone. In fact, 1 in 5 small businesses has no online presence. (Yikes!)
Maybe you have yet to optimize your online presence because you're not convinced you have to. If that sounds like you, ask yourself these three questions:
Optimizing your online presence has been described as the art of being found.
Optimizing your online presence, also known as the art of being found... here's where to start.
Let’s visualize the Spring Mountains in Las Vegas... where the hills rise up into expansive skies, wild horses roam, and human beings are scarce. Now, let’s pop a microbrewery into a lonely pasture there – wait, that doesn’t make any sense, does it? No one will ever find it, except for a few adventurous hikers (and lucky them!).
Is your business’s online presence like this imaginary microbrewery in the Spring Mountains – isolated? Is it almost impossible for your potential customers in cyberspace to find you?
It may be tempting to focus on what you know, whether that's manufacturing designer bags for the vegan crowd or serving up hyper-local food, but you must also be where people can find you – and this means an optimized web presence.
Here is a simple statistic that illustrates the importance of optimizing your online presence:
Technology hasn’t changed everything about selling a product or providing a service: generating sound leads – potential customers – remains a key factor in building a successful business.
In fact, 66% of small businesses identify discovering leads as a top concern.
Forbes published an article titled "Is Online Marketing Really Necessary For Small Businesses? "in which the author makes the large point about small businesses optimizing their web presence this way: “There are 5 billion Google searches every day and about 2 billion active Facebook users; don’t you think at least some of those users might be interested in your business?”
Yes, building a website that provides your customers with an outstanding virtual experience is important in the modern market – but it is only one piece of a comprehensive web strategy.
As customers increasingly move to mobile devices to access the Internet – 71% of all Internet usage in America is now via mobile devices – apps are becoming increasingly important. Your customers have their favorite spots to hang out online, be it on Facebook, Yelp, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Reddit, so you need to target the social media platforms that make the most sense for you.
Let’s assume that you are IN... that you now believe that optimizing your online presence is essential for the long-term success of your business.
If you'd like to see where you are lacking in your online presence, then let's get a Total Online Presence Booked. This isn't just about data and review... this is about creating a solid course of action to take you from isolated (like the microbrewery in the mountains) to findable in all the places your potential customers are looking for you.