If you want your small business to succeed over the long term, then you need to have a robust online presence.
Everyone is online!
According to Internet World Stats, internet users across the globe have reached 4.5 billion as of June 2019.
What do these statistics mean to you and your small business? It means that your customers are online, and if you want to be found and look professional, an online presence is a must.
In today's article, we'll cover how an online presence is beneficial to your business and the essential elements of a strong online presence.
Buckle up, here we go!
Importance Of An Online Presence
"But my business 100% referrals Tim, so I'm good!" you might say.
Good for you, but even businesses that rely on referrals heavily, need an online presence because referrals still go online to check you and your business out. Your online presence could be costing you referrals, and you don't even know it.
Here are some of the benefits of having a robust online presence:
The internet never sleeps, and every door you open online gives your small business a virtual showroom 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
Also, the web enables possible customers to find your business any time, and in the privacy and comfort of their own home.
If you sell products or services online, your customers don't need to wait for your brick-and-mortar to open. A sale can be captured in real-time as soon as a customer becomes interested.
A strong online presence builds credibility for your business.
The combination of your website, social media, online reviews, and content can set your business apart from the competition or sink your chances of success.
Taking the time to make sure your online presence is complete and consistent plays a crucial role in how potential customers perceive your business.
An effective online presence will improve your SEO (search engine optimization).
In other words, it will be easier for people to find your business online when they search for the products or services you offer.
Strengthen Your Brand
Every aspect of your online presence is an opportunity to communicate a consistent message, voice, and look for your company.
Generate More Leads
What do you think happens when your business has strong credibility, is easier to find online, and you've got a great brand?
That's right, more leads. You do want more leads, don't you?
Essential Elements Of An Excellent Online Presence
Website, social media, reviews, SEO, videos, blogs, email, Google My Business, backlinks, data schema, and the list goes on and on. Thinking about your online presence can be overwhelming.
However, a complete online presence is only about three core elements:
- Your Website
Let's dig into each one in more detail.
Your website is where everything starts. Everything you do online and offline will drive traffic back to your website.
Think of your website as the hub of your marketing. Without one, nothing else works correctly or effectively.
How can you ensure your website is a solid foundation for your online presence? Focus on these two elements to start.
Must-Have Website Elements
We'd highly recommend your home page have a number of the following elements.
- A Promise: What problem do you solve, or what benefit will a client experience from working with you?
- Target Market/Personas: What target market are you trying to reach? What types of clients do you work with?
- Value Proposition: What's in it for the customer? What 3 or 4 benefits will someone realize in working with you?
- The Plan: Spell out how your customers do business with you or the steps they will take just after they purchase. Focus on the 3 or 4 main steps.
- Core Offerings/Services: Highlight the core services or products your business offers.
- Trust Building Elements: All of the items below can be used to build trust and authority.
- Logos of well-known clients.
- Awards you've won.
- Medial outlets you've been featured on.
- Associations you belong to.
- Calls to Action – Direct and transitional
- Direct CTAs are for people who are ready to buy: Schedule an Appointment, Get a Free Consultation, Buy Now, etc.
- Transitional CTAs are for people who aren’t quite ready but will be later. Cheatsheets, ebooks, checklists, etc.
- Proof: Is there mention of results for clients, case studies, etc.
- Video: Tell customers what their lives will be like if they do business with you. Overcome objections.
- The Cost: What will the consequences be if the customer doesn’t do business with you? What types of problems will they continue to experience?
- Map (local businesses) – Does a Map appear at the bottom of the page?
- NAP (Name, address, phone number for local businesses) – Is NAP in the footer of your website?
- SEO Content: You should have at least 250-300 words per page. There is an argument to be made that your homepage should have even more (up to 1000 words or more).
There are many on-page SEO elements you can optimize on your website. Things like:
- Title tags
- Header tags
- Meta descriptions
- URL structure
- Internal linking
For an in-depth look at this, check out this beginner's guide to on-page SEO.
Optimizing your website for search engines is imperative because the higher your ranking is, the higher the chances of generating more leads and sales. It's a great way to boost your online presence.
There are also off-page SEO elements that are important.
The following elements all play into your SEO success.
- A mobile-friendly website is a must.
- A secure website (HTTPS).
- Page speed of your website.
- Backlinks to your website.
- High-quality content.
For local businesses, the following elements are also important for your local SEO.
Another essential element that can catapult your online presence to the top is content.
Okay, so you posted a blog, and now you have content. Well, blogs indeed are a great type of content, but your job isn't done.
Tons of other types of content can boost your online presence:
Email users around the world are expected to hit 4.15 billion by 2021, so make sure to jump on the bandwagon NOW!
Email marketing is an essential type of content because it is affordable, measurable, convenient, and very accessible via mobile devices.
Social Media Marketing
We are living in a social media age where almost everyone is active on a platform or two.
There are important things you need to know about social media marketing.
The first thing to remember is to identify the best social media platform for your small business. Don't create content for every single social media platform out there at the beginning.
Then choose the type of content you want to create.
Also, don't forget to define, track, and measure social media metrics to know the return on investment or ROI.
And that's a wrap!
Always remember the three essential elements of a great online presence - website, SEO, and content.
These three elements can help boost your online presence to ensure that your business is at the front of the line.
We put together a list of resources for you to check out if you want to know more about improving your online presence. Also, don't be shy to TALK TO US should you need more help.
Recommended Online Presence Resources
The Importance of Having a Rich Online Presence
The Importance of an Online Presence for Small Businesses
Creating a Strong Online Presence for Marketing Success
So what do you think about this article? Are you ready to boost your online presence?
Drop a comment below and let's discuss.
Also, it would be an honor if you think this one is worthy of SHARING.
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