In this age of “everything digital”, having your business information online is crucial. I am constantly encountering businesses in my local area that either have no web presence, or very little at all… and it boggles my mind every time. Even more perplexing: many of these same businesses are shelling out hundreds of marketing dollars per month for ads in phone books, mass mailers, and other “old school” methods – yet are reluctant to spend much for the digital side of things. If you are reading this, and it sounds like I’m describing you – read on, and then let’s talk!
What Is My ‘Online Presence’?
Your online presence is everything available online about your business. This not only includes your website… but also includes things like pages on social media websites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, etc), as well as your appearance in local search results. All of these are important, and all of these work together when done correctly.
Why Is My Online Presence So Important?
The answer is simple: The more presence you have, the easier it is to find your business. Whether on mobile devices or at their computers, most people use the internet as their primary means of getting information before making a purchase. This is how the majority of new customers will find you, and this is how they will make a decision on whether or not to purchase your goods or services.
This goes for nearly anything… from finding a good local burger, to getting car repairs, to purchasing a new home. If you don’t immediately provide the info that your potential customer wants, then they are going to look somewhere else!
How Can I Improve My Online Presence?
The main thing to realize is this: your goal is to provide the info that potential customers want, and make it easily accessible to them. With that in mind, there are lots of things one can do to improve, including:
- At the very least, your website and Facebook pages need to: look tidy, clearly explain your products/services, show your location on a map, display your hours, and provide a phone number and/or form to contact you.
- Any other social media pages you have need to provide as much of the above info as possible, and provide links back to your website and/or facebook pages.
- Stay active on the social media pages you decide to use. You don’t need to post daily, but when you post infrequently it gives the appearance that your business is inactive… to people, and to search engines as well. (Make an effort to post something at least once per week, even if it’s just a photo with a caption saying you’re really busy!)
- Have your business properly set up/verified within Google’s business listings, so that your business shows up in relevant local searches.
- Eliminate any ‘stumbling’ blocks in the information path… this varies by business on a case-by-case basis. A good example: if you have a restaurant business, get rid of the PDF menus and/or those awful scanned menu images, and use HTML to properly display your menu. (Having a PDF menu can deter business, because some mobile users don’t have PDF readers and/or find it annoying to open another app just to view a menu. Using a large scanned image takes forever to download on some mobile connections, and are often hard to read.)
I Need Help – How Much Will It Cost?
With StoutLabs, you won’t have to spend tons of money to have an effective web presence. Costs will vary depending on what needs to be done, but chances are high that it will be less than you currently spend on ‘non digital’ marketing… and far more effective. I will work with you to provide a payment plan to fit your needs and budget. Get in touch with me now at (423) 343-4274, or fill out the contact form and I’ll get back with you soon!