The importance of having an online presence:
With reliance on the digital world at an all time high, having an effective online presence has never been more important. Let’s be honest, long gone are the days of rifling through the yellow pages, whilst being drenched from the burst water pipe over head. We now simply grab for our phones, type a terribly constructed sentence into google, and within the half hour have a local repair man dousing the flames of our ineptitude.
Now the reason this local superhero stays in business is because he has realised the importance of having an online presence. He has taken steps to allow him to be discovered in somebody’s moment of need, turning a fairly small amount of effort into brand new business potential.
This logic does not only apply to plumbers and tradesmen, but to all businesses and if harnessed correctly can make the difference between a business closing and a business thriving.
Below are the top 5 benefits of having a great online presence:
Millennials have grown up in a digital world, and rather than printed adverts in the form of newspapers or flyers, are accustomed to bright flashing digital adverts and clever online marketing that draws them into an ever growing online sales space.
The first thing I do whenever I hear of a new brand or business is type their name into my search engine of choice, and scroll through all of their content that I can find to inevitably decide whether I want to be apart of their movement, support their business or share in their ideologies. This applies to something as simple as a new drink or something as complex as a new piece of development software, without that point of contact, I would instantly lose any desire to use or endorse that product due to the lack of information. This is the same for a huge percentage of us and with the ever growing mobile device market booming it has never been easier to search for this information.
A well though-out and designed website instantly gives a company credibility and can be the deciding factor when choosing between two services or products.
2. Providing relevant information and ease of access
This is possibly the most important part of having an online presence and it’s what allows people to take the next step towards using your company. You want your information to be abundantly easy to find and made clearly obvious throughout your website.
If you run an online eCommerce business this would be in the form of a well designed and easily accessible online store, giving users plenty of prompts and opportunity to add the products they want to the basket and checkout, with the least amount of hassle possible.
3. Free Advertising
The best part of having an online presence is having the ability to advertise your services or products for free and this form of advertising largely exceeds the more traditional types in exposure. According to the office for National Statistics, 80% of all UK adults use the internet daily and 88% weekly. This is ultimately an incredibly high percentage and shows the real benefit of having some kind of online presence, no matter what service or product your company offers. You are putting yourself in front of an audience of millions and millions of potential customers.
4. Being a step ahead of the competition
If the industry you operate in is heavily populated a strong online presence is of the upmost importance, you need to be able to separate yourself from the competition and stand out among the many.
There are a few ways that this can be achieved; well presented, memorable website, clever online marketing and data capturing from potential and existing clients. This also plays into the credibility aspect of your business and should leave people with a positive outlook on your company. If they visit multiple websites and yours stands out as the strongest aesthetically, the potential client will more than likely choose your company to proceed with.
5. Reputation Management
Now this one can go both ways, if you run a genuine and customer focused business and provide a solid and strong service an online presence can have the added benefit of a review system. This is optional but allows previous customers to leave feedback on the service and can catapult a company head and shoulders above the surrounding competition.
However, be warned, if your company lacks in good customer service this can also negatively affect your business. So if your only goal is to make money and not to provide a good service it would be recommended to stay away from this type of online presence.
No matter how big or small your company is, the benefits of having an online presence are undeniable. It’s like having a 24/7 shop that people can access from anywhere in the world. If you do own or run a business, and have not yet tapped into the limitless potential of the web, now is the time. Something as simple as registering your business on google so that people can easily access your information will go a long way.
If you really want to dig deep and build your online presence we would recommend a few things. Having a well presented website, using social media profiles to branch out and also setting yourself up on as many online directories as possible.