Here’s the point: having an online presence can make or break a business, especially for small business owners. Because I was able to find the website and all the product and service information effortlessly, I was happy to book an appointment. Further, I booked my appointment online, at a business I’d never heard about, in a building I’d never seen. That day, the owner secured a new customer that she wouldn’t have had otherwise, and most importantly, I didn’t have to look like Bigfoot for my event.
Thank goodness she had an up-to-date website, right? Having an online business isn’t only beneficial for you–it’s also one of the best things you can do for your consumers.
While it’s true that many small businesses don’t have a ton of resources or a lot of time to spend building an online presence, having no time is no problem. The actual website can be quite simple, and all it needs is a little sprucing up every now and again, including the aesthetics and the actual content. Setting up a few social media sites will help you to alert your clients and customers about updates, and even if you can only post once every couple of weeks, you’ll soon build authority online.
The time dedicated to building an online presence for your business is time well spent. Here are five reasons why it’s so important to build an online presence, especially if you’re a small business owner:
An Online Presence Enhances Accessibility
A huge reason to build an online presence is because your competition is probably building an online presence. If a consumer is able to Google your products or services in your city or town, and you are nowhere to be found, then they have no way to find out about you. Even worse, they’ll likely come across your competition and take a look at them online instead of seeking you out offline. To make sure your name appears at the top of Google’s search results, find out how to optimise SEO.
An Online Presence Garners a Wider Audience
An online presence also allows the customer to come to you. Even when you’re closed, customers will be able to purchase goods and services online. Basically, they’re doing your work for you, even when you’re not working yourself. There’s no better give and take for a business than that. You’ll be able to reach a wider audience, such as people who are unable to make it to your physical shop for whatever reason, be it disabilities, lack of transportation, or even because they’re in another country.
Enabling your business to reach the widest audience possible will only be beneficial. The best part? When customers like what they see, they’re willing to share the news of your products and services with others. Allowing these secondary customers to see that your site is up-to-date will ensure that you come across as professional. To enhance this, having active social media accounts will allow your products and services to be shared easily between customers, and then you’ll have even more customers coming to your site. Win–win!
An Online Presence Builds Relationships and Consumer Trust
The beauty of having a site, blog, and social media accounts is that they enable reviews and comments about your products. As an expert in your business, you’ll be able to answer any queries quickly and thoroughly. Any glowing praise that is publicly available will build your online presence and show even brand-new customers that you’re a reputable business.
Even where there are less-than-kind reviews or comments, you can reach out to unhappy customers and resolve the issue so that your good name stays intact. It’s better to know about an unhappy client so you can make amends and carry your name forward, rather than having an angry customer sharing their distaste for your business without you even knowing they were unhappy in the first place. Being able to right wrongs only helps to build customer loyalty. If you’re not forgiven, at least other clients and customers can see that you tried and that you’re willing to do everything in your power to keep customers happy.
An Online Presence Enables Effortless Marketing
Selling your products and services becomes an effortless process thanks to your online presence. Consumers will be able to browse your products and ensure that they’re happy with their choice without feeling pressured by sales associates. And, as we said, you don’t have to be there for this entire process to take place. Even at night, customers will be buying.
An Online Presence Shows You What Works—And What Doesn’t
Finally, an online presence allows you to see the effects of all these efforts. Tracking the metrics of your site and social media accounts is quite simple. You’ll be able to see numerical proof of what works and what doesn’t.
If you share a new blog post and see a huge spike in visits, then you’ll know you’ve hit on some content that your audience likes to see. Being able to see the results of your efforts will allow you to make improvements in every aspect of your business.
Building an online presence isn’t just beneficial to growing a small business—it’s absolutely essential. By creating a blog, maintaining your site, and becoming active in social media, you’ll be more accessible to a wider audience. You’ll also build consumer trust and be able to market effortlessly. Best of all, you’ll always be able to make improvements in all these areas.