97% of people go online to find local businesses. Even if they do all their shopping at your physical location, almost every customer “checks you out” online first.
Your online presence must be strong. If it is, then you will get more customers and you will grow. It is that simple.
A Strong Foundation
Every structure has a foundation. The pyramids, homes or even software have a foundation. For your home its the footings, the slab and the walls. For a skyscraper its the metal frame. Software always has a base that you build on. For the internet, its the TCP/IP protocol that allows us to communicate
The foundation needs to be strong, so you can build it on and get results. A strong foundation of a house is what allows you to build multiple levels, stairs and extra rooms. You add features such as cabinets and appliances. For the internet, we build websites, forums, ecommerce shops and mobile apps.
You cannot have a weak foundation or you will problems with when you start to build it. If TCP/IP was weak, the Internet would go down every day. If your house had a weak foundation, it would creak at night. Floors would sink. Every see cracks above doorways?
Foundation of Your Business Online
The foundation of your business needs to be strong. This is the owners, the mission, the core employees. In a digital and mobile world, online presence is the foundation. This includes: Websites, Listings, Social Media and Reviews.
They need to be strong or you simply won’t get as many customers. Here are a few examples
- Better reviews make it more likely people click on your website
- More activity on social media, more likely people consider you to be an active company
- Better description on Google Listings, more likely people find you
- More links on Listings sites, better reviews help you get better search rankings
Adding Features to the Foundation
Once you have the foundation, you can add features. One feature of a business, might be selling new products. Another feature would be the addition of new employees. Another feature would be adding ecommerce or scheduling capability to your website. Another features is creating an advertising campaign. The success of all of these is dependent, in part, on the strength of your online presence.
A strong online presence helps you sell better in the ecommerce shop. Your online presence affects whether people apply for jobs.
An Impact on Features of Your Business
Advertising is a perfect example. Advertising is just a function of marketing and a feature of your business. Let’s say you decide to start a Google Ads (formerly Adwords) advertisement. You fill out the form, write out the copy, link to your website, pick out some keywords and in 15 minutes an ad is running.
Here is how your online presence can impact the advertisement:
- Google will increase the amount you pay if you have a low quality irrelevant page
- A poorly optimized page will get less conversions
- If you don’t have a Google My Business listing, you can’t use a location extension and put an ad on Google Maps
- If you have poor reviews, your map ad will be less effective because the reviews show up on the map
- If you are running an ad and you have 2 reviews and the business below it has 100 reviews, you are going to lose clicks to them.
Even your listings can have an effect. This image below is a list of bakery’s in Denver. Notice how the expanded advertisements has link to listings at grubhub.com and seamless.com that allow the customer to order.
How People Find Businesses
30 years ago when you wanted to know about a business you asked someone or you looked them up in the yellow pages. In the modern world, people find you online. The problems is that this can be anywhere. Some might ask a friend on Facebook. Others will look you up in Google. Some will click on your Google My Business listing. Others will find you at niche websites like yourmechanic.com and see your shop listed on the website.
The businesses that pay attention and build their foundation are running ahead of those that don’t. By looking at the various tools and companies that help businesses build an online presence, we estimate over 200,000 businesses are tuned into the concept of building their online presence. It isn’t a level playing field. Either you are playing the game or you’re not. If you need help building your online presence then get in touch with us today.