According to a recent report from Visual Objects, 76 percent of consumers will look at a business’ online presence before deciding to visit in person. With over 90 percent of consumers using the internet to find small and local businesses, it is more important than ever that businesses spend time optimizing their online presence to build their brand awareness. These days an online presence can mean better consumer engagement, more repeat purchases, and a wider target market for increased revenue. By spending a bit of time improving your business’s online presence, you can dramatically improve your business’s online marketing strategy and effectiveness.
Focus On Creating A Responsive And User-Friendly Website
Your business website is the equivalent of a first impression in-store. It is the first place many consumers head to gather information on a business, including locations, services/products, and pricing. Unfortunately, 81 percent of people will think less of a business if its website is poorly designed or outdated, says a survey on customer satisfaction. Approximately 36 percent of consumers are also more likely to contact a business with a website. For a local business, some of the things consumers want to see from their website include a clear design, easy navigation, and an easy-to-find search box.
One way to do so is to create a mobile-optimized website. Mobile and voice searches are rapidly climbing the charts as the preferred way to search. Meeker’s 2018 Internet Trends Report showed that the time spent on mobile engaging with digital media averages 3.3 hours per day per consumer. Around 91 percent of mobile users also say that access to content is important to them. In fact, 69 percent of them are more likely to buy from a business with a mobile-friendly website. Simple changes you could make to your business website include using large fonts, avoiding the use of flash, and opting for a simple but speed-optimized website design.
Utilize Local Search Engine Optimization To Boost Visibility
Consumers are no longer just searching online for eCommerce businesses; they are searching for local businesses. Approximately 29 percent of people are searching online for local businesses weekly, says a recent study. Recent estimates from Uberall’s study also show that 93 percent of consumers are likely to click on the first set of results when doing a ‘near me’ search- highlighting just how important local SEO is for small businesses. The best place to start for optimizing your local SEO is to optimize your website for both voice and mobile search. Ensure your business details are also easily found by creating a Google business listing. You can do this by opening a Google My Business account. Finally, encourage past customers to head online and leave their reviews on your Google profile. It builds credibility and trust with other potential customers.
Establish Connections And Cross-Industry Collaborations
Another way to boost your visibility online is to work with other businesses in and out of your industry. Getting bloggers or partnered brands to mention your business in their own social media content can garner attention from their own customer base and drive traffic to your business’s social media account and website. Research has shown that 92 percent of consumers say they trust recommendations from influencers. Customers are also more likely to trust recommendations from a brand they have already built up some credibility with.
With this in mind, it is also important to ensure your business’ social media website is up to date and responsive. There is a long list of ways you can build up your business’ presence online. However, don’t be worried about ticking all of the boxes. Instead, focus on a few and find what works for you and your business. These 3 can provide a good foundation to start with.