What if countless small businesses made it almost impossible for customers to find them? It sounds crazy, but that’s exactly what any business with a poor internet presence is doing. Our world is increasingly digital, and companies without a robust online presence will be left in the dust by the competition.
Fortunately, it’s not too late to boost your digital or internet presence in a big way. In fact, you’d be surprised how many good reasons there are to increase your digital footprints right away!
1. Cultivate Relationships
We all grew up hearing that a successful business is more about people than products. While it sounds a bit like fortune cookie wisdom, it’s true. Much of your success comes down to cultivating the right relationships.
Overhauling your internet presence is a great way to create a better bond with your customers. For example, adding features like blogs and videos that address customer needs helps build customer loyalty. And videos demonstrating how to use your products best will inevitably drive up product sales.
Such a digital overhaul also makes it easy for you to generate new leads. Completing your Google My Business profile and streamlining website contact info helps new customers find your business and reach out if they have any questions.
Finally, performing this overhaul will help you cultivate professional relationships as well. By getting to know experts in digital marketing and other fields, you will develop a robust network of people you can call to better position your company in this brave new world of digitalization.
2. It’s Not “Go Big or Go Home”
One reason why many small businesses haven’t improved their online presence is the intimidation factor. It’s easy to think of a dozen new features you could add to your website. However, throwing in everything and the kitchen sink to your online renovation may require more time and money than you want to invest into this project.
If this sounds like you, here’s some good news: this is not a “go big or go home” style project. You can scale your plans up or down to accommodate better your needs, budget, timeline, or experience.
For example, your business may not currently have a social media presence. You could set an account today for no additional cost and ask someone to make a few posts a day. This alone can seriously boost your internet presence without forcing you to make any website adjustments or other major structural changes.
Not every good idea is good for your particular customers. A millennial audience may respond well to your series of YouTube videos while an older audience may be turned off completely by it.
Long story short? The scope of this project is determined by a mixture of your own needs and those of your customers. And even really small changes represent a step in the right direction for your digital marketing.
3. Re-Branding Opportunity
Earlier, we mentioned how improving your online presence doesn’t require a “go big or go home” mentality. But what if your business runs on that exact mentality? In that case, you may want to take this as a major re-branding opportunity.
If you’ve been working on a new logo, for example, this is the prime time for its debut. That logo can be the cornerstone of your redesigned website, your social media avatar, and everything in-between.
Have you wanted to diversify your demographics and reach out to more specific customer segments? In that case, you can add a nice e-shop to your website filled with new products and some enticing free shipping offers.
The overhaul also provides an opportunity for some nice digital synergy as part of the brand-building. You can start a blog on your website and then link to those posts on social media. You may also start a Youtube channel and integrate the videos into your blog posts.
It’s easier said than done, but re-building everything from the ground up gives you unprecedented opportunities in branding, synergy, and accessibility. Don’t look at it as an annoying challenge, but as a unique opportunity!
4. Synthesize Previous Content
Whether or not you are building from the ground up or just making some selective digital additions, the question remains: what should you do with your old content? You don’t have to throw anything out because you now have an opportunity to synthesize something new.
Maybe you had some old text tutorials for how to use your products. You can use those as a template to create video instructions instead and then make the old text part of your video description. Or, better yet, link users back to the original post in the description!
Let’s say that you have several blog posts related to a particular subject. Instead of letting those go to waste, you can turn those into an authoritative e-book. You can then offer that e-book as a special incentive for anyone who signs up for your e-mail list.
If you’re feeling particularly enterprising, you can also transform some of your old blog content into podcasts. Podcasts are a really dynamic way to reach a captive audience (think of people stuck on a long commute), and they help to humanize your business while building very direct relationships with your consumers.
5. The Power of Social Media
Earlier, we touched on how easy it is to set up a social media account for your business. However, do you know all of the ways that a social media online presence can help out your business?
For one thing, social media is designed to create online communities. By asking questions and otherwise encouraging people to post, you can help create an online cohort of your biggest supporters. In turn, by sharing, liking, and commenting on your posts, these supporters become major online advocates by providing a kind of digital “word-of-mouth” marketing.
Social media also adds a very easy and convenient way for your customers to reach out to you. Demographics such as millennials loathe making phone calls, and many dislike the waiting period that comes with sending an e-mail. With social media, interested customers can instantly send your business a private message.
If you want to take social media marketing even more seriously, many platforms have built-in features that can help in several ways. For example, Facebook enables you to target specific demographics and areas while collecting the kind of analytic info that helps you fine-tune your marketing.
Speaking of analytics, you can also take advantage of social media polls from time to time. This lets you collect information about customer desires in the most practical way: by asking them!
6. SEO Opportunities
What if you improved your internet presence and nobody noticed? That’s where SEO comes in.
Whether you’re doing a minor renovation or a major upgrade, it’s important that you beef up the SEO while you’re at it. Otherwise, you might not have an audience to appreciate that shiny new website.
Fortunately, many of the things that you do to improve your online presence also provide opportunities to improve SEO. Adding a relevant blog is a great example of this. With the right use of SEO (and some selective backlinking), you may soon find yourself jumping much higher on user searches.
A digital redesign is also a great way to address problems that you may not even know that you have. Your bounce rate is a great example of this. Factors ranging from image size to a lack of responsive design may be driving customers away as soon as they land on your site.
Sometimes, even small adjustments can have a big impact. Making sure you use SEO in areas like URLs and image tags can boost your SEO in some surprising ways.
Ultimately, you should think of SEO as an investment. You’re not going to see results overnight, but solid SEO is the cornerstone of any successful business and any successful online presence.
7. Become A Thought Leader
It’s easy to get annoyed by buzzwords like “thought leader.” Now and then, though, there’s a lot of truth behind the buzz. This includes the importance of situating your own business as a thought leader within your particular industry.
It’s the online equivalent of becoming the “brand name” in a customer’s mind. You know how countless people refer to any tissue as “Kleenex” or any soda as “a Coke?” That’s because these brands beat out their competition so much that they pretty much define their respective industries.
Your own business can do this, but you can’t do so with a lackluster online presence. Never forget that the competition is ever-present. If you’re not working on standing out in a digital world, you better bet that your competitors are!
Instead of racing to catch up to your competitors, this is your chance to set the standard. Get enough lead time on the competition, and, like Coke and Kleenex, you’ll be the first thing that customers think of when they imagine your products and services!
8. Position Yourself For the Next Generation
Many businesses–even very successful businesses–are guilty of focusing primarily on the here and now. That means sticking to today’s strategies, appealing to today’s demographics, and so on.
However, the long-term viability of your business depends on flexibility. This has been one of the biggest lessons of the digital revolution as companies have had to rethink how they approach marketing, sales, and everything in-between.
Improving your internet presence is going to yield short-term success. However, the real benefit of doing so is that it helps to position you for the next generation of products, services, and clients.
When you have a robust web infrastructure already established, it’s relatively easy to pivot in several directions. You can adjust your marketing and products to suit evolving customer needs better. Better still, you can track that evolution in real-time through the analytic data you collect across multiple platforms.
Compare this to what happens if you do nothing at all. When the next inevitable shift in demographics and marketing comes along, you’ll have to adapt products and services while also trying to find a new way to market yourself.
With a versatile online presence, though, you won’t be simply reacting to changes around you. You will be proactively placing yourself and your business in a position to grow and evolve.
9. Solid ROI
When you run a business, your main focus is always going to be your bottom line. That’s why we saved the best reason for improving your online presence for last: it offers an immense return on investment!
We already touched on the fact that you can add many new elements (including social media and blog content) for no investment other than time. And even if you end up hiring digital marketing professionals to overhaul your website, these expenditures will pay for themselves in no time.
That’s because a better online presence affects your marketing and your sales funnel at just about every level. A better website helps you generate warmer leads, for example, while an e-mail newsletter helps customer retention. Social media helps you create a community of satisfied customers who will help perform more effective marketing than anything you could pay for.
And like we said, you can scale this project as high or as low as you want. Start by focusing on one or two major areas that need a digital facelift. Once you start to see the results, you’ll understand that creating your own “digital revolution” is worth every penny and every spare minute that you can give it!
A Better Internet Presence: Get Started Today
Now you know about the importance of improving your company’s internet presence. But do you know who can help you stand out from the rest of the digital crowd?
We specialize in digital marketing at every single level. We can help with web design, SEO, brand-building and much more. To discover how we can transform your digital presence, contact us today.