Why an effective online presence is vital for your business and how to achieve it
Today, nobody can deny the power of the Internet. It is a huge network, keeping almost everyone connected and, following the ascent of mobile Internet access, this connection is almost continuous. So no business can ignore this direct and constant link to its customers and partners, current or potential, and here are some reasons why:
- The business will be accessible to potential and current customers and partners 24 hours per day 7 days per week without any additional effort.
- The business will be accessible to potential and current customers and partners located anywhere. People from California to New Zealand will be able to see the products and services on offer, and buy them.
- Effective online presence means projecting a professional image. Today, when people first hear of a company they search for their website and for any other information they can find on the Internet, like customer reviews, news etc. If they won’t find it or they don’t like what they find, they will just move on, most likely to one of the competitors.
- It is a great marketing tool, and very cost effective, especially for small businesses who could not afford to pay for the thousands of brochures, expensive advertising and so on necessary to achieve a similar result. Now, everything has a place on the Internet.
- Effective online presence will assist with almost all business activities, including customer service, sales, and even human resources.
There are many more reasons for a business to build an effective online presence and no reason why it shouldn’t. But what is an effective online presence? Some people believe that by creating a great website they’ve done it, but it is not so. A great website is certainly the starting and essential point, but many more things can be done.
- Firstly, the website needs to be both attractive and informative for the target audience. Also, it is important to give visitors a reason to come back, so is has to be permanently updated: news section, blogs, competitions, forums, newsletters etc.
- Secondly, the website has to be easy to find: listing it on web directories, considering Search Engine Optimization and AdWords campaigns all help.
- Thirdly, being sociable is essential. Building a presence on the main online social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) but also on other online groups relevant to the business and maintaining the connection constantly will achieve greater visibility. The more active a business, the more people will be attracted.
These are just a few very short discussion points on the necessity, requirements and the how-tos of building a successful online presence. As always, for best results a professional Internet marketing company should be consulted and a strategy tailored to business needs to be adopted. This will ensure effective online presence and keeping one step ahead of the competition. But to keep the discussion going, what other points do you consider essential for building an effective online presence?