It’s shocking how many small businesses have failed to develop their online presence. A poll from February 2020 shows 29% of small business owners say they will start their website this year. What’s shocking is that those numbers indicate how many of these entrepreneurs have yet to join the rest of us in the online world. Hubspot puts the number higher, at 50%. Since we’re throwing out numbers, let’s look at another: 87%. That’s the number of consumers that start their product search online. If your business lacks an online presence, the chances are high that you will miss out on many of these customers that look at your online competitor first.
Here’s how building an online presence will help your business.
Tips for Building Your Online Presence
Creating an online presence is a low-cost way to make a big impact. These days you can create a website for a very low monthly cost and in just a few hours with a template from Wix, Squarespace, GoDaddy, Weebly, or dozens of other site builders.
Social media is increasingly important. This is particularly true during the COVID-19 pandemic, where many businesses have closed and found workarounds to stay in business, such as delivery or online sales. For the small business owners that don’t even have a website, how can you even communicate your hours—a sign on the door?
More people are on social media than ever:
- There are 1.69 billion users on Facebook right now.
- LinkedIn has 675 million users.
- Instagram has 112.5 million users.
You can use these tools to build a reputation for your business that will drive more customers to your storefront and the products you sell. Creating online content is particularly important for service businesses that do more than sell a product.
Benefits of Building an Online Presence
One of the benefits of creating an online business presence is the simple fact that your customers are looking for you first on the Internet. Almost 90% of your potential customers try to look you up online before considering a purchase.
An Internet presence will also help you reach more people. Blogging is a great way to increase the chances that you’ll show up in a Google search. Adding a blog to your website is easy, as long as you have something to say. Consider writing content from a local perspective; what are your customers interested in? If you’re a housepainter, write about the importance of prepping a surface before painting. If you’re providing a service, consider what prompts your target audience to look for you in the first place? What pain are they experiencing and how can you alleviate it?
Building an online presence means you build a stronger brand, which can help you sell more products and services but also attract more talent to your firm. For the small business, creating an online presence is not only important—it’s imperative. Are you looking for automatic social media sharing through external tools? Schedule a demo to see what Exelare can do for you!