Last Updated on: 26th April 2020, 04:25 pm
We live in a digital era, and so all businesses need to have an online appearance. Giving your business an online presence makes your business appear important. It also builds your brand, connects your clients and buyers with your business, and so much more.
Some people believe that taking your business online is a waste of time and money and thought to be only for big companies. Contrary to that, an online presence increases your customer base and gets the word out concerning your business.
Even if your business doesn’t conduct transactions online, customers and potential clients expect to see you online. Be it a social media page, a website, online listing, an e-commerce platform, a forum, a combination of some or all, you will reap great benefits, if your business is online.
Some time ago, they scheduled me for a medical test before my employment in a company. The only information I had was the name of the laboratory to run the tests and the city it is sited.
- On the appointed day, I boarded a bus, and after some peaceful driving hours, I arrived in a very busy city.
- I alighted from the comfortable bus into a noisy environment.
- Everyone around seemed to be so busy.
- I wasn’t ready for any drama and so I reached for my phone and onto Google search; I went.
- I typed in the laboratory’s name and could only hope that it would show up.
The Internet connection was slow, and I was holding my breath.
Behold, after almost giving up, I saw an online listing with the laboratory details. I dialed the number I saw, and it rang. A cute voice answered. We discussed, and she gave the description of the Lab to me.
I headed out, and with a little help from Google Maps, I arrived at my destination. I was tired but pleased that I wasn’t lost.
Here’s my point: Having an online presence adds spice to every business.
I could reach that lab effortless and run the test (which I passed), thanks to their online listing. That day, the laboratory just gained a new customer.
Here are some reasons your businesses need to establish an online presence.
12 Solid Reasons Every Business Should Have an Online Presence
1. Your Ideal Customers Expect It
This is a very strong point, as most customers in today’s world are digitally savvy. Show me a web designer that doesn’t have an online presence, and I’ll show you someone that isn’t ready for business.
Over 50% of customers require businesses to produce online content concerning their businesses. I love heading right to a business website for product information before making purchases.
And heads up! The world is moving fast, and customers are becoming impatient. If you don’t have an online presence, you imply that the customers should look elsewhere.
2. An Online Presence Provides Social Proof
Reviews and testimonials significantly impact customers’ purchasing choices. An online presence reinforces your presence. Also, online testimonials are a great way to fascinate potential buyers. Think of Google My Business.
Truly, you cannot control what they say about you online. However, you can influence public conception by creating useful resources on many online channels. It could be a blog, website forum, e-store, etc. This will enable you to convey your message to your target audience faster than traditional offline tactics.
3. Low Start-up Cost
These days, taking a business online is not costly. Sometimes, it is free. You have no buildings to construct, no vehicles to buy, no equipment to maintain. You catch the drift!
You only need a device, internet connection, and a few bucks (if you want to go advanced). Even if you don’t have access to a device with an internet connection, or you don’t have the time, you could hire someone to do it for you. You will receive good results.
4. It Makes It Easy For Customers to Reach You
Having an online presence makes it simple for potential customers to connect with your business. Nowadays, people resort to using the web for even the least of their stresses. When people have an issue or need a product or service, the most likely initial thing they do is to take their phones or computers and hit the search bar.
Whether people are specifically looking for a business, or they just want to find anyone online offering the product or service, an online presence presents you with a good opportunity of showing up on the search engine results and possibly earning a customer.
The internet has made it very easy for people to find solutions to their problems. Potential clients and buyers shouldn’t have a hard time trying to find your business to solve their challenges. Questions they may need to find an answer to should be readily available.
This way, the added publicity (forms, emails, content, phone numbers messages, etc.) which an online presence gives you will vastly contribute to your business, boosting your sales and eventually bringing in more income.
5. Your Competitors Have an Online Presence
If you don’t want your competition to leave you behind, then you need to invest in creating an online profile for your business. Remember, competition reduces complacency and inefficiency.
Having an online presence gives you a competing advantage over your business rivals who may already have an online presence.
Let’s imagine that I sell Chinese jugs and I don’t have an online presence. A potential customer searches for Chinese jugs online via Google search. I will be nowhere to be found, and there will be no way for them to know about me and my products. Even worse, they’ll likely come across my competitors’ offers and connect with them online instead of seeking me out offline.
This would have been different if I had an online presence. They would probably also go through my products online, compare the features and prices with my competitions, and I get a good chance of making a sale.
I often shop on AliExpress and one thing I do is to compare the features and prices of the product I desire to purchase. Most of those listings already have brick and mortar stores in China.
However, since they now have an online presence, it’s easy for me to view their products online and make comparisons with others. Because they are online, they get a good chance of making a sale.
6. It Gives Businesses Exposure to a Wider Audience
I usually advise most small businesses to do a bit of both offline and online marketing. It’s like bread and butter. With bread, you appreciate. With butter, you enjoy even more.
As compared to a physical shop, an online presence uncovers you to a wider audience, especially to people that may not make it down to your shop for whatever reason (be it lack of time and transportation, or even because of their location which may differ from yours).
An online presence connects you with them in a way you could never physically. It is very beneficial, enabling your business to reach the widest audience possible in a short period.
Remember, the more good traffic you get, the greater your conversion rates would be.
7. It Gives a Business 24/7 Availability
Something struck me when I was listing a client’s business on Google My Business Platform. She has a physical store that opens at 9 am and closes at 6 pm. I reflected on the scenario. After 6 pm and before 9 am, nobody could assess her business via any offline channel because her shop is closed for today. She understood this and tapped into the unending resources of the online world.
With an online presence, your business is open to anyone, anywhere around the world, 24 hours a day, 12 months a year. In the online world, there’s no need to display ‘’closed for today’’ sign.
I believe you know that while some people may not love to work late into the night, others are busy surfing the Internet. These people are busy searching for information, products, and services.
If you have an online store for example, even when you are deeply asleep, people are still purchasing your products, not between 9 am to 6 pm in the offline world.
Also, potential customers could contact you by email, SMS, phone, forms, or by any other online medium even when you have closed your offline shop for the day.
An online presence is like a 24 hours a day, seven days a week showroom, giving you the freedom to display your business to people all over the world, all the time.
8. Promoting Your Brand
In today’s world, people take a business more seriously if it has an online presence. They look at companies in a negative light if they cannot find them online.
You wouldn’t want this, would you?
Did you know that customer feedback, reviews, website design and usability amongst others can strengthen your corporate image and improve your branding?
Coca Cola spends millions of dollars in promoting its brand especially online. They aim to integrate themselves seamlessly into the world of their potential customers.
When your business has an online presence, marketing and promoting your brand becomes easier. Remember, brand equity is exceptionally significant for all businesses. And it has an enormous impact on customer purchasing decisions.
9. Efficient Customer Support
One of our clients didn’t feel too pleased answering questions daily about his business with his mouth. People seemed to ask similar questions every single time. We could envision how painful he felt.
We successfully designed a website for the business with an FAQ section addressing most of the questions. Imagine him answering a potential client like so ‘’ my business does this and that ……. you could look us up on http://www.hisbusinessdomain.com if you don’t mind’’. What a relief!
The Internet allows businesses to answer questions, post contents, share images, videos, infographics, product sheets, etc. just once, or only a few times. The business could then direct customers and clients to that information for years. Not only does this save time and energy, but it also enables the business to provide better service to customers and clients.
10. Building Relationship and Trust
An online presence enables you to stay on top of the game in relating to your customers. As an expert in your business, you’ll be able to respond to questions and queries quickly and effectively on any of these online platforms.
This will build your online rapport and show customers how reputable you are. An online presence makes your business more human and relatable. It gives you the business owner an opportunity to know your customers and their challenges.
Through online reviews and comments from customers, you can easily spot unhappy customers. This way, you can make amends quickly. Little wonder why most big companies have social media pages.
Imagine having an angry customer commenting over their dislike for your service online. This quickly gives you feedback and your ability to right the wrongs quickly and efficiently only helps to build loyalty.
Even if the angry customer doesn’t want to forgive you, at least other clients and customers will see the effort you’ve put in to make your customers happy. It makes them trust you more.
An online presence is an easy yet very effective way to get people to form a real relationship with your business.
11. It Presents Insights on Your Marketing Strategies
An online presence helps the business to understand what works and what doesn’t in the business. Through polls, surveys, analytics, and other tools, business owners can receive good perceptions on how their products or services are faring in the market.
As a business owner, you can track the metrics on your online platforms and derive useful insights (through likes, shares comments, and other engagements), using it to your advantage.
This will help you know if your content resonates with your audience.
Being able to see the result of their efforts, business owners can make improvements in almost every aspect of their business.
12. Low Advertisement and Marketing Costs
With an online presence, you can showcase your products to a larger audience for a fraction of the cost of other marketing media, sometimes, even for free (think of Facebook share, tweets, email shares, etc.). These are very inexpensive ways to promote your products or services.
And remember, your marketing goes on even while you are asleep.
With SEO, social media, emails, and the likes, you can easily market your brand and convert those prospects into paying customers.
Every business should have its door open to the internet.
Even if you haven’t started yet, it is never too late to join the digital revolution.
One of the most significant investments that a business can make is to have an online presence. The business will become more accessible, there will be an improvement, trust will be built and most of all, there will be more sales (meaning more revenue).
Does your business have an online presence?
Share your story and challenges!
We’ll love to read them in the comment section below.
To your success!