Why Is It So Important to Have A Web Presence?
You’ve heard of all of these things you need to have online…
A cutting edge website, an engaging Facebook, a witty Twitter account, 1000+ connections on LinkedIn, an Etsy shop. You should probably be selling on Amazon, maybe eBay but what about having a chat room, hosting your own podcast, making YouTube videos, and don’t forget to write a blog at least twice a week!
We get it.
The online world is overwhelming and the number of tools you are required to know just to get by are infinite.
Well we’re going to breakdown some of the focus areas to work on for your web presence and some helpful tips to make sure you don’t drown in the endless sea that is the world wide web.
It’s time to hit you with some knowledge:
There are 16 million new websites every month and 785 million total sites online, yet more than 45% of businesses don’t have a website.
80%+ of Consumers say they consult online sources before purchasing a good or service.
That means that if you fail to have a website (even a simple landing page) for your business, it is likely you are losing a considerable amount of potential customers.
Fear not. There are a lot of resources available to help you create the site that meets your needs.
Don’t let a web designer upsell you something that you don’t need. Before you get started on which solution works best for you, think about what it is exactly that you need your website to do. What is the goal?
Is the goal to have the potential client call you? Is the goal to get them to your brick and mortar store? Is the goal to inform them of your services or possibly sell them a product right there?
The approach to designing a website for a consulting company is completely different than designing for a skateboard shop.
Once you have your website goals in mind, then assess whether or not you need help in creating it.
Website design is definitely something you should invest your time and money in but also does not need to break the bank. If you need something simple there are tons of tools out there such as WIX or Squarespace.
If you’re needing something a bit more complex or you just simply don’t have the time or energy to put towards building your own site, there are a lot of companies and freelancers out there that are able to bring your vision to life.
Half and Half being one of them (insert shameless self-promotion here)!
Relevant Social Media Channels
There are so many social media platforms out there, it is easy to become lost!
Let’s bring it back to the same principal as discussed in regards to a website.
Find the platforms that fit your needs and goals. And also, pick social media channels that fit your strengths as well.
For example, if you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy posting a lot or doesn’t have the time you probably don’t need a Twitter.
Or if your client demographic is baby boomers, you probably won’t find many of them on Snapchat.
My suggestion to you is to create two tiers of social media. Your first tier will be the sites you post on regularly and the second will be sites you sparingly post articles to.
Don’t make the mistake of jumping into too many platforms at once.
Keep realistic expectations so that you are able to have an active presence. A majority of consumers look at social media sites before making a purchase and most of that research is done to ensure that the business is still open. A lull in posting might make some think you are closed or have shut down.
Pick a plan that’s easy to stay consistent with!
Updated Blog and/or Vlog
Now most of you have heard of the mystical SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Blogs and vlogs help boost your SEO performance by providing more keywords linked to you through search engines.
Another advantage to staying consistent with content is that you can work to establish yourself as a presence in the industry or a subject matter expert.
Video increases your front page Google results by up to 53x!
If you create content that is valuable to your current and future customers you can work to build your subscriber and email list so that you can reach more people when the time comes for email marketing campaigns.
Writing fresh, new, exciting content consistently is hard. Stay tuned in the next few weeks for some ideas on how to bust down the walls of writer’s block. We’ve all been there!
There are a lot of ways to sell your product that aren’t in physical stores or in your own online shop.
For example there is Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Bonanza, Craigslist and those are only the mainstream ones. Even Facebook has their own Marketplace now!
There are advantages as well as disadvantages to all of them. Make sure you thoroughly research the platforms you’re considering to make sure you aren’t hit with any hidden costs or non-compete clauses.
These platforms can provide another way to reach out to potential customers and can increase your visibility significantly.
“Not a lot of people will write you a review after a good experience… but almost everyone will write a review after a bad one.” – Some guy at some marketing lecture somewhere
And he’s right.
Negative reviews can kill your company’s progress. Good businesses have fallen due to negative press.
The best way to combat it?
A. Respond to the negativity. Engage with the customer, find out specifics and offer
solutions (reimbursement, another try, discounts, etc). People notice when you respond.
B. Encourage your clients and customers to post positive reviews. Maybe offer them a
discount on their next purchase. At least send them a link via email to share their
experience. The more positivity, the better.
Web Presence is a hard, ever-changing road. You will get frustrated, you will curse the generation that created the web and you will spend many hours researching the best ways to utilize the millions of tools out there at your disposal.
But if you do it right and you nurture your online presence, you can foster a community of people and businesses, that are passionate about what you provide for them.
Brand loyalty is the greatest form of marketing.