The Top 4 Reasons Why Your Business Needs an Online Presence

Oct 16, 2014

online presence for your businessCreating an online presence for your business is a little more involved than slapping your company logo and telephone number onto a single-page website template. In effect, it means transforming your existing brick-and-mortar business into a new online entity that is fully equipped to successfully and profitably market to the next generation of consumers.

The personal computer and the Internet have changed the very nature of how people communicate with one another, receive news and entertainment, and purchase goods and services. Sooner or later, the business without an online presence will find itself as irrelevant as yesterday’s horse-drawn carriage maker.

In order to compete in today’s marketplace, your business needs to be where the customers are, and they simply aren’t reading the daily newspaper or letting their fingers do the walking through the local telephone book like they used to.

Your Business Needs 24 Hour a Day Accessibility
Consumers are impatient, and expect to be able to access information about products and services instantly and on their own terms. Your business website is a virtual sales representative that never sleeps, takes a lunch break, or asks for a day off.

Whenever a potential customer gets the urge to research your business, your website is there to provide information, answer questions, and make your sales pitch. Depending on the nature of the products and services your company markets, your website could even be set up to allow consumers to make an instant online purchase whenever the urge to buy strikes them.

Online Reviews: The New Word of Mouth Advertising Channel
Online reviews have become a highly effective means of providing potential customers with that vital social reassurance that your company is a reliable and trusted place to do business with.

  • An estimated 85 percent of consumers read online reviews before choosing a local company to do business with.
  • 79 percent of people who read online reviews trust them as much as they would a personal recommendation from a friend or family member.
  • About 65 percent of consumers will be more likely to buy from a company that has positive online reviews.

Without an online presence, your business is missing out on a powerful and effective source of word of mouth advertising.

Compete Effectively With a Strong Brand Image
An online presence allows to you build and strengthen brand awareness. In essence, your brand is a statement that tells customers who you are and what you stand for. It’s what sets you apart from your competition, and it’s a symbol of trust and reliability that customers can rely upon.

The Wal-Mart brand, for example, is all about lower prices while the Neiman Marcus brand is focused on luxury and exceptional quality.

Your online presence allows customers to experience and engage with your brand image, and gives you the opportunity to make your case for becoming a trusted friend and adviser rather than merely being another merchant manning a cash register.

More Effective and Less Expensive Marketing
For the most part, online marketing is more effective and less expensive than traditional marketing methods. For example, a typical business lead generated through online marketing costs $1 compared to $2.50 for traditional marketing methods.

According to a study by Search Engine Journal, the typical SEO (search engine optimization) lead has a 14.6 percent close rate compared to an average close rate of 1.7 percent for traditional marketing channels such as print ads or direct mail.