The Benefits of Creating a Web Presence for a Small Business | How to Increase Online Visibility | Increase Your Online Visibility with GoSite
Online content is a powerful tool for businesses. It can grow your brand presence online, increasing conversions, driving traffic, and establishing brand equity. As a small business, you must have a web footprint and work on your online presence to stand out from the competition. After all, 97% of customers search for local businesses online, so if they are still looking for you, you may as well not exist.
Building a small business web presence requires you to address three key areas: the actions you take and the content you produce, how you stand in the eyes of search engines, and how the public perceives your business online.
Given how challenging it is to increase your online presence, this guide will provide helpful strategies for how to get started.
The Benefits of Creating a Web Presence for a Small Business
Online presence for small business owners starts with making your presence known, but it must also translate to high-quality experiences. You need more than just visibility to win new business and become the leading name in your community.
You must know about SEO, social media, and developing social proof. It takes time, capital, and patience to make it happen. Still, if you work on your small business web presence, you can take advantage of the following:
- Getting Seen – Did you know that 35% of web users search for local businesses online multiple times weekly? Developing your business online presence lets your target market find your brand.
- Enhance Your Legitimacy – Consumers do research before they spend their money. Approximately 83% of customers will visit a store based on what they see online. Without a web presence, you’re losing out on most of your potential customers.
- Always Be Marketing – Today’s 24/7 lifestyles mean you cannot afford to be absent. If you have a solid online presence, you have a perpetual marketing campaign that never sleeps — even when you do.
- Maximize Your Investment – One study reveals that 46% of small businesses had no web presence in 2018, which means they are potentially losing money. With access to real-time metrics and cost-effective marketing tactics, online marketing is the most affordable way to promote your brand.
- Convert More – According to the Rule of Seven, it takes seven touchpoints with a lead before they become a customer. If you work on expanding your business’s footprint, you generate more opportunities to make these connections, leading to more conversions.
- Conquer Google – Google will analyze your website and the rest of your assets when determining your ranking. Over time, if you can get Google to put you in that number one spot, 27.6% of all clicks will go to your site.
- Improve Your Buyer’s Journey – The buyer’s journey charts the path a lead takes from discovering your brand to purchasing your products or services. Today, 63% of journeys begin online so making your online presence your number one priority makes sense.
The benefits of creating a web presence for a small business are the primary advantages for companies that invest in online visibility. Before beginning your campaign to increase online visibility, be aware that there are no shortcuts to success.
It requires patience, consistency, and a willingness to adapt. So, with that in mind, let’s discuss how your small business can begin developing its online profile.
How to Increase Online Visibility
An online presence for business starts with evaluating where you are now. Are you establishing a new business, or are you looking to expand your operations?
GoSite offers several tools to support you in your local small business internet marketing efforts, so browse this guide for inspiration on how you can drive your brand forward.
1. Create a Compelling Website
Your website is your digital storefront. Without a website, your business may as well not exist because this is a primary source to generate leads.
If you don’t want to spend thousands on a web developer or learn WordPress, opt for a simple click-and-drag web design builder like GoSite.
Build a simple, clean, professional-looking website for your small business — complete with an SEO-ready framework and mobile compatibility — in just a few hours.
2. Use Local SEO Placements
Google has always prioritized local listings for businesses. The first step is to ensure that all available information is accurate, such as your address, phone number, and hours of operation.
While you could spend your time on Google Business Profile and other directory platforms, GoSite Placement uses Uberall as a partner to list the details of your business across every meaningful directory.
3. Drive Online Reviews
Online reviews are valuable social proof for your business. Today’s customers rely on these reviews to make purchasing decisions, with 54.7% reading four or more reviews before buying.
Getting online reviews is easier said than done. It’s simple for a satisfied customer to forget to leave a review, whereas a customer with a negative experience won’t need a reminder.
Firstly, you should always ask every customer to leave a review on their favorite platform, whether Yelp, Google Reviews, or your Facebook page. However, tools like GoSite Reviews can automate this process, thus increasing your conversion rate and saving you time.
Don’t be disheartened if building up your review cache takes time. Only 5-10% of customers will go on to write a review, regardless of their experience
4. Create Informative Content
Content marketing is a strategy as old as the internet. Great content helps sell your business by:
- Positioning you as an authority
- Boosting your SEO
- Providing customers with something valuable
Successful content marketing will improve every conceivable web metric for your business, such as traffic numbers, time on page, and conversion rates. It’s why 72% of B2B and 70% of B2C marketers have an active content marketing strategy.
But what constitutes “content”?
Content can be any information useful to your audience. It could be a YouTube video to entertain or a detailed blog to inform. The point is that you’re giving out something valuable for free to engage your audience.
5. Get on Social Media
Social media is a must-have in today’s business landscape. With approximately 4.74 billion people active on at least one social media channel, half of the world’s population is at your disposal.
There’s no question that social media is one of the most potent tools for small local businesses and giant multinationals alike. The average person spends 147 minutes daily on these platforms, meaning this is where your customers are.
So, what’s the key to success on social media?
- Post high-quality visual content
- Focus on branding efforts
- Take advantage of trending topics
- Interact with your audience
- Use paid ads
Of course, you also need to be on the right social media platforms. Try focusing on 2-3 channels to start so that you can concentrate your efforts before casting your net further.
6. Cross-Promote Your Content
Cross-promoting means sharing similar content from one channel to another. It also involves asking that your existing followers seek you out on other platforms. For example, you might offer an Instagram-only discount, which you’ll promote on Facebook.
Cross-promotion results in momentum across your channels while leveraging your current and previous customers. However, be careful about simply copy-pasting from one channel to another. You must give your customers a reason to follow you in several places.
7. Collaborate with Other Businesses
Collaborating with others brands is a valuable way of benefiting from strength in numbers. These joint efforts will typically involve businesses in similar but different industries rather than direct competitors.
The advantage of business collaboration is that it allows you to access another market segment without worrying about your existing customers leaving you. Before reaching out to other businesses, ensure their audience is relevant to you and shares the same values and goals.
8. Take Advantage of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is one of the newer forms of marketing, but it’s proven remarkably effective. In one survey, 50% of millennials trusted influencer product recommendations.
But what makes an influencer?
An influencer is anyone with a substantial social media following whose followers trust them. You’ll find influencers of all ages and from every walk of life, giving you ample opportunity to leverage this tactic.
Note that influencers don’t need to have millions of followers. You can succeed by teaming up with local influencers with as few as 10,000 followers.
9. Create Engagement with User-Generated Content
Your followers can market your business on your behalf. If your Facebook updates are filled with comments, it’s a sign that your customers are engaged with your brand. And this is something the algorithms take note of.
Getting this engagement requires effort and often won’t happen organically. So, a popular tactic businesses have used to increase brand visibility online is to publish user-generated content.
Real people making your content for you indicates your brand is reliable. Again, it won’t happen by itself, so you may need to create polls, competitions, and other incentives to spark those first seeds of engagement.
10. Optimize Your Website for Success
GoSite Sites can help you create your website, but this isn’t enough. You must experiment until you perfect your user experience.
As your business’s online home, everything a visitor sees on your website reflects who you are. But how do you know if your site gives your users what they want? Here are some essential questions to ask:
- How much business comes directly from my website?
- Are people using my contact form?
- Which pages do visitors spend the most time on?
- What are my bounce rates?
- Is it easier or harder for my businesses to purchase on my site than my competitors?
Some of this information you can gain through Google Analytics, but there’s no substitute for asking your customers for an honest opinion about your website. That can happen online, via reviews, or by asking your customers when your team meets them in person.
11. Invest in Paid Ads
Paid ad options are a great way of putting you over the top and providing a competitive edge. The problem is that ad campaigns can become extremely costly if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Whether you use search engine ads or social media ads, start with a small budget and don’t be afraid to invest in professional help to reach the right people.
12. Create a Mobile App
Apps have become a massive part of everyday life. Today, 62% of businesses either have an app or are in the process of developing one.
By offering an app, you will help your brand to increase online visibility and attract more traffic. Although only some people will download an app from an unknown business, apps remain helpful because they reinforce the existing relationship with your audience.
Well-designed mobile apps can make it easier to upsell, provide a direct line to your team, and simplify product and service management.
Increase Your Online Visibility with GoSite
Knowing how to build an online presence is critical to promoting your business and branding it accordingly. But small companies can often feel overwhelmed by the prospect of marketing themselves online.
GoSite is an all-in-one platform helping entrepreneurs like you to lay the foundations of your online marketing strategy. Whether you want to build a website, conquer local SEO, or get more online reviews, this simple yet potent platform will supercharge your business.
Schedule your free trial now to discover why many local companies choose GoSite.