Can we safely say that your customer has a smartphone?
If the answer is a resounding yes, your business definitely needs an online presence.
According to a Google study back in 2016, 82% of smartphone users consult their devices before making a purchase in-store.
Stats aside, how many times have you searched for “restaurants near me”?
In the odd case that you don’t do this; know that everyone else is around you is already doing this. Looking up restaurants, pubs, laundry services, plumbers, carpenters and every other possible service or product on your phone before making a purchase is now commonplace. It’s called making an “informed decision”.
Today, if anyone wants to buy your product or use your service, they will first go online and research you thoroughly. Building a strong online presence by having multiple relevant documents, whitepapers, blogs, videos and other mediums of dispensing product information works in the favor of your company.
Users may be searching for your brand, your product or a similar product/service. Whether they are looking for your company or they just want to find a company that offers the service/product they require, having a strong online presence will give you an edge over the competition.
Your Website or Online Store
Your website is your online store and even if you don’t sell online, having a website is a good idea. Your website is the base for your online presence, and it is often the place where your customer’s research journey begins. Your website needs to be fast and provide all the relevant information to your customers. An investment into a great website will reap dividends in the long-term and give a leg-up to your online presence.
The Power of Reviews
Making an informed decision was once a product of asking the pros and cons of a product or service to your friends and family. But the advent of the internet and the increase in the usage of smartphones has given us far greater power, right at our fingertips. We now take suggestions from strangers into consideration as much as we do our own friends’.
Reviews are the online equivalent of “word of mouth” suggestions. May it be movies, TV, or food, everything has an attached star rating these days – usually a cumulative figure, summed up from individual user ratings and critic ratings. Your business can be reviewed on Google, Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp and several other business directories. But you need to ensure your business is correctly listed on these websites.
Once your business is listed, you need to employ the right strategies to get more reviews, because more reviews means more trust and more trust is equivalent to a stronger online presence.
The crux of the matter is – Consumers don’t want to make an effort to find you, so you have to make an effort to earn their attention. A simple search should provide your potential customers with all the relevant information about your company, preferably from multiple sources including your website, social media, external reviews and blog posts.
If you need help managing and maintaining your online presence, try Synup – a one-stop solution for business listings and online reputation management.
Rahul Agarwal is a growth hacker working at Synup, delving into a multitude of modern marketing and growth disciplines including content marketing, conversion optimization, reputation management, local seo and more.