This is the first installment in our FAQ series. In this series, we’ll answer these questions:
- What is an online presence, why a business needs a presence online and what should they consider?
- How to build a strong presence online for your business.
- What is an online presence audit?
What is an Online Presence?
An online presence, sometimes called a digital presence or web presence, is simply a collection of results found for any business or individual via Google search or other search methods. These search results include your website, social media channels, blogs, publications, reviews, memberships to associations listed online, and so much more.
Whether you are active online or not, you will have a digital presence or, I like to say, “digital footprint.” A passive footprint reveals conversations about your business or yourself where you’re not actively engaged, much like a review where a customer can write either good or bad comments. So it’s crucial to control your narrative by staying on top of your presence online.
Why a business needs a presence online and what should they consider?
From Google’s own research, “76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a business within 24 hours, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase”. These compelling statistics provide insights into how consumer research can positively impact your bottom line.
So, why do businesses need an online presence? Just think about the fact that the average person searches Google three to four times per day before they even leave their house. Appearing in the top 5 search results allows you to stand out from the crowd, and now your online presence has transformed into a competitive advantage!
While your website provides real-time information about your company, products, or services and allows customers to place orders, make reservations, or receive customer service, there’s much more to consider regarding your presence online. For example, customer testimonials, product reviews, and even participation on conference panels lead to greater visibility and build credibility and each one of these items contributes to a trustworthy brand.
With all of these factors combined, having an online presence can make or break a business, especially for small business owners. Even if someone receives a referral, they will likely research your business and other similar businesses.
Don’t let your competitors poach your potential customer or client because of your lack of presence online. Instead, take advantage of the gold mine of potential customers and clients that comes along with having a solid online presence.