According to Google, 97% of consumers use the web to search for local businesses – and if the vast majority of your potential customers are online, you should be, too. Having a strong online presence is a crucial component of your marketing strategy, no matter what size your business is or what industry it belongs to.

An online presence is important for outbound marketing because it reinforces your brand and what you offer to your target market. Once you’ve communicated with your audience, you’ll need to have a web presence that helps portray why your product or service is so great – because that’s the next stop for the majority of your potential customers.
It’s also vital for inbound marketing because quality online content will help attract customers even if they haven’t heard of your brand.
So here are three of the first things you need to look at when building your online marketing efforts.

1. Your Website

All businesses, no matter how small, should have a website. It can be extremely basic, but it should contain the fundamental information customers – both existing and potential – need. For example, one frustration I encounter far too often is restaurants that don’t have a website with a current menu, opening hours, location, and contact information.

2. Search engine optimization(SEO)

Once you have a website, it’s vital that it can actually be found by search engines. After all, 89 percent of consumers use search engines to research a product, service, or business before making a decision. To take advantage of this, you need to make sure to look at search engine optimization (SEO) for your website.

3. Social Media

Social media is an important part of your online presence that improves your chances of generating additional revenue and building customer loyalty. It allows customers, potential customers, and other interested parties to engage easily via a channel that plays an important role in their everyday lives.

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