The importance of web presence for small businesses

Many small businesses may be shooting themselves in the foot by not understanding the relevance, and indeed, importance of holding an online presence in the modern-day business world.  

In terms of how this could affect you; you can now improve your visibility giving fresh, and relevant, eyes to your business. When it comes to things like renting out a property people’s first port of call is now to check online. Not only can they see about the property from where they are already sat but they can also look at statistics of the area and amenities. This also gives opportunity to check out your business.

Although not seen as a traditional avenue of marketing, small businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of having some kind of online presence. This goes for having Facebook pages, twitter accounts, Google+, YouTube, blogs as well as a website too. These things take commitment to maintain; and in some cases businesses do not understand how important this investment could be. By having a dedicated person, or even team, that can be constantly working on your website you can keep providing excellent content that is not repetitive to your audience and build a direct relationship and interaction with both your customers and readers.

As you can see; there is a lot of work to deal with. Each account requires a different approach, which is a job in itself. Many companies are employing in-house to deal with their online marketing as they understand the importance of this.

When you look at the stats Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn are the top three most used media networks by small businesses. LinkedIn is excellent in terms of relationship building and expanding your network, essential for all small businesses that have some kind of focus on their development. Facebook and twitter give you an almost instantaneous communication channel with your clients and customers. Having this much connectivity means that you should always look at someone to deal with this, as it’s a vital party of your marketing strategy.

As you can see from the below info-graphic, 9 out of 10 people call or visit a business when found after a local search, with statistics like that it starts to hold more gravity. Nowadays, with the internet available pretty much everywhere we can find out information in literally seconds. As with any business strategy, if you’re not willing to move with the correlation then you’re going to get left behind. Your loyal customers may not be quite as willing to part with their cash when they feel like you’re playing catch-up and your competitors are miles ahead.

We are already beginning to see that in the UK economy, brands that didn’t keep up with the online internet boom of recent years are now in a very dangerous position. Many of which, are now regretting this decision; as they were not quick enough to embrace change.

Perhaps many businesses cannot see how they will see a return on investment? However, other more savvy business owners are now in a position to leverage themselves online now as they had already future-proofed their business.
How many businesses do you think can survive in the current economic climate without a web presence?

This article is by Matt Jones who is writing on behalf of Vistaprint UK who specialise in free business cards and websites. Matt is a graduate who specialises in online writing in regards to marketing, business, advertising and promotion.

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