What Makes Online Presence Essential for Small Businesses?
According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), out of 7 billion global population in 2011, 2.26 billion population (one third of the world's population inhabiting the planet) is using the Internet, which is a stunning 500% increase from 360 million Internet users in 2000. Therefore, by not having a website, businesses are ignoring the entire online population as well as losing valuable business opportunities.
Many large businesses have already understood this situation and have made their online debut in the last decade. But small businesses, which are often worried about their investments are still lagging behind in creating their online presence. They do not understand the importance of online presence and hence, ignore it outright. This article clearly explains the need of online presence for these businesses.
Can target local audience: Howsoever small a business is, it focuses on the local audience to start with. As people are spending more time on the Internet, it is one of the best ways to introduce your business to the targeted local audience. Using the website you can let people know what your business offers, your location, product information, business hours, special offers, discount sales, contact information, etc. The website, thus helps the tech-savvy generation to find their desired information easily and also helps the business grow faster.
Brings professional status to the businesses: A well-designed website makes the online presence of a business effective by allowing it to present its profile, operations, product/service range in a professional way. Using good quality content, businesses can educate the users about the business's products/services. This helps in building credibility among the existing as well as prospective customers. Moreover, having business e-mail ids that end with your own domain name brings more professionalism to your business.
Exposes business to wider audience: Internet is a global medium that exposes your business to the whole world. So, the Internet helps you spread your brand popularity among huge range of audience. It helps small businesses to reach global market and target audience worldwide. Also, it enables customers to search online for a particular product 24/7 and at their own convenience.
Helps business to stay ahead of the competitors: Having a website helps you stay ahead of your competitors who do not have business website. For example, if a user searches for the product you are offering, having a website makes you listed in the search results where your competitor cannot. Hence, chances of getting business are more for you than for your competitor.
Best way to resolve customer queries and to get feedback: A business website makes it easy for your existing customers to contact you for any of their queries related to the products/services and also to give feedback. This helps the businesses to build good customer relationships, which when maintained properly improves the customers loyalty.
Less expensive marketing/advertising tool: Compared to the traditional marketing which uses expensive media like TV, radio, newspapers, etc., marketing on the Internet is cost effective. Different marketing strategies used in Internet marketing like SEO, pay-per-click, link building, are proven to be successful and have become most popular in recent times.
Durability: Online promotion is more durable than a TV commercial, or a newspaper ad, which are less firmly established. Any promotion activity through the Internet stays for a long time and thus, helps to reach more number of audience. It encourages them to click on the ad, visit your web page and know your products, thus, making your business more popular.
These benefits underscore the importance of online presence. Online presence, however, turns to be ineffective if your website fails to appear in the top search results. If your web page lies somewhere in the inside pages, it is of little help. To get better page rank for your website, you need to take help of the Internet marketing professionals who will guide you with effective strategies that place your website atop online.