Online Presence: A 'Must Have' for Small Business
Isaac Southwell, Director Coffee & Cloud, looks at the importance of establishing and sustaining a strong online presence that enables you to stay ahead of the competition.
In a fast-paced digital world, having a presence online is a must, particularly for those operating in competitive industries. Utilising a range of tools available, from SEO to website development, there is a selection of methods available to boost and streamline your online visibility. Taking full advantage of the systems at your disposal allows you to not only reach an active audience that is ready to engage with your business, but also ensures a strategic, thought out application of marketing messages.
Whether visually engaging graphics or social media management to carry your message correctly across audiences, being visible online is integral to the success of trade and service businesses within New Zealand and Australia.
Develop a website
A website is arguably the most important first step for any business looking to build their online presence. A website is your own dedicated space that gives you complete control over the content you display, and how you display it. In many ways, this serves as the online face of your business and brand. A trade and services website tells prospective customers who you are, what you do, and how you go about doing it. It incorporates your style and ethos, as well as all the details you want consumers to know.
Graphics and design elements are the finishing touches to a site that shows off your professionalism. Giving users an overall enjoyable experience of your online space, graphic elements ensure that your site is a pleasure to browse. As you want users to stay within your site for extended periods, having interesting design elements to complement content is an ideal way to keep visitors interested and encourage them to explore more of your website..
A website is a place to show off your business. Draw your audience in with sharp, professional images and content. Ensure it is easy navigate and that prospective customer can easily find what they are looking for. And most importantly make sure it clearly defines what your business is about and what sets you apart from the competition.
Be social and engage with your audience
The use of social media is another way to ensure a direct and strategic message is delivered to your audience. This allows you to interact more personally with prospective customers through online conversations and forums. Posting on these platforms certainly has a few significant advantages. From the low cost of media sharing to the wider reach offered through interaction, the social media space allows you to cost-effectively reach a broader, interested audience. Social media lifespan is also longer, allowing for older content to still be relevant and interacted with.
With a global audience under a selection of platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, these offer streamlined message delivery systems that ensure you engage directly with your consumer base, and allow for focused targeting of your audience, delivering messages based on age, location and several other factors. The content itself also tends to be shorter and more attention-grabbing, allowing businesses to promote specific elements of their service offering.
Be found and stay found
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is crucial in establishing a strong and sustainable online presence. Taking into account a wide range of elements from keyword selection to quality content, SEO is a strategy to optimise your website to ensure the best possible search results. In other words, ensuring you get get found when someone is searching online for a service that you offer. Statistics show that 75% of online users never scroll past the first page of Google search results. Your goal is obviously to hit that first page!
SEO is a long-term marketing strategy with results generally noticed within 4-6 months, and sometimes longer for more competitive industries. Always conduct appropriate due diligence of any SEO agency that ‘guarantees’ a first page ranking as some may use black hat practices that could result in your website being banned or pushed down the rankings.
Coffee & Cloud can assist you with establishing an online presence. Whether it be a new website and SEO services, social media management, or graphics and design, we’re ready for a coffee and a chat. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free no obligation consultation.