In today’s highly competitive marketplace, businesses of all sizes, in all industries must have a web presence. The Internet is the primary tool by which consumers look for information on businesses, products, and services. What they find will directly influence them to make a purchase from one particular company and, if they are happy with that purchase, continue to make future purchases.
Without a strong web presence, your business might never be found, and you could potentially lose a large share of your target market to competitors. On the other hand, a strong web presence can help you grow your customer base, increase sales, and maintain an edge over your competitors.
What Exactly is a Web Presence?
A web presence should not be confused with a website. While your website will be the core component by which most potential customers will discover information about your brand, it is only one part of a web presence. A strong web presence consists of multiple online sources that serve to showcase your brand and drive traffic to your website.
These sources could include social media pages, blogs, videos, and other channels that consumers might discover more information about your company, and the products or services you offer.
The more your brand is established online, also referred to as online visibility, the more your website and relevant pages are likely to be ranked higher in the search results of search engines like Google and Yahoo! This not only increases the chances of potential customers finding you first, before they find a competitor, but also serves to improve brand recognition in your target market.
Why Your Business Needs to Focus on Having a Strong Web Presence
Consumers today want two things: they want to be able to find the information they seek very quickly, and they want am engaging, rewarding experience from the companies they choose to do business with. A brand with a strong web presence has the potential to fulfill both of those criteria.
Being able to rank highly on major search engines is only part of the equation. Not everyone will find your brand through organic searches. Others will find you on social media platforms or through YouTube videos, through guest blog posts or via content marketing. All of these sources help consumers feel as though they are engaging more with your brand, learning more about your
company and its products or services, and essentially ensuring that you can stay connected with your audience on a national or even a global level.
And although you’ll want to develop other online sources to showcase your brand, your website still plays a very important role in establishing your web presence. In many cases it will deliver the first impression to new customers. Having a functional, aesthetically pleasing website that represents your brand in both voice and style is critical, as is providing content that delivers important information in a clear, concise, and engaging manner.
Benefits of Having a Strong Web Presence
As mentioned above, a strong web presence will help you to rank higher on organic search results, which is, of course, especially important for increasing both web traffic and ultimately sales. But there are quite a few additional benefits that will further solidify your brand in the online space and help you achieve your goals.
Potential Customers and Clients Find You Faster
Because search results won’t just show your website, but other sources with inbound links to your website as well, there is an increased chance that customers will find you easier and faster, even if they weren’t specifically looking for your brand. A single organic search may provide a number of results that all lead to your website.
Better Relationships With Your Customers
Social media is the perfect platform for improved engagement with your customers and growing your audience. Through different social media channels, you can provide your brand with a clear voice that helps it become better established, relatable, and “human” in the eyes of your target market.
In essence, your social media pages are w ay to further introduce yourself to your audience in manner that you can’t via your website. Your website content will not change often, but through social media you can start conversations, promote new products, ask for input, let your audience know about industry-related news or events, and much more.
By posting often on social media pages on various platforms you can better interact with and engage your customers. Positive engagement will consequently serve to improve brand recognition.
Additionally, through input and information you’ve gathered from the responses or comments of your audience, you will be able to learn more about the wants and needs of your customers so that you can plan better marketing campaigns.
Improved Marketing Capabilities
Via both your website and social media you can develop a powerful digital marketing campaign. This will strengthen and expand your web presence, and allow you to reach potentially thousands of new customers both locally and nationally. With a strong web presence your marketing efforts will yield a larger ROI. You’ll have multiple channels to promote your products and services and further drive traffic to your website or specific landing pages.
Establishes Your Brand as an Authority in the Industry
The more your brand is involved in industry-related news and content, the more you appear as a credible authority. This, in turn, helps to build trust with the consumer, who will see your brand as reliable and professional. A brand with a strong web presence will trump those who have very little online visibility.
You Can Set Up a Hub for Important News
With a strong web presence you can establish a specific hub to provide important brand or industry related news to your followers. Whether through a Facebook page, Twitter account, blog or your own website, a hub that delivers a consistent source of information helps your brand remain firmly at the forefront of consumer’s minds.
Testing Your Web Presence
There are a number of analytical tools you can utilize to measure your web presence and see where you might need to improve in certain areas, such as bumping up posts on Facebook or improving the SEO on your website content. Keeping your website healthy and ensuring it attracts traffic through organic searches is especially important, and thankfully also one of the easiest things to track. For example, you can gage the following metrics to see what interests your customers most:
- How customers find your site
- What web pages they visit
- How long they spend on a web page
- How many different pages they visit
- Hoften they return to your website
There are dozens more metrics that can provide you with a great amount of insight into both the minds of your consumers and what prompts the most engagement. From metrics that measure engagement on social media pages to those that record informative data related to any videos you’ve published, the possibilities for collecting information you can use to fine-tune your marketing campaign and improve your web presence are limitless.
Additional Ways to Improve Your Web Presence
Not all parts of your web presence will appear on the Internet. Email marketing can also play a key role in further establishing your brand and developing your online visibility. Email marketing can be especially beneficial for small business, although major corporations also find it a viable, cost- effective digital marketing strategy.
Through email, you can direct your audience to social media pages, landing pages, and, of course, your website. Any by sending emails with engaging information, you continue to establish yourself as a credible authority, build trust, and improve brand recognition.
While not all the effects of maintaining a strong web presence will be immediately measurable, it is a worthwhile effort nonetheless. Over time, your customer base will grow, sales will improve, email subscribers will increase, your social media audience will get larger, and the competition will be less of a threat.
But maintaining a strong web presence also takes time, patience, and consistent review. Your competitors will be trying to match and outdo your efforts, and you’ll occasionally need to refine some of your marketing strategies. The data you collect via analytics and metrics will aid you greatly in this task by showing you what areas are doing great and where your campaign needs improvement. It’s an ongoing process but if you keep at it, it will continue to pay off.