Business owners have a lot of responsibilities including designing products, training employees, and taking care of customers. There is often little time left to focus on properly expanding or growing the business. Establishing an online presence is a great way to increase your market reach, advertise your products and services, and improve customer engagement. Unfortunately, many business owners don’t know where to start. Here are six ways to leverage the internet to grow your business.
Websites are powerful tools to help customers understand what your business is about and how to purchase your services and products. Many businesses fail to recognize the value and importance of establishing an online presence with a high-quality website. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), less than 64% of small businesses have a website. Considering that 76 percent of people start with a web search when looking for products or services, businesses without a website could be missing out on potential customers. Visually pleasing and user-friendly websites give customers confidence that they are working with a professional and legitimate business.
Most people start with a search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo when searching for businesses or products online. A typical search can easily return thousands of results. Unless your business ranks in the top ten results, it’s unlikely that people will make their way to your website. In fact, one survey found that websites that appear first in search results will get about a third of all visitors.
SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) is a strategy that helps improve a website’s ability to rank higher in search engines. There are many factors that play into SEO (Google has over 200 criteria) including using the right keywords, the number of backlinks to other sites, and having regularly updated content.
In addition to search engines, customers may use an online directory like Yelp or Angi to find businesses. Companies can quickly and easily set up a profile that includes their contact information, logo and branding, hours of operation, photos, and other information. Customers can leave ratings and reviews on the business to share their experiences with others. Since people naturally want to work with a business that has a good reputation, having a large number of positive reviews can help you attract more customers.
Globally, there are over 4 billion people who use social media regularly. As the number of internet users increases, so will the number of social media users. Younger generations (Millennial and Gen Z) are most likely to be influenced by social media with 55% reporting learning about new brands and products over social media. In addition to advertising benefits, social media allows companies to interact and engage with their customers easily.
While there are many social media platforms to choose from, businesses should focus their efforts on the ones that their ideal customers use the most frequently. For example, a business consultant will likely have better success on a business-centric social media platform like LinkedIn. On the other hand, a clothing designer might decide to leverage an image-heavy platform like Instagram.
Customers don’t always purchase from a company during their first interaction. Depending on the type of product or service, up to eight interactions are needed before the customer decides to make a purchase. Businesses need to find a way to continue engaging their potential customers over an extended period.
One of the best ways to accomplish this is through email marketing campaigns. Companies can collect email addresses from potential customers by encouraging them to sign up for mailing lists or by offering special deals or offers in exchange for providing an email address.
Tools like MailChimp can automate the entire process from collecting email addresses to sending a series of emails to customers on the list. You’ll need to spend a little bit of time setting up the email marketing tool, but it will save you a lot of time in the long run.
There are plenty of tools and technology to enhance your customer’s online experience with your business. Chatbots and knowledge bases can help customers find the information they are looking for quickly. Appointment calendars can give customers a way to schedule appointments with your sales team. Electronic forms can streamline the collection of customer information while online payment tools give customers the ability to pay in numerous different currencies.
At Lakeside Workspaces, we’re here to help thriving businesses with workspace options and services they need to grow their company. Our flexible workspace options are the perfect solution for companies that are scaling up and growing their market share. Contact us today to find out how our team can help you find the right workspace solution for your company.