Your brand has a lot to say but if you aren’t visible do you really exist? More than ever a strong online presence is vital, not just to future growth but to current survival.
My dad and I were leaving a grocery store while on vacation a few weeks ago and he said to me laughing as we rushed out the doors: “if I had this experience every time I went shopping, I might enjoy it a lot more.” Now, my dad and I have an amazing relationship and love to spend time together, but it had nothing to do with our quality time. In fact, we hardly saw each other during the seven minute excursion. As he likes to say: “This is a buying trip, not a shopping trip!”
Although grocery stores might be a little different, more and more people are moving in that same direction. I would venture to say most take a more leisurely pace than we do on our “buying” trips. But consumers have done research online and know what they want when they enter the store doors. They already know where their hard-earned money will go prior to purchase.
So how do you compete? Here are five things to remember when working to improve your online presence:
1. Know Your Audience
Who are your customers and where do they consume their information? Demographics such as age and financial standing can have a huge impact on where you focus your efforts. Getting to know your customers and how/where they consume information can take time, but it is well worth the effort.
2. Evaluate Your Mobile Capabilities
How user-friendly is your mobile site? Does it have the key capabilities that your regular site has? Wait, first things first – It is imperative for you to have a mobile site.
According to smartinsights.com, mobile online time spent per day in the US is now nearly 10% higher than on a traditional desktop computer (50% compared to 42%). These are not projections for the future, this is now. Your mobile site should be simple, easy to navigate and useful.
3. Improve Your SEO
You can have the most impactful and informative website in your industry, but if no one sees it, it is irrelevant and so are you. Being visible not only makes it easier for others to find you, but it gives your brand legitimacy and credibility. Another important way to become more visible is to register your company with established online review sites such as Yelp. Let them take care of some of the visibility for you.
4. Focus On Customer Service
Customer service is a broad area and should more appropriately be thought of as customer experience. What does a good customer experience have to do with your online presence? Everything. If customers have a frustrating experience during research, purchase and post-purchase, they will not come back and they will be sure to tell others. A customer experience involves everything from how quickly your webpage loads to your customer service response time to how you handle their problem.
5. Control What You Can Control
Finally, there really are only so many things online that you can control so make sure your house is in order. By getting the most out of your own online properties, you make it more difficult for someone else to hold the power over your brand.
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