How A Poor Online Presence Can Hurt Your Small Business
Long gone are the days of having a booming business based solely on word of mouth. Personal recommendations do still go a long way, but good luck getting those new customers through the door if they can’t scope your business out online first. This sounds like a topic that is “so 2012” but as of last year, only 39% of Canadian businesses have invested in an online presence, even though over 70% of the nation is active on social media.
Here are 5 ways your business might suffering from a poor online presence, and what you can do to turn it around.
1) Customers Can’t Find You Online
Ensure that all your online profiles are completed and up to date. It only takes a few minutes, but it goes a long way in keeping your customers informed.
Here are some of the essential services you should be using:
To go the extra mile, refer to this more extensive list.
2) Your website & user experience is outdated
Once your customers have found you, now they need to find exactly what they came looking for. You want to be able to give your customers the information they seek as quickly and easily as possible – this should be your priority. Customers are searching differently than they used to as well. In fact, 4 out of 5 consumers search for local business information on their smartphones and 50% of them visit the store within a day of their search.
Ask yourself these questions when doing an audit of the website:
- Is the design up to date?
- Does the website appear properly on mobile devices?
- Are any links broken?
- Is all my business information up to date?
By updating your website, you can also significantly improve your conversion rate, bringing in additional customers and profits.
3) Your Social Media Feeds Are Inactive
Canadians between the ages of 18 to 34 spend about 5 hours online, with a good bulk of this spent on social media. Because they are already there, they tend to start their search on social platforms. If they land on your business page only to see there has been no activity for months, or years, don’t be surprised if they assume the business may have closed.
Keeping up a posting schedule is a serious time commitment and no easy undertaking – but it’s imperative. “So how often should I be posting?” There’s no perfect answer, but based on numerous studies, these are the recommended posting frequencies:
- Facebook – 5 to 10 times per week
- Twitter – 3 times per day
- Google + - 5 times per week
- LinkedIn – 5 times per week
Again, these are just a guideline, don’t feel bad if you can’t keep up with these frequencies. Use your judgment, posting once a week may suffice for your business, just stay active.
4) Your website looks unprofessional
A top-notch website will instill confidence and trust from your customers, a lackluster one will do just the opposite.
Here are a few ways you can quickly improve the credibility of your website:
- Add customer testimonials
- Let customers leave their own reviews
- Add seals of approval
- Create and share high-quality content
5) Your customers are left hanging
Customers expect to get the answers they are looking for faster than ever before. That’s why online chat platforms like Facebook Messenger and Zopim are increasing in popularity. When a customer sends a message via one of these services or even by Email, they expect a response and fast. The faster you answer, the happier the customer will be.
- Use the away tool to silence messages
- Use inbox settings to create Instant Replies
- Change your Response Time Display
Offering these communication options but not monitoring them will be more detrimental than anything. Customers with be confused and their questions will be left unanswered – don’t let this happen.
Invest in a better web presence for your business
A lot of these suggestions are easy and inexpensive, but sometimes a bigger investment is necessary. If you need the extra capital to fund your project, an Evolocity Business Loan or Merchant Cash Advance could be the perfect fit.
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