7 Tips for Small Businesses Creating an Online Presence

Category : Business/Economy
Posted By : Ambrose Onyango
Posted Date : 01 Dec 2018 02:59 hrs

Taking your small business online is one of the cleverest decisions that you can make in this day and age. This is because the vast majority of clients are online for a significant portion of their day. However, the investment in building your online presence has to be made following a carefully thought out plan. Read on and discover the key 7 tips for small businesses creating an online presence.

Invest in a Good Website

You should go all out when setting up the website for your small business. Remember, your website may be the first contact that potential customers have with your business. Make sure that your website gives your website visitors a positive impression. Selecting a visually appealing layout for the website is one way to create a favorable impression.

You should also place your contact information in a place where site visitors can access it easily. This will enable them to reach out to you if they need more information regarding your products and services.

Another important aspect that you should not forget when designing the website for your small business is to make sure that it can load quickly. Sites that load slowly deter many visitors from finding out about your business since they will leave the site when it doesn’t load quickly enough.

Optimize for Mobile Devices

It is estimated that nearly half of all visits to websites are done using a mobile device. This number is expected to rise even higher in the coming years. Business owners who are interested in an online presence for their businesses must therefore optimize their sites so that the users of mobile devices can access the sites easily. You can take several measures to optimize the website of your small business.

First, make sure that the website loads in less than five seconds. This quick loading time is critical because people are notoriously impatient and will abandon any attempt to visit your website if that website loads slowly.

Secondly, position your main message strategically so that anyone using a mobile device can see that message clearly. Make that message eye-catching and prominent on the screens of mobile devices.

Thirdly, make sure that your website is easy to navigate. For example, place navigation keys in a visible place so that a website visitor can know where to click in order to access what they want. 

Be Accessible

The third of the 7 tips for small businesses creating an online presence is to be accessible to your target customers. What does accessibility mean in this case?

Be present on more than one online platform so that customers can find your business when they search online. Secondly, don’t compel your clients to pay you or contact you through just one method. Instead, have a variety of payment methods so that customers are free to choose what is convenient for them. Similarly, avail different ways to contact you (phone and email, for example) so that clients can select what is suitable for their needs.

Make Your Ads Device-Specific

As already mentioned, nearly half of all internet users access websites using mobile devices. The other half uses tablets or desktop computers. Savvy small business owners are aware that people who use mobile devices exhibit different behaviors from those who go to different websites using desktops and tablets.

For example, those who use desktops and tablets to visit websites show more interest in learning about a product or service, while those who use mobile devices are more interested in buying a product or a service.

Such insights mean that you should design your ad copy with a specific user in mind. For instance, it may not be helpful for you to bombard a mobile device user with endless information about your service or product. Such a person needs concise information to help him or her to make a buying decision. In contrast, desktop users will benefit from the extensive information you share since they are less likely to buy as soon as they discover your website.

Be Selective When Opening Online Accounts

Knowing that you need to be online doesn’t mean that your small business should have an account on every platform available on the internet. The demands of keeping all those online accounts active would be so overwhelming that you may never have time to do anything else.

Conversely, small business owners who are selective regarding the online platforms where they open accounts for their businesses thrive on the benefits of those online accounts. This is because prudent business owners pick only the platforms that will produce the greatest dividends.

Thus, you should study the nature of your business and pick the online platforms best suited for that business. For example, Instagram and Snapchat are good platforms for businesses in the fashion industry because they allow you to showcase your products.

Don’t Ignore Local SEO

Nearly nine out of every ten people search for a local business using a smartphone at least once each week. Don’t you want a piece of that action for your small business?

Many owners of small businesses grapple with the dilemma of whether to pay more attention to a global audience or the local one. The real question is, why not both? Local SEO (search engine optimization) is important because it will put your small business in front of people in your area. Consequently, it pays to include local keywords in all your online messages so that your business can rank high when a potential client searches for what you offer.

Furthermore, include a Google map pin on your website so that people can find where you are located even before they call you. Additionally, optimize the meta tags of all your content with your location in mind.

Keep Your Online Accounts Updated

Remember what we said about selecting the online platforms that will bring the greatest returns for your small business? Well, the reason why you should not overstretch yourself by having accounts on every platform you come across is that you must update those accounts regularly.

Otherwise, first-time visitors may think that your business closed long ago if it has been a while since you added any fresh content to the account they visit. It is imperative that you keep your target clients engaged online so that more conversions can result. Keep tweaking the way you present your content until you identify a winning formula. 

Use the 7 tips for small businesses creating an online presence and you will reap the rewards of the effort invested in the measures suggested. Don’t rest on your laurels after that. Keep learning about new ways to use the internet for your business interests so that you don’t get left behind in the dust of the rapidly changing ICT landscape.

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