“It’s hard to find things that won’t sell ONLINE.”- Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO, Amazon

6% of firms got closed, 9.7% of businesses deferred, and 8.2% dropped in the United State itself during the coronavirus pandemic. What about the cases of developing countries? Nearly every business in the world has been affected by COVID-19 in one or the other ways. Then started an era of online!
The covid-19 pandemic taught us that “We should be there where the world is going!” So, the worldwide online market emerged.
Every local business ought an online presence, there’s no doubt about it. You need an online platform, regardless of your business size, how long you’ve been in the market or what product/service you offer.
So whether you’re a service-based company or a business that sells products, an online business, or a strong online presence is everything you need today. Of course, this does not apply to just e-commerce, but also to small businesses. 97% of customers go online to see and research local businesses before they shop.

Why does your business need an online presence?

1) Customer to find your business.
Consumers are very smart; thanks to smartphones and the internet! People search online for local products and services. They choose the best upon checking the ratings, reviews, business presence, appearance, etc. So, forget about 97% of your customers, if your business is not online.

2) To seem like a legitimate business.
Just like you choose the best employee, the best raw materials, the best workspace, etc. for your business, even shoppers search for the best in everything to buy.
84% of sales happen based on the information customers find online about any business. So, if you fail to deliver necessary details about your product/service or business across all online channels, you’ll be ignored—by consumers and search engines alike.

3) To market your business 24/7 – 365 days:
If your business has a strong online presence, customers can find you, know you, engage with your business, and purchase at their best time. Your business can generate sales, no matter where your customers are present, which device they are using, or what time they are searching for a product/service.

4) To get more conversions- more profit:
Getting recognized on multiple marketing channels, helps your small business to create opportunities for faster sales conversions. Growing your conversion rate may mean more sales- more profit.

5) To stay genuine in the real-time
Google (or any search engine) considers more than just your business website for ranking. The search algorithms examine your assets across the web (online) and decide how consistent & authentic your business is. A strong & optimized online presence helps your business to earn Google’s trust as well as your customers.

If your business often appears in front of your target audience in more ways with result-oriented experiences, the greater chances you get to create brand awareness. So, an online presence is a must for any business. Now, let us learn how to build an online presence for local businesses.

Steps to build an online presence for your business:

Step #1 Get Your Business Website
The main segment for local enterprises or small enterprises in building an online presence is to create a business website. You want a website that offers your customers the information they want to know. Your website should be mobile-friendly so that it is accessible to anyone on any device. A business website should be attractive, responsive, fast, and user-friendly.

If you’ve already got a website that isn`t presently performing well, it`s time to redesign it. Get a brand new website that represents your business in a good manner. Even local companies should ensure that they have got an optimized website that supports their business growth.

With DIY website builders, anyone can create a website without the need of having code or design knowledge. But, if you want a professional business website, then reach a good website design company and boost your business online.
Step #2 Get Indexed on Local Directories
There are a ton of directories where your customers are looking for the proper nearby service or products. Make sure that your website is submitted on those directories or websites, and keep your business information & listings updated.

This is critical as it looms that those directories could have up-to-date touch facts about your business so that, when any customer requires your service/product, they aren`t disappointed & they will reach you via call or message via the website.

Also, these directories give a boost to your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) level. Google intends to offer user-friendly results for all queries it receives. So, customers can get information about local businesses. That`s why Google prioritizes companies to provide NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) constantly throughout all listings.
Step #3 Utilize Social Media Platforms
Most people spend a maximum of their time on social media. So, marketing your business where your customers are present is the wise plan.

Having a social media presence is not just enough. You should know which social media platform your targeted audience is using the most. For instance, younger age group people use TikTok, Reels, etc. whereas Facebook has all the age group audience. So, if you have a younger audience niche business, targeting the Tiktok, Reels, Instagram, etc. platforms will yield high ROI.

Proper control over social media marketing involves time and money. Building a strong social media presence gives your business an enormous boost in the long run.
Step #4 Give Your Website a Large Visibility
Neither social media presence nor the website is alone just enough to boost your business online. Having a website or social presence where no one interacts with it means way better than having a business without a website & social media presence.

A good website should help to bring in traffic and optimized social media marketing should capture leads for your business. Through SEO and paid advertising, you can achieve it.
Step #5 Conversions matter; not your followers or fans!
Your business sales don’t boost with just fans/followers count. Rather, your following improves with a more potent presence. So creating a quality online presence by targeting your business niche interested audience help to get more sales (conversions). These conversions directly help your followers, likes, & reviews.

It is simple- better to have fewer fans with a converting website than to have plenty of fans and no conversion rates.

It’s never too late to start anything new. So, start building an online presence for your business, grow customers, and increase sales conversion.

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