By now we know billions of web pages exist. And the growth of internet users has increased at a rapid pace. More than 42 percent of the world’s population uses the internet. That’s over three billion people. With those statistics comes the knowledge that businesses need an online presence to become successful and grow their business. If that many people are using the internet, then it must be simple, right?
Here are five popular misunderstandings about online business presence.
I can build my own website.
This is an easy answer. Technically, yes. You can build your own website. There are many low-cost and free software companies that offer tools to build your own website. They will even help you pick out a domain name, and in some instances, host your site for a nominal fee.
While this may seem like a no-brainer for small to medium businesses with a strained advertising budget, build-it-yourself sites can be a huge time suck. They can also be virtually ineffective if the site isn’t built correctly. For instance, your site may look great on a desktop computer, but won’t be mobile responsive on a phone or tablet. And depending on your knowledge, your pages might not be optimized properly, affecting search engine results and descriptions of pages and photos.
If I have a website I’m going to show up at the top of the search page.
If you have an original business name, someone types in your business name directly into the search engine with the city or state you’re in – sure. If a web surfer just types in some keywords, probably not.
Remember that statistic we talked about earlier? 42 percent of the world’s population uses the internet? That means companies are continuously coming up with ways to monetize their services. Developing an online presence is not free, but you can do it effectively with knowledge of how search engines find information and rank it.
I have a Facebook page so I don’t need a website.
Facebook pages are useful, depending upon the type of product or service you offer, but it shouldn’t be the only online presence you have. Yes, search engines such as Google and Bing recognize Facebook pages. But Facebook like all other internet-based companies is looking to monetize their services. Having 1,000 likes on your business page doesn’t mean that all of those followers are going to see your posts. The news feed algorithm is constantly changing so a post won’t get your message in front of consumers like it once did.
Facebook offers some great ad campaign choices that can be tested and monitored, but these do cost money, and running an effective campaign takes knowledge and experience.
Just having something on the web about my business is good enough for a website.
On the web, content is king. If you don’t continue to update your content on your website, your search ranking will decrease. Remember the changing algorithm Facebook has instituted? Well, so have search engines. And they continue to change them. The only way to ensure you show up in key searches — other than purchasing pay per click ads or keywords — is to add fresh content to your site. By having a news feed or a blog, you ensure site visitors have current, useful information relative to your industry.
I don’t need social media. My website is sufficient.
This may be true. If you do an online audit, however, I’m sure you’ll find your online presence isn’t as robust as you think it is. By creating a social media presence, not only do you ensure that you’ll have a larger online presence, you have a greater chance of engaging an audience relevant to your product or service. Keep your customer in mind. What is their age range? What is their average income? This can help determine which social media platform or a mix of platforms you should use.
Getting your share of voice on the internet takes practice, research, and repeated testing. The internet is constantly evolving, and with it, the way we deliver our message to users.
If you have any questions or need help evaluating your website, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to help you find a solution to fit your digital needs.