Is your small business accessible to social media and online use?
If you’re running a small business, you’ve probably been told already that you need to have a presence on the web. That’s been a trend ever since the internet burst onto the scene; with the amount of research now done by users through their mobile device alone, if you don’t have an online presence then they are likely to go to one of your competitors.
But are you aware of just how significant this trend really is?
Here are some key stats for you:
- Over 1.2 billion people are accessing websites from mobile devices alone – which means it’s likely that an even larger amount of people are accessing the internet in general to search for information online.
- 52% of users have said that a bad mobile experience makes them less likely to use a company – and if you don’t have an online presence at all, the number of lost potential customers would be closer to 100%.
- As many as 60% of very small businesses (1-5 people) don’t have an online presence.
So what does a good social media and online presence look like?
1. You have a responsive web design
Not only do you need a presence on the web, but you need a responsive web design. A “responsive” web design is one that resizes and switches out elements based on the screen that the user is viewing it on. Or, in other words, what a person can see on a full computer or laptop screen won’t work on an iPad, and a responsive website would recognise that the user is accessing it on an iPad and would automatically display a tailored site, designed for the iPad experience. This is even more true with the smaller screen of a smartphone.
Creating a responsive design is essential for your business website. Most website tools (for example, WordPress) allow you to automatically implement a responsive design to your website. It can be as simple as a check box, but make sure it works on a wide range of screen sizes.
Additionally, people are increasingly using social media websites to search for company information, and sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram are already optimised for viewing on multiple different screens including desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile. This means that it may be useful for your business to focus on also using social media sites to improve the friendliness of your online presence.
Remember, 52% of users are less likely to choose a company that they have a bad mobile experience with, a significantly high enough number to warrant a responsive design.
2) Keep your online information updated
Many customers are interacting with your business before they even arrive at your website now. Online directories and listings, as well as social media pages, tend to show up first on web searches.
So it’s important to get a listing on directories such as Google Places, Yelp, Bing and Yahoo, as well as any that are popular in your local area or industry sector. Make sure the information on those listings is kept accurate and up to date too, as discrepancies can hurt the experience a customer has with your brand. Important information to include is: contact details, trading hours, and full business name.
The same applies for social media pages. As potential customers search for business information on social media websites, in particular Facebook, it’s important that company information is up-to-date and easily links visitors to the company webpage. If your company’s social media presence is strong enough and provides all the details potential customers need, there may not even be a need for a company website.
3) Build up a robust social media presence
As highlighted, one of the key ways that online customers engage with brands is over social media.Statistics show that as many as 96% of Australians use social media, and smartphones are overwhelmingly the most popular way to access social media, at 81%.
Clearly, an internet-friendly business should have a social media presence. It’s a key platform for interacting with customers, by meeting them in the apps that they’re using if they’re on mobile, but also to ensure that customers are seeing your brand and visiting your website over your competitors.
Here are two key statistics about using social media to boost your business website.
- 44% of local businessessaid they depend on social media to generate brand awareness, and 41% depend on it to drive revenue.
- Almost 90% of marketers say their social marketing efforts have increased exposure for their business, and 75% say they’ve increased traffic.
Connect with Aussie Broadband on Facebook here.
4) Make sure your website is “future-proof”
This might seem impossible, as how can you predict the future? However, with the rate in which ‘website best practice’ advice changes, and the constant updates to algorithms at Google that mean you could be on the top of search results one day and buried the next, it’s important to understand what approach to the internet will prove resilient.
One important way is that content should be genuine. In times gone past, companies would get away with playing games with website copy (filling pages with keywords so that it wasn’t readable but got “seen” easily by Google) and making use of link farms (filling pages with useless links in exchange for the sites on the other end linking back, convincing Google that your website was used regularly as a source of information). These practices were committed in the name of ‘search engine optimisation’ (SEO).
Google eventually catches up though, and then punishes sites that aren’t honest about their SEO strategy. So you can future-proof your website by filling it with genuine, high quality content.
Your website SEO strategy can also be supported by your social media presence through the promotion of website content on your social media page. This way, your small business will be made increasingly online-friendly by having a larger online presence and broader reach without excessive costs. Not only this, but you’ll have more traffic driven towards your company through both the website and social media pages.
Interested in nbn™ from Aussie Broadband? Sign up online here.
Make your site has an online presence as a priority
Building an online presence for your small business doesn’t need to be expensive or hard. There is the perception that you’ll need to engage with an expensive web design team, but that’s not necessarily the case. Anyone can set up a social media presence, and check the “responsive design” box in WordPress – an easy platform on which to build a small business website. Aussie Broadband also offers domain hosting options / cPanel for website hosting. Find out more about this service here.
In fact, given the benefits it brings to your organisation in terms of lead generation, marketing and customer engagement, doing so will provide you with a rapid return on investment, and the website should become one of your most valued resources over time.
Here at Aussie Broadband we believe in giving our small business customers the best information to help them navigate the digital aspect of their site. Going above and beyond connecting your small business to the internet, we are committed to connecting you to your customers. Find out how Aussie Broadband can connect your small business today.