You’re planning a trip for you and a group of friends-the destination is currently undecided. You search for “end of summer getaways” and are flooded with options. Naturally, you pick the first site that pops up: “XYZ Travel." It looks legitimate, so why not? Next thing you know, you’re completely engulfed by gorgeous landscape photography and promises of white sand beaches, crystal blue waters and unlimited fruity beverages, complete with miniature umbrellas. You’re sold, but you still need to find the pricing and booking information. The site is pretty jumbled and unorganized, the links are inactive, and the customer service number listed is no longer in service. So, what happens next? Well if you’re like many other consumers, you’ll return to your search and take your business elsewhere. Now imagine if your business’s site was similar to “XYZ Travel”? You could be losing customers before they even try your product or service. In this post, we'll share three tips to create and keep a strong online presence for your brand.
- Keep your site organized, current, and easy for customers to access:
This may seem intuitive, but a lot of sites are missing the mark here. Consumers love convenience and accessibility, and will likely become return customers for businesses that provide an easy online experience. Your online presence can have a huge impact on how consumers feel about your business. Studies show that more than two-thirds of all customers feel that a well-designed website influences their decision to use a local business. How likely would you be to shop with a business online, or visit their brick and mortar store if they have a jumbled, disorganized or outdated website? Your website is often the first impression a potential customer sees. Keep in mind that your site can be accessed by anyone and at any time, so it’s imperative to ensure that your site represents the image you want for business.
- Expand your audience through search and directories:
Do the “dirty work” so your customers don’t have to! By listing your business on local search directories and using the right keywords, you can reach a larger online audience. Your business’s presence online and in local search directories makes the search process user-friendly and convenient for your potential customers. But if customers can’t find your site, they lose access to your business. Before going “online," it’s important to research how branded and non-branded search can lead customers to your site, which is extremely beneficial to new businesses. Also, don’t forget the power of online reviews. Many customers can be deterred by negative online reviews, so this is another motivator to make sure your services on par with customer expectations.
3. Make sure your brand image is consistent:
It’s important to maintain a consistent brand image across all of your business’s marketing platforms. This type of consistent positioning will resonate with potential new customers and loyal customers alike. Make sure you devote the time and resources necessary to maintain the upkeep of your website- that may mean increasing your advertising budget or reallocating your budget to hire a web developer or social media consultant to keep your business on track! Returning to the “XYZ Travel” example, what does their site say to potential customers about their brand? It translates as inconsistent, unreliable, and possibly risky. Most consumers won’t feel comfortable spending a large amount of money with a business that doesn’t appear to care about their own image. Your business’s site is a form of promotion and it should always reflect how you want your brand to be positioned in customer’s minds.
For more information on establishing a web presence for your business, check out our eBook, Stand Out & Get Noticed.
About the Author
Lauren has worked with Cox Media as a financial analyst for over a year. She is a University of Georgia graduate and is currently pursuing her MBA with a concentration in Marketing. Outside of her responsibilities with work and school, she enjoys spending time with her girlfriends, traveling and fitness.More Content by Lauren Powell