Brick and mortar stores have long been the cornerstone of America’s retail sector. However, as ecommerce becomes the order of the day, these traditional stores are quickly losing their worth.
Make no mistake: brick-and-mortar stores will always be there as long as humanity exists. But if you own such a store, it’s time to start thinking about the online world; otherwise, failure becomes a real possibility.
So, how do you take your store online? There are different ways to build a digital presence for your business. In this article, we’re telling you how to do it.
Start by Creating a Business Website
More than 36 percent of small businesses don’t have a website.
Yep, in 2021, there’s a business without a website! If your business is among these, you have been doing yourself a big disservice. However, it’s never too late to create a website and join in on the online party.
A business website doesn’t just create an online address for your business. It can also become a store, where you sell your goods and services.
Creating a business website isn’t just about picking a domain name and paying for hosting. You need to create a site that can become the foundation of your business’s digital presence.
You need a site that’s optimized for search engines. This means it should be able to appear on the first page of search engines when users search for terms or phrases that are related to what your business does.
A proper business site must load quickly (no longer than 3 seconds) and be responsive. A responsive website is able to adapt the display to fit the screen size of the user, regardless of whether they are using a desktop computer, smart television, or smartphone.
Creating a business website is one part of the job. The other part is updating and refreshing it when necessary, so as to improve user experience.
If you’re still on the fence about creating a business website, these reasons to consider will change your mind.
Build a Blog
Most small business owners who create a business website leave it at that.
Yes, a website offers a solid way to build your business’s online presence, but on its own, there’s only so much it can do. Accompanying it with a blog is a more impactful way to expand your business’s presence on the web.
What’s the difference between a blog and a website? Good question.
A blog and a website have similar technical features: both need a domain name, web hosting, and a design them.
They mostly differ in purpose. A blog is largely informational; a platform for posting information about your business and even what’s on your mind.
If you have ever searched “how to start a small business” there’s a good chance you ended up on a blog. That’s the same way internet users will end up on your blog.
If you run a coffee store, for example, you can blog about all things coffee, including coffee recipes. So, if someone on the web is searching for coffee recipes (and there are a ton of people doing this), they could end up on your blog.
There’s also a good chance someone doing that search is interested in buying some coffee. After they’re done reading your blog, they could end up on your website and make a purchase.
As you can see, blogging doesn’t just expand your online presence. It also increases your sales.
Join the Social Media Party
Social media isn’t just for individuals.
It’s also for businesses like yours. About 77 percent of small businesses in the United States are already using social media for promotions and marketing. It’s not too late to join the party and have some fun!
However, handling social media for a business is different from handling your own social media. Personally, you can join as many social media sites as you please, but when it comes to business, you need to select a few sites and focus on them.
The big question is: how do you select which site your business should sign up with?
A lot depends on your target audience. Difference sites attract different audiences, so you need to be where your audience is.
For instance, if your business targets GenZers, you need a site that’s popular with these young adults. Good examples include Snapchat and TikTok.
If your target audience is on the other end of the age spectrum, you want your business to be on Facebook. This is where boomers and Generation X love spending their time.
Signing up with a social media site is a good step, but you need to do more if you want to reap maximum benefits. You need to grow your following and to do this, the account needs to stay active. Create content that is suitable for your audience and post it regularly.
Also, engage with your followers. Don’t just leave them on read. Respond to their comments and like back some of their content.
A Digital Presence Is Key to Business Success
The internet has revolutionized how we do many things, including how we start and run businesses. As a small business owner, you might have resisted the lures of the web, but you can only do that for so long. Your business needs to be on the web if it’s to have a shot at success.
From creating a website and a blog to using social media, there are different ways to build your business’s digital presence. Get started!
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