Census statistics for 2013 showed that 83.8% of all US households had a computer (including desktop, laptop and handheld varieties) and 74.4% of housholds reported Internet Use. Those figures have, undoubtedly, increased in the last year, as have other statistics related to internet and mobile computer usage.
Any business that does not see the importance in expanding the digital reach of their brand will be losing the opportunity to gain more clients. Ignoring this area of your potential client audience means a smaller, newer and more tech-savvy business will be able to surpass your sales with digital efforts alone.
What do you need to do?
If you feel that your business doesn’t really need a website beyond just an online listing with the local phone book, and you see that your business is online when searches for your business name are done, you may feel that you are represented. You are not.
You need control of the online assets that represent your company, you need to direct the way your company is presented and you need to be able to make changes to that information and be able to optimize the online content to appeal to your customers. You can’t do that with simple directory and index listings that have your business name and phone number. You can’t provide the content necessary to make your business show up in the searches where you most want to appear. And you have no way to start building a relationship with potential clients on another company’s website that just happens to contain a little information about your business.
93.3% of small business websites are not mobile compatible (Kelsey, 2012) and will not render properly on smartphones and tablets. Yet, 88% of individuals who search for a business on a mobile device call or visit that business within 24 hours (Google Mobile Study). You need to be sure your current website (or the one you are planning) is responsive and fully compatible with mobile devices.
Consider how you use your technology. 94% of small businesses use smartphones to conduct business — up from 85% in 2013 (2014 AT&T tech poll) and more than half of all small businesses are using mobile apps in their business in 2014 –this a 65% jump over the past two years.
Social media listings often appear before the actual website listings for a company. You need to make sure your social media profiles aren’t merely “scraped” by the social media host. You need to control the message and the way your company is represented. In social media, if you don’t do it Facebook and Google+ will do it for you — and then you will have to go through the hassle of “claiming” the existing profiles and proving that you are the business owner before you can make changes. In social media marketing, sooner is better — so start now.
If you have questions, or need any assistance to manage your online presence, thorough website development, claiming your social media assets, or developing a small business digital marketing plan, call Cool Jazz Web Design Studio. We are here to help you look good online!