Internet users have gotten spoiled. We expect the brands we interact with to be on top of their blog, website, and social media feeds — so when one isn’t, it really stands out.
People who spend the majority of their working day connected to the Internet want to be able to find the information they’re looking for quickly and in an easily digestible format. If your online presence is lacking, then not only will they judge your company — they might find another company who does online marketing better than you.
Not all companies have to have a blog. But if an online user is searching for a plumber and comes across one who has great articles about fixing common plumbing issues or has a Facebook page that is updated even weekly with questions and company updates, they may feel more inclined to work with that company than one with no online presence.
Your online presence is now a precursor to how your customers interact with you. By setting yourself up as a resource through helpful blog posts and making it as easy as possible to be found online through local search listings and social media, you are only doing good things.
For business owners who don’t use social media on a personal basis, it can be difficult to comprehend the concept of spending time and resources on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and similar sites. However, even though they may not get it, they have to understand the sheer magnitude of people that do love social media and are on it multiple times each day.
Simply being on these top social networking sites and updating fairly regularly can have a significant impact on the numbers of new customers finding your company online. And what’s more, users expect it.
Visiting a company’s website and noticing social media icons or widgets makes you want to connect further with them. Users connect with companies via social media because they want to stay updated on what the company is doing. Companies need to respect that aspect of social media and realize the relevance it has for their business.
It can be said enough: Bad website design will kill potential customer sales. If a user can’t:
- Figure out how to turn off a terrible mobile site
- Find what they are looking for immediately
- Close a ton of pop-ups just to read information
- Navigate and search a site easily
…then they are going to leave your website. The online user attention span was 8 seconds in 2012 and the average user only reads about 110 words of content before deciding whether to leave or read more.
A website has only a few seconds to convince a user to stay and purchase from or contact the company. Mediocre website design just isn’t cutting it anymore. Step up to the plate and hire a designer, or use an easy website CMS (like WordPress) to create a site that is simple, easy to use, and visually appealing.
A Final Word of Caution
Even though I have just espoused the values of social media, content, and great web design, there are instances where these marketing methods can hurt you– inactivity. Don’t create a Facebook page or Twitter profile and then never update it. It’s better not to do anything at all. Just with any other type of marketing or exposure, it will only work as well as the time put into it.
Just as a user may judge for a crappy website, they will judge even harder for expired coupons or a Facebook page that hasn’t been updated in months. Committing to internet marketing means that you are recognizing the importance the internet holds for people finding your business. The yellow pages isn’t enough anymore– get out there and create some internet breadcrumbs for your customers to follow.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.