These days there is a multitude of online real estate that local and small businesses can use for promoting themselves. Think about it: there are tons of directories like Google my business, Yelp, Bing my business, Yellow Pages online – the list goes on and on. With so many options, have you ever wondered why there are so many online directories dedicated to showcasing local businesses? Well, because a positive online presence means everything to the long term success of local businesses.
If you’re a small business owner that still remains unconvinced, it’s about time we change your perspective. Here are the 3 biggest reasons why a positive online presence is so important.
1. Good First Impression
First impressions are everything. Make a bad one and you run the risk of a customer never coming to your business. Make a good one and you’ve found yourself a new customer. Your online presence is your first impression with customers. Today’s customers do their homework. No one walks into a business blind anymore. Instead, they do a little online research.
Searches like “salons near me,” “spas near me,” and “auto shops near me” are made by the thousands everyday. To put it into perspective, according to MOZ search analytics, roughly 50k searches of the latter phrases are made each month. That means there are a lot of potential, new customers looking to connect with local businesses close to them. And what’s the first thing they find when searching those terms? Online business directory profiles.
That’s why it’s SO important that your local business A) has an online profile and B) has tons of positive reviews. That way when potential, new customers are searching for the right business to visit, it’s your business they find and it’s nothing but a good they receive.
2. More Visibility
The reason why your online presence acts as your business’ first impression to customers is because everyone searches everything online. When was the last time you pulled out gigantic, yellow pages book to find a business near you? Probably not since the 80s. Online is where your potential, new customers are. It’s where you can connect your business with them. So, if you garner a positive online presence, this is introducing your business in a positive light to a slew of potential, new customers. A positive online presence helps you to reach reach new customers much more than traditional methods like newspaper ads, flyers, or listings in physical publications.
3. Build Trust With Customers
The one thing customers will always trust are online reviews. In fact, 88% of customers look to online reviews for connecting them with local businesses before ever stepping foot into a brick-and-mortar. Customers care about what their peers and their friends have to say about a given business. They view these as useful, unbiased perceptions of a given business. That’s why it’s so important your business has a profile on an online directory such as Google my business and/or Yelp. These types of sites grant your business the ability to showcase any and all positive reviews it may have received.
Start better managing your own online presence. Check out a free guide by Booker!