I’m still quite surprised that in today’s business and digital world, some Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) still don’t have an online presence. Some tell me they have an email with a free service provider but to me, that’s not what it means to have a business presence online. Others have a website but often, they feel ashamed to mention it because everything about it is shameful.
I want to discuss some 6 things in this post that will help everyone build a flourishing presence online. Whether you have a website or not, some of these points can help you take your current status to a better level.
1 – Choose a reliable web hosting company
To be online means having your virtual presence hosted by a dedicated hosting company. But the failure of many online entrepreneurs starts here. A poor choice here means failure to create a thriving online presence.
Your web hosting company is the backbone of your online presence. They keep your data and make it available when needed by you or your customers. Whether it’s general information, specific product data, purchase specifications or emails, your web host has to make this available 24/7.
A reliable web host has to give you some maximum guarantees. This includes 99.9% uptime, reliable amount of disk space and bandwidth, databases, email accounts, tools to manage your property (easily create and manage databases, emails, easy installation of scripts like WordPress, Forums, mailing lists, etc) and above all 24/7 qualified live support).
Most of us from developing worlds have it difficult with local web hosting companies. A friend of mind in Nigeria has had his effort almost all crumbled because he took the wrong choice to host his business website. His site, including his blog were jumping On and Off. His host was completely unreliable and when he spoke to me, I quickly recommend a foreign host. I advised him to quit hosting with local companies.
The truth is, I sent him a list of top web hosting companies and he chose to go with Temok Web hosting. Just a few hours ago, Emeka sent me a mail informing me of his decision;
The truth is, you shouldn’t choose a web hosting because the owner is a family member or a friend. Don’t even do it because the company is based in your country. Being based in your country doesn’t mean the servers are also based there (as that has become a speed factor). Choose based on reliability.
One of the factors you should consider before making a final decision is customer service. Note that there is no perfect web hosting company. Everything runs on machines that can fail anytime.
What’s more important is how much time they take to resolve issues. This is influenced by how quick you can get to them when there is an issue (Telephone, Email, Ticketing system, Live chat, etc) and how qualified they are in resolving the matter.
2 – Start a blog on your business website!
I have mentioned it a couple of times that creating a blog for your business is a strong step toward giving your clients the required information and expanding your business.
Your customers are looking for information that’s related to your product. Why not create your blog and publish this materials? The more useful information you publish on your business blog, the more readers you attract and the more customers you get. If you want a thriving online business presence, add a blog to your business website.
3 – Do local SEO
Most SMEs have a local market. Most of their clients can be found just around them. People in your town are looking for you online and if you don’t do local SEO, you will be missing a lot.
Local SEO is a highly effective form of local online marketing. It allows local businesses to promote their services to local customers at exactly the time they’re looking for your type of business. Local SEO uses search engines like Google and business directories.
Here are some great content to read and improve your local business;
- How to Rank your Business Locally
- How to do local Marketing and dominate the competition
- Making Local SEO work for you
NB: I recommend you check out my blog posts how to get to Google page #1 without backlinks
4 – Optimize your website/blog for mobile
The world today is going mobile and I’m sure you know about it. People are busy moving and the state-of-the-art mobile technology allows them to browse websites, place orders, send mails, etc while on the go. In 2016, over 50% of Internet users are on mobile phones.
According to Google Analytics stats of one of my blogs, 51% of my visitors in the current month used their mobile phones to browse the blog.
Once your blog or business website has been set, you need to test it for mobile friendliness. A recommended test tool is this one by Google.
5 – Hire or outsource content marketing
Success online is hugely dependent on content. The more valuable content you produce and disseminate online, the more your influence. Content Marketing is simply about producing and distributing relevant content that attracts, acquires, and engages a clearly defined and understood target audience.
The error of most SMEs is that they completely abandon their websites to themselves. On some sites, past events are still labeled “Upcoming events” That’s clear indication that the website means nothing to their business.
In order to succeed in today’s content days, you must build a strong inbound marketing strategy that keeps your online presence constantly active. This includes hiring a permanent staff to monitor and promote your business online or outsource the job to offshore firms whose expertise and service quality has earned them the reputation.
6 – Have an active social media presence
Social media today is no new thing to businesses but what is puzzling business owners is how to use it to prosper their businesses.
The business phase of social media has outgrown the social phase. Because social media has succeeded in gathering a huge crowd of lovers, people now see it a fruitful ground to do business.
Most social media sites have developed business tools, allowing users a huge opportunity to generate more leads and grow their business. While most of these tools (paid) don’t require you have a huge social media follower-base, you still need to build an attractive profile.
Check out Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Iinterest, Google+, etc. I’m not recommended you become active on all of these. Here are 5 reasons why social media is crucial
Those are some of the things you need to do to create a thriving business online. Kindly share this post on social media to keep the information going.
Don’t forget to check out my blog here for more engagement