Principally due to the coronavirus pandemic, more and more businesses, no matter their size, have found that the need for a website is crucial to business success. However, does your website actually represent your business and brand online? 
For some business owners, getting a website online has been the difference between surviving and closing the company. The COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to rethink their online presence due to more people working from home, home-schooling, online shopping, as well as holding meetings and socialising in a virtual environment. 

Why do I need a website? 

Before we jump into whether your website represents your business, let’s just consider the reasons why a business or organisation needs a website. 
A website helps your customers, new and existing, to find you online. 
A website increases your ability to reach more people worldwide, including your target audience, that are interested in your product or service. 65% of B2B buyers see a website as one of a business’s most important content channels. 
They build a stronger brand by highlighting the purpose of your brand, particularly if it is linked with social media channels. 78% of consumers want the brands they like to use their social channels to connect with them. The stronger the brand, the easier it is to create long-lasting relationships with your customers. 
A website increases a business’s credibility in the eyes of the consumer and builds your reputation. 

Tips to ensure your online presence represents your business 

Once you’ve got a website, it doesn’t stop there in improving your online presence with your customers. There are a variety of other marketing initiatives you can utilise to keep your presence not only in line with your business, but also ahead of your competitors. 
Did you know that 81% of people search online for a product or service? What is even more interesting is that 88% of consumers who search for a type of business via a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours. Ensuring your website is mobile-friendly is essential in improving user experience and searchability. 
You’ve got the website; you’ve got great content. Now is the time to put it to good use and share your brand story. For example, blogs are a good way of providing content that adds value to your product or services by way of videos, online tutorials and ‘how to’ guides. Develop a content marketing strategy to utilise and promote your business and brand online. 
Connecting your website to your social media channels is a great way to build a stronger brand focus with your target audience. However, ensure your messaging is consistent across all online channels. But don’t spread your business too thinly. For example, there’s no point having a B2B business on a social platform, like TikTok or even Facebook, if you want to sell to other businesses. Focus on the social media platforms that are relevant to your business, such as LinkedIn or Twitter. 
Word of mouth is a great recommendation for any business, but online reviews are essential these days. 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses before making a buying decision
For any company, online reviews can increase their online presence, and are a cost-effective, quick way to boost brand awareness. Linking to an online review platform, such as Feefo, Google My Business or Trustpilot, increases credibility and trustworthiness. Customers read, on average, ten online reviews before they make a purchasing decision. 
Building brand reputation goes hand in hand with credibility. A question that many business owners found themselves asking in recent months is, can they afford not to be online? Being proactive in your dealings with customers, rather than reactive, enables businesses to manage and improve their online reputation. Encourage customer engagement and online interaction through calls-to-action (CTAs) on your website as well as via social media channels, or even online advertising. 
Use your website as a marketing tool to increase ROI and boost sales. The aim is to provide value to your consumer. So, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an ecommerce company or not, you can still use your website to market your business. For example, ensure your website includes CTAs that stand out and encourage visitors to react with your business, such as registering for a webinar, downloading a ‘how to’ guide, or signing up for a regular newsletter. Whichever it is, you are providing value-added content that is of a high quality, and relevant to your products or services.  
The data your online marketing initiatives provide delivers great insights into your customers and target audience. Through this, it gives you another channel in which to develop relationships with your existing and potential customers. 
Three points must be considered when looking to improve a business’s online presence. Firstly, think mobile. 2021 is the year when mobile-first is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, consumer and business alike. Ensuring your website is optimised for mobile devices is critical, especially with the exponential increase in online searches and payments on mobiles. 
Secondly, spread your marketing budget across more than one channel. The digital world is wide and varied. Blend your online marketing across different channels, such as your website, social media and online advertising platforms, to ensure the best return on your investment. 
Thirdly, content is still king. Whether it’s your website, social media channels or any online advertising you are doing, it is absolutely essential to ensure that your online content is not only relevant to your business, but also adds value for your customer and is consistent across all channels. 
Looking to build a new website or refresh an existing website in 2021? At it’seeze Web Design Twickenham, we make website design easy, flexible and cost effective. Not sure if your website is working for you? We offer a free website health check that will decipher the areas where improvements can be made. Call us today to create the website of your dreams and turn your business into a success. 
Thinking about a career change? Want to run your own business? An it’seeze web design franchise could be the answer you’re looking for. Contact us for more details. 
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