cartoon image of two hands typing on a laptopThis is the second in a series of blog posts that will guide you in growing your business, whether through practical advice or with ideas on how you can change the way you work. Each week we will cover a new topic relating to business growth, to help you make the most of your business.

Why is an online presence important?

Regardless of your business – B2B, eCommerce, specialist services or a deli selling cakes and coffee from 6 am to noon – having an online presence is important. Your website is your digital shop window, it is here that your prospects come to verify who you are and your audience gets to know you after clicking on the link from your social media post. It is also here that the decision to work with you or to purchase your product takes place, which is why your website must be functional, appealing and user-friendly.

On the other side of the coin, an online presence is what your audience, prospects and clients expect from you. Many of your current and potential customers are part of a generation of people who have grown up in a world where the internet is part of daily life. Millennials and Generation Z perform up to 61% of their transactions online, and thus a solid online presence is key to interacting with this demographic.

Having a successful online presence requires a solid digital marketing plan, one that can help you to identify your audience, attract them, and provide them with the right user experience when they come to your site. The best way to start is to carry out an audit of your business environment, including finding out what kind of online visibility your competitors are enjoying, what is keeping your audience from converting into paying customers, and what can you do to achieve greater visibility cost effectively.

Keeping up with the times

Nowadays internet access is primarily done through smartphones or tablets, meaning more transactions are performed on these devices every year. Being mobile-friendly is key. If your website is difficult to read or navigate on a smaller device like a smartphone, it can drive away a large portion of your customers. Check your site accessibility on phones and tablets, and consider the possibility of having a dedicated mobile site or even an app.

It’s also worth staying on top of social media trends and checking what’s popular. Look at what content performs well and what platforms are used by your competitors. For example, the creative industries often utilise Instagram, while media and communications prefer Twitter. Don’t just blindly put up post after post though, make sure that you are actually reaching a relevant audience and that they are engaging with your content. You want the ‘views’ and ‘likes’ on your site to turn into actual business at the end of the day.

How to manage your online presence

With technology advancing so fast, it is becoming a real challenge to manage a strong online presence for small business owners. A wise option is to seek help from a professional digital marketer. Get them to use a wide range of tools to help you to identify the digital channels that are best suitable for your business and take the most cost-effective approach.

When it comes to SEO, time and effort are key. Keep your content fresh, professional and insightful. Also, be aware that the chances of getting to the top position overnight are almost impossible particularly if you are after a popular keyword, consider running a paid search campaign instead.

Social Media are the buzzwords. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube are the popular choices. Treat them like a business function by setting the objectives and measuring the progress. If you aim is to drive awareness, but nobody is reading your post, it’s time to consider changing tactics. Again, it may be worth getting a professional digital marketer to help manage your social media and grow your audience.

Business growth advice from Tax Agility

At Tax Agility, we have watched many of our clients go from strength to strength and grow their business every year. As specialist small business accountants, we are there from the start to help our clients improve and create new opportunities. Talk to Tax Agility today to find out how we can help you grow – either call us on 020 8108 0090 or use our Online Enquiry Form.