Many traditional bricks and mortar businesses usually have little motivation to develop an online presence. Maybe you manage a bar and restaurant, are a Realtor in the local area or run a business with a physical shop front and think – why on earth would I need a website?
Well, latest reports reveal that more than 50% of Australians shop online, while 81% of consumers research a product or service online before purchasing. Whether you’re an offline business or manage a full-scale ecommerce store, having a strong online presence definitely matters in today’s marketing world.
The Internet is full of leads
We’re not talking about cables – but prospects!
One of the most advantageous benefits of creating an online presence is being able to generate leads for your business. Even if you sell an offline product or service, so many consumers start their search process online even when looking to buy offline!
Google is the world’s one number traffic source, and has started to list local businesses on the first page of Google search when users in the local area are looking for local businesses.
For example, I typed Gyms in Melbourne and here’s what the search returned:
Google shows several gyms in the local area with their website address, business name, address, phone number and directions. How much more revenue would you generate if your business topped online searches?
Handing out flyers or hoping prospects walk past your office is a dated marketing technique. Consumers are doing everything from finding their local dentist to buying their groceries online.
Without an optimised website, you’re inviting competitors to get ahead.
Internet is king of social proofing
Nowadays social proofing is a big deal. With so many businesses competing for the same customer, it can become difficult for consumers to know who to choose. A Search Engine Land study revealed that 88% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation from a friend.
In fact, it’s one of the biggest factors consumers use when deciding to use a local business or not:
Source: Bright Local
If your business has no online social proofing and your competitor has glowing reviews, an up-to-date website and a social media following – who do you think customers will pick?
Shocking Australian Internet marketing statistics
There is no doubt that the Information Age is finally here, yet more than 35% of small Australian businesses are still offline. Current trends reveal that:
- 83% of Australians have access to the Internet
- more than half use the Internet every single day
- Search engine optimisation (natural searches) is an online lead generation tool used by 81% of Australian businesses
- Over 50% of Australian based businesses outsourced paid and organic search methods to bring more prospects to their website in 2014
You can find the full list of statistics by reading the full Econsultancy article by clicking here.
Are you going digital?
As mobile devices and the Internet becomes readily available for everyone, consumers are putting down their Yellow Pages and picking up their mobile phones and laptops. Not only is online data more accurate and up-to-date, it provides shoppers with more metrics and information on your business to make their decision.
With more than 75% of worldwide businesses saying that having an online presence has had a positive impact on their trade, businesses who continue to ignore the Internet will have a tough time staying relevant in the future.