Over half of people only search online to source new products and services.
In the US, over 90% of people search Google for local providers before they go anywhere else.
So even if you are reluctant to use your web presence including social media for outbound marketing, the reality is your services are being searched for by potential clients everyday.
Having an online presence is no longer a nice to have, but as core to your business as having a telephone number and email address. But how many of us take a little time out now and again to put ourselves in our prospects shoes and search for what we offer? After all, it’s not especially difficult, go to Google or Facebook and search for your primary service and your principal place of operation, see what you find.
What Do You Find When You Search For You?
- What do you see? Which business comes up first?
- Is it your firm’s website? Is it an article about your offering? Or do get results from your competitors?
- What happens when you just search for your name? Does your LinkedIn profile appear?
- And finally, what happens when you carry out the same search from your mobile device? Do you get the same results?
Internet Ignorance Isn’t Bliss
Why are these searches important, even if you have decided not be proactive in online marketing? Because even if you don’t see the relevance of the internet, your prospects do. Even if your prospect has been referred to, they will search for you online beforehand, either to carryout some due diligence or simply to find your contact details.
There are two major risks in not paying attention to what your prospects find about you online
Firstly, if you can’t be found, how do they know you’re actually a legitimate business. Our trust has been eroded over the past 10 years by going such things as MP’s expenses, telephone tapping and the PPI mis-selling scandal. So you need to be sure you can at least be found.
Secondly, what they find when they get there isn’t that appealing. A profile or website that looks like it was put together years ago isn’t going to fill me with the confidence to trust you with my money, equally, something full of technical jargon doesn’t demonstrate you understand me. An out of date blog, stock images, no videos and not even a profile image of whom I’m going to deal with will drive me away.
Take Control Of What People Find About You Online
That means share your opinions on industry sites, get publicity in local newspapers with an online edition, comment on other peoples tweets, have a fantastic online profile/website, make sure that site has a compelling and timely blog, videos and images. Above all, make sure you have active and up to date social media profiles; especially for LinkedIn.
The more positive and regular posts that are visible about you and your firm, the more the search engines will reference you and the better the feeling your prospects will have when they search for you.