In today’s world, there’s no doubt about the simple fact that the internet is a staging ground for success for many businesses, whether it be small or large. The internet has basically become a new frontier of which can oftentimes even surpass physical stores and establishments.
Just to give you an idea of how large this is, for the US alone, the internet is responsible for almost 6% of the entire country’s economy at a worth of $966 billion, and that number was far back in 2015.
Nowadays, with an estimated 4.66 billion people connected to the internet as opposed to 3.17 billion in 2015. It’s very likely that the value of commercial business done through the internet has far surpassed the trillion mark.
Now, it’s a given that if you are a large or small business, it’s hard to pass up the opportunity of establishing an online presence because that’s pretty much a vast market that you will be missing out on. The only question now is, with the importance of the internet paramount,
what can you do to take advantage of the market that the internet offers?
The Importance of Conversion Rates
Before you get on to that, you need to learn something important: conversion rates! You might have heard of the word before or maybe even not, but you don’t have to worry about thinking too much about math and stuff. It’s a relatively simple concept.
It is basically the number of people that visit your website that you can convert into a possible sale or another desired goal that you would want them to make. Once you have that number, you divide this by the total number of visitors that you get.
Sounds easy, right? It also sounds important… and that is because.. it is important.
So, why is it important? This is because you want to make sure that your conversion rate is at the highest possible percentage that you can achieve. It’s basically you looking at the number of people leaving the front door from your store after they’ve canvassed the stock, and you want to know what can stop that and make people buy something before they ultimately leave.
Higher and well-optimized conversion rates can not only drive sales for your business but can also lower your customer acquisition costs by simply maximizing the use of your existing user base. So, not only do you get more customers but you also increase the number of sales that you can get from each visitor to your website. Because of the amount of benefits that you get from this, you can even say that nicely built conversion rate measures are a significant part of a growth hacking strategy.
Why Your Online Presence Matters For Conversions
Establishing an online presence is essential if you want to make your mark in the internet market. However, that’s quite easier said than done. Now, if we’re talking conversions, that’s easier to think about because that’s already assuming you have all the necessary foundations in place. Setting an online presence, on the other hand, that’s just a big task in itself that most businesses entering the online world can look at as a huge challenge.
Not only is it already time-consuming to create an online presence, but it is also hard to do it right. Even so, the benefits that an online presence gives are all the more worth it. The fact of the matter is, you can’t really do conversions without having an online presence in the first place, so it’s a necessary step that most businesses have first to take.
But having an online presence that is effective just doesn’t necessarily make conversions. There are plenty of other benefits as well, such as:
- Gives your business credibility.
- Access to a broader audience.
- Much more effective marketing.
- Reliable and positive customer reviews.
- Accessibility & flexibility to necessary market research.
- The internet is 24/7 accessible to everyone.
- Better customer interaction & feedback opportunities
- The potential advantage over competitors
- Better and easier conversions
These are just some of the benefits that you get from having a solid online presence foundation on the internet. Creating one is without a doubt necessary if and when you are trying to penetrate the market through the internet.
Now that you know the importance of an online presence and how it also correlates to conversions, let’s discuss how you can improve your online presence to increase your conversion rates further.
Boosting Your Online Presence To Positively Affect Your Conversion Rates
Improving your online presence is one of the fastest ways that you can affect your conversion rates and other fields that you might not even have thought about. This is also one of the reasons why improving your online presence is great because as you make a better foundation, all the rest above it will be a lot more stable and will ultimately improve.
In this case, not only will you be getting a lot better conversions, but you will also see a positive impact on the other benefits listed above, but that’s enough of that. It’s also not that hard to do. Creating an online presence also gives you access to unique digital tools such as predictive dialers, SEO analytics, website metrics, and many more that you can also use to boost conversion rates and ultimately make your online presence a lot more effective.
It is a no-brainer to boost your online presence because it gives you a lot more flexibility moving forward with your business in the internet markets.
So with all that said and done, let’s go ahead and look at the different steps you can take to better your conversion rates through your online presence.
Step 1 - Create & Optimize Your Website
The first order of business in setting up an online presence is to make your own website, and not only just “make a website,” but you also need to make sure that your website is as responsive, optimized, and well-designed as it can be. Your website is the sole receiver of every traffic that you will get. Most of the other online presence that you will have are just for marketing and branding purposes.
When it comes to the hierarchy of traffic order, the website is the last step because it is where you can put in everything you want to show. In other words, it’s the bottom of the sales funnel, and you want to make this bottom as comfortable as it can be for your clients.
According to one research study, 75% of consumers judge a company’s credibility based on their website design, and most of the time, users form their opinion in less than a second. Not only that, but 38% of people will also stop being interested in your website if it has a layout that isn’t intuitive or content that doesn’t really make any sense.
With that in mind, you should really make sure that your website is as good as it can get. You can use different UX and UI research tools to grab an idea of how effective your website is and, from there, create an action plan of what to do moving forward.
Keep in mind that your website is the final solution to sink in a client. If you have a terrible website, it will most certainly bottleneck your conversion solutions and your online presence pretty badly, even if you have done all the other steps right. This is why this is step 1, and this is why it is the most crucial part of the process.
Step 2 - Produce Valuable Content
Content is one of the best ways to prove your credibility and expand on your online presence quickly. Creating your blog that talks about a wide range of topics that primarily covers your field of expertise is the same as sharing free valuable information to your site visitors. The benefits of a blog go both ways, as the content you share is also an excellent way to filter and identify the clients you want to have. With blogs, you’re targeting a whole bunch of people from random site visitors, avid readers, or even recurring clients. The goal is to keep them on your site for as long as possible as it gives you more time to convert them with each information they go through, thanks to the valuable content you bring out.
Take a look at this example of a company that sells inventory tool solutions to its clients.
If you navigate through their blog, you can easily see all the content they bring out to their market base. They also add in some tips related to improving inventory management, all without needing to buy their products.
The reason for this? Because they want you to visit their site and hopefully convert you into a client through the valuable information that they provide.
This primarily works well when it comes to people that have questions on the internet, and if you have the answers for them on your blogs, then that’s even better because it adds to your legitimacy as a company as well as your online presence as search engines will feature your site a lot more due to providing answers for search queries.
You can even add in a slight touch, saying that your products can help them even further with the problems and questions that they have. It’s all part of a strategy that a lot of businesses use and since it’s your content, why not just pitch yourself at the same time.
Step 3 - Maximize Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms generally are a great way to expand your online presence. According to one research study, these social media platforms are one of the easiest targets for small businesses to market their products and services. Almost 53.6% of the world’s population is centered around the use of social media in 2021. You can imagine how big of a market that is, almost half of the world’s population that you can easily access.
Another added benefit of most social media platforms is that they are also generally free to sign up for, including businesses. So there’s no real downside in making one; it’s just that the competition and the beginning phase can be pretty challenging obstacles to jump over. Other than that, paying for advertisements, utilizing market research, and executing marketing strategies have never been more accessible with social media platforms.
One of the best industries that make efficient use of social media platforms is clothing lines. The demographics of most social media platforms primarily range from 18-50 and thus are perfect opportunities for sale.
Here’s one example of a company maximizing its online presence:
This is a Baja hoodie online e-commerce store. They are a clothing line that has an online presence on three social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you notice something on their profiles, they’re all linking back to their website. That’s because they primarily use social media as an extension of their online presence.
Also, notice the pictures and their logo; aesthetic-looking visuals are one of the best methods you can use to attract attention to your posts on social media. It often doesn’t even take that much effort to integrate these visuals into these social media platforms. You can even hire a graphic designer to help you out if you are having problems with graphics related marketing.
It is always a great idea to diversify your traffic and not rely on one single source - search engines. This is why social media platforms are such significant areas to market your product because they also provide traffic for the cost of nothing unless you pay for paid targeted ads.
Step 4 - Strategize Content Management
Now, it’s crucial also to strategize the content that you create. It’s a great start that you are already making valuable content or thinking about creating helpful content. Still, it’s also crucial as to how you present this content to your market audience. You don’t want to confuse your audience with the content you provide, and you need to have a clear line of structure with how you handle all your marketing and content strategies. You might be thinking of starting a podcast, producing content on YouTube, or even a starting new series of blog posts for your audience, but unless you strategize this content and tailor it your audience's interests, you won't be able convert your loyal visitors into paying customers.
For example, when it comes to cold calling emails, call-to-actions are a vital part of how they work, and if you have exceptionally designed content for these emails but you don’t have a CTA, then how are you supposed to gain something out of it if your audience doesn’t convert back to your website.
The same thought goes for e-commerce stores. If you are an online seller like the clothing line mentioned before, you probably have a “shopping cart” embedded in your website.
The simple fact that you have customers already going through your products and picking out what they want to buy is already a great sign that things are going well, but you just can’t stop there. What about those buyers that have left some extra goods on their shopping carts and they seemingly forgot to continue buying them? That’s where cart abandonment emails come to place. Whenever a customer forgets something on their shopping cart, you send an email to them, seemingly reminding them that they still have products left out.
Strategizing your content guarantees that you distribute information as optimal as possible so that you don’t burn out too quickly and give your readers time to digest the information you share. It’s a win-win situation in almost all regards.
Step 5 - Start Investing in SEO
SEO or search engine optimization is one of the golden standards for increasing your online presence. This deviates a bit from creating content or expanding on other platforms because SEO primarily compliments your existing content platforms.
The internet as a market is very lucrative, but at the same time, it is highly competitive. Your website sometimes won’t even show up on the search results because of the competition you might face from other businesses. This is where keywords and keyphrases come into play.
Investing in SEO is the same as investing in a credible online presence because not only do you get traffic when it comes to ranking for specific keywords in SERPS, but you also get a lot more traffic. On the first results page alone, websites that rank there account for 67.60% of all clicks.
You want to get that 67% for yourself or even just a quarter of it at the very least, but ranking in SERPS can be quite hard if you simply rely on organic traffic. That’s the reason why SEO is such a valuable asset to have when done right. It also doesn’t cost much as well.
Take, for example, this online shop that is selling paddle boards:
If you try to search for “paddleboards for sale,” they’re not going to appear that much on the front page, but they are selling paddle boards as a product. Now imagine if they appear on that front page of google and if you searched for that keyphrase finding a paddleboard to buy. The likelihood of you converting from just a simple lurker on their website to a sale is very high.
SEO, in general, provides great credibility since ranking on google’s front page of results means that you are reliable, and that’s primarily why websites get ranked to the top page. It also attracts relevant users depending on the keyword that you want to compete for.
Not only that, but you also get actionable data to use in improving your online presence and your general marketing strategies. SEO is a no-brainer if you want to establish an online presence. It’s simply a tool that you can’t ignore because of the benefits that it brings to the table.
Step 6 - Promote Business Transparency
Business transparency is a critical factor to build on when it comes to promoting a healthy online presence. Sure, it’s great if you have exposure to a lot of people now when it comes to your marketing strategy, but you also have to make sure that this exposure is positive and healthy for your online presence.
It won’t make much sense if you are a famous brand not because you offer excellent products but instead because you are shunned. That’s something that you have to steer clear of. Promoting business transparency is one step to getting away from that. Honesty, transparency, and just general good business practices that care for your consumers are sure-fire ways to earn extra online exposure as well as a healthy reputation.
If you are a product store like a gym supplement online store, then this matters all the more.
If and when you have a product, there will always be people who will review your products and give a rating of how good they are. These reviews also add factors such as how your business handles talking to the client, how you take payments, how convenient it is, shipping durations, etc. There’s plenty of things to talk about, and if you ace all of these, you’re likely to get a lot more traffic to your website.
Having a healthy reputation of being transparent and offering great quality products at convenience is in itself a significant boost to your sales. Establishing your brand name significantly improves your online presence as people will be directing others to your website, online reviews will go positive, and your brand name will simply spread. This heavily affects your conversion rates as people will be more willing to spend their money on a business that they believe is reliable and honest.
Step 7 - Analyze & Study Performance Metrics
Always track your progress when it comes to any projects that you have done in the past. That includes improving your online presence. Always make sure that you get the chance to study and analyze the performance that you are doing with the strategies that you have put in place.
There are plenty of online digital tools out there that you can effectively use to measure the progress of your projects. Don’t settle for the simple “I get more sales now than before, so it’s good progress” because there may be a lot of improvements that you still can make with creating a better conversion rate for your business.
One great thing about establishing an online presence and finding ways to better your conversion rates is that you still mostly just need the same set of tools to measure both. The same goes for SEO as well. While it’s true that there are still categories of tools such as social media performance metrics, email marketing checklists, SEM’s & SEO, website analytics, funnel research tools, they all still often overlap and complement each other.
However, there is also another type of tool that is pretty much just a swiss army knife of every tool out there that exists such as Hubspot CRM and while these can get pricey, they’re pretty worth the price for the all-in-one convenience that they offer.
Always keep in mind to constantly find ways to better your performance with the strategies you execute to optimize the costs you incur for each marketing, website, or conversion scheme that you use.
Establishing an online presence for a better conversion rate is a great way to expand and grow your business. One great thing about an excellent online presence is that you’re hitting conversion rates and plenty of other areas that can further expand your business. While there are plenty of things to do, it’s all worth it in the end once you have established a foothold for the foundation of your business’s online presence.
Burkhard Berger is the founder of Novum™. You can follow him on his journey from 0 to 100,000 monthly visitors on novumhq.com. His articles include some of the best growth hacking strategies and digital scaling tactics that he has learned from his own successes and failures.