The Importance of Online Visibility
In the current economic climate, when faced with reduced advertising budgets, it is more important than ever that businesses take extra consideration in deciding which forms of advertising to invest in. So how important is it to maintain your business? online visibility? If the need to cut costs, means you must choose between a newspaper advertising campaign, or an updated website, for example, which is likely to bring more success? In this article we look at the importance of online visibility, discuss the fact that there are different types of visibility, how to make the best choices for your business.
Around 10% of all advertising budgets worldwide are now spent on advertising online, and this figure is continuing to grow at a faster pace than traditional media, such as newspapers and television. The main benefit of advertising online is believed to be its ability to reach a more precise target audience. Think, for example, of the huge variety of websites in existence and the fact that most people using the internet visit the specific sites in which they have a particular interest, as opposed to television or newspapers which tend to be aimed at a much broader cross-section of the population.
This ability of online advertising to target a specific market could be vital if you want to ensure that you spend your advertising budget effectively. The key is to reach potential and viable new customers, and this highlights another reason why the internet is so important. The majority of potential new customers searching for a product or service will start their search online. It is easy to see why. For most people, the internet is extremely accessible, allowing them to access a wide range of information from the comfort of their own homes and at a very low cost.
At the same time as searching for businesses, they can obtain further information related to their search. For example, someone searching for a plumber to service their gas boiler can obtain advice on becoming more fuel efficient, key criteria to help select a reliable plumber, and ideas of the likely costs involved. In most cases, the internet will offer the most efficient search method. This means that potential customers for a plumber in Manchester, for example, are most likely to end up choosing the services of a plumber who has advertised online.
So how does your business go about establishing an online presence? This is usually done by building a website to showcase the services you provide. The next step is to attract people to the website. There are various ways of achieving this, for example search engine optimisation, pay per click advertising, persuading or paying other websites to provide a link to your site, an e-mail newsletter, or listing your business in an online business directory. So with a limited budget, how do you choose the most effective strategy?
This is where it is important to understand that there are different types of online visibility. Online visibility is a relative term ? overall visibility, such as how many hits your website achieves, or it?s position in the search results of a major search engine, is less important than making sure your business is visible to your target market and that those who do visit your website are actually potential customers ? for this reason, it is important to consider not only the types of marketing you carry out, but also the types of websites you aim to be featured on ? it?s important to understand which websites are likely to be used by potential users of your business.
Search engine optimisation, for example, involves making sure that when a potential customer searches on a major search engine for a keyword or phrase that is extremely relevant to your business, "Plumbers in Manchester" for example; your website appears near the top of her list of search results. But you should consider how likely it is for your type of business that your website will get to the top of that list, and this will very likely depend on the size and type of business you are in.
It may be fairly unlikely, for example, that someone searching for a plumber will choose one based on the search results of a general search engine. They are much more likely to go first to a more specialised directory, to ensure they obtain advice on what to look for. They will want to find out whether their plumber is Corgi registered, or has been recommended by other customers. It may be preferable, therefore, to take a more targeted approach and list your company on an online business directory instead.
This can be a simple, efficient and cost effective method of advertising online, since people using the online business directory and seeing your listing will have specifically searched for a business like yours in their area. In addition, this will be a less costly strategy than seeking to optimise your position in a more general search engine. The UK online business directory, www.searchme4.co.uk specialises in providing UK business listings allowing potential customers to search according to location and business type.