5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs to Market Online Today

Remember the days when the printed Yellow Pages book used to serve as a means to find contact details for a business service you wanted to source a quote from?  Perth has evolved enormously in business and communications in the last 10 years, let alone 20. As a proud Western Australian I often joke to fellow sandgropers and visiting friends that “WA” stands for ‘wait awhile’.  In many areas, including technology, this is still the case. The future of business is now, and attempting to do business without the modern day promotion of your ‘store front’ – also known as a website – can be detrimental to your business.

Australia is Online

The latest ABS figures (2012-13) on Internet Usage show some interesting stats. 84% of Australians use the internet regularly and of those users, 76% purchased or ordered goods or services online.  If your business isn’t one that can sell online (e-Commerce) this data demonstrates a huge amount of the market is researching purchases and whom they do business with. You have to be seen to be heard.

Your Website is your Business

You have the best business model, the right staff and great business etiquette; but your website and its promotion is something you’ve discounted. In 2014, this is risky territory. Your website is how you will be judged by potential customers. 

It is your Sales Room

Have you ever bought a house without inspecting it first? Probably not. The same applies here; potential customers are likely to research your business starting with a quick flick through your website. If you have a slick website with strong calls to action, it will provide a sense of comfort to the user that they are choosing the right company to do business with. You wouldn’t want customers coming to a run-down office – same applies with your online real estate. A good website is pivotal to building an online marketing strategy around.

Only Serious Buyers Need Apply

With the use of a good enquiry form you can distinguish the tyre kickers from the serious customers that are intending to commit to your goods or services. With a dropdown menu showing the range of your pricing schedule it should discourage time wasters from throttling your valuable time. With some conversion rate optimisation assistance you can soon start to attract high quality, qualified leads.

Business Is Connections

The latest available figures for Australian social media users are remarkable. Below are the top seven social media channels in Australia and their active individual Australian users. For example, Facebook has grown 26% in usage, from 10,628,600 users this time three years ago in Australia to 13,400,000 users as at August 2014. That is an 8.69% annualised growth rate.

Some businesses in the past few years have chosen to not engage in social media as it does require extra time, effort and resourcing. However, given the numbers are rapidly growing as displayed in the table below, now may be an opportune time to strongly consider its place for your business.

Have a look at the growth in social media users over the last three years across Australia. The trend of Australian consumers flocking to social is clearly evident and something businesses in today’s market cannot afford to avoid. Don’t you want to tap into that growth and put your brand, products and services in front of a huge audience? 

Transparent ROI

Seen the ads on the back of a bus? How do you think the marketers can clearly present return on investment (ROI) to the business? They have a hard time as it is very difficult to attribute an increase in sales to the running of such ads. This is where online marketing has a distinct advantage. With programs such as Google Analytics becoming part of a regular day for business owners, extensive information is available to track your return to investment.

Paid Search is a useful vehicle by Google that can be set up to instantly advertise within Google to your target market. The amount you spend vs what you get back is collected by Google Analytics and with some technical configuration can transparently provide you with a clear outlook on your online marketing campaigns return whether they cover AdWords, Facebook advertising or your Newsletter marketing campaigns.

With so much of our lives now being absorbed with online communications, gone are the times when having a website for your business was enough presence. The online market in Perth is becoming more competitive and crowded and with the appropriate strategy in place you can achieve the road to online success

By Mark WIlliamson

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