5 Steps to Create an Effective Web Presence for Your Business By Guest Contributor on September 6, 2019 Every business these days simply needs a proper web presence. The main reason is that operating online requires a good website and that website needs to be easily accessible, as well as easily findable if you want your customers to visit regularly. However, creating such a presence is more challenging than it seems. As you may already know, the online world is quite a crowded place and everyone else is pretty much doing the same thing you’re trying to do so you have to be creative about it. Standing out is such a crowd requires a unique approach. In other words, it’s not about who’s first, it’s about who can tailor their product or service to consumer needs in the best way possible. For that to happen, you need a good understanding of your target audience, as well as understanding what you need, to begin with. With that in mind, here are a few steps to create an effective web presence for your business. Market research Before you proceed with tweaking your website towards perfection, you need to know exactly what must be done in order to get there, and for that, you’ll need to conduct some thorough market research. The main reason market research is so important is that it can provide you with essential information regarding consumers themselves, such as their needs, preferences, expectations and demands, among other things. You’re probably aware by now that many consumers simply abandon a website once they land on it or shortly after they land because they don’t like it for some reason. In the majority of cases, that reason is that their expectations weren’t met to begin with. That’s why you must research what consumers want beforehand so that you can ensure that your website is able to deliver. The very essence of an effective web presence is consumers staying on your website to explore further and not bouncing off the first chance they get. Website design Website design encompasses both functionality and visual representation, but for now, we’ll talk about the visual aspect. Visuals are one of the most important factors in creating an effective presence. It only takes 50 milliseconds for consumers to form a first impression of your website based on its design alone. That fact was confirmed by Google in their own research on the subject. The first impression consumers’ form will determine whether or not they’ll stay to explore your website further or if they’ll simply leave straight away. Therefore, focusing on visuals for your website is never a bad thing. That being said, you must make it appealing for customers to enjoy your website and if you’re building a brand for your business in the meantime, you’ll have to incorporate those visuals into the website design as well. The fact of the matter is that you don’t have to overdo it by making the website flashy. Instead, make it tasteful and simple so that consumers can actually enjoy it. Website speed Website speed is arguably the most important factor for both your web presence and for consumer satisfaction. Nowadays, consumers simply don’t tolerate slow and sluggish websites. If it takes too long for your pages to load, website visitors won’t hesitate to abandon your website for good. As a matter of fact, even a single second delay in page loading time can result in a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, an 11% decrease in page views and a 7% decrease in conversion rate. Furthermore, 47% of consumers expect for a page to load in 2 seconds while 40% of consumers will abandon the website if it takes more than 3 seconds for pages to load. It’s almost the same for mobile users as well. 53% of mobile users will abandon the page if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds, whereas an average web page loading time on 4G network is 14 seconds. That said, if you want a good web presence, you’ll have to work on improving your website’s speed. One of the determining factors is your hosting service and the location of your business. As an example, if your business is in Australia, a good thing would be to opt for a reliable web hosting in Australia. What’s more, you can further engage in optimizing your website until its speed matches that of what consumers expect from it. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) When it comes to web presence, it’s about ensuring good visibility, credibility and awareness for your website. That’s why SEO is your website’s and your web presence’s best friend. Needless to say, SEO has become more mandatory these days rather than simply optional. Social media marketing is another crucial channel for all businesses. If you want to rank high for the right keywords and ensure both visibility and credibility for both your website and your business, in general, you’ll need both. SEO encompasses improving your website’s functionality, such as speed, security, navigation etc., optimizing your pages to match user intent and help web crawlers understand your content and engaging in off-page activities, such as link building and content marketing to further endorse your website’s visibility in the online world. Without SEO, you’re simply improvising, which means you’re most likely wasting time, money and effort on activities that will lead you nowhere. Leverage analytics If you think you’ll nail every website detail perfectly on the first try, you’re in for an unpleasant surprise. The fact of the matter is that you can’t do everything right on the first try and that’s okay. You can do much that’s for sure but there’s always room for improvement. That’s why you need metrics and analytics that will feed you information on what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. You must monitor and measure how consumers behave and react while on your website so that you can know where to make the improvements. This will be beneficial not only for your web presence but your business in general. Creating an effective web presence is no small task. If you wish to ensure business success you’ll need to ensure that consumers perceive it well through your website. For that to happen you must first ensure that your website is visible enough and that consumers enjoy browsing it before anything else. Bio: Victor T. Miller, a Sydney-based business and marketing specialist who has expanded businesses over 5 years. Regular contributor at Bizzmark blog. I am a person who loves to inform people about the latest news in the industry also as sharing tips and advice based on my professional experience and knowledge.