Every business, even small and decidedly local businesses, can benefit from having a presence online. Statistics say that more than 65% of people now go directly to the web when searching for products or services.
There was a time when business listing in local directories was the only way to have online presence for specially SMBs that could not afford to have websites. Then SMBs started using the services of website and web-hosting companies to have websites of their own and some of them also used online display advertisements to drive traffic to their websites.
Fast forward to present times. Reaching global audience has never been easier for companies. With literacy rate going up in almost all the countries across the globe, every person (customer) has access to computers and of course internet. No wonder almost 80% of companies (including big, medium and small) around the world are looking to capitalize on this growing trend by establishing their presence online. Internet can help a business increase its sales and profitability. More than 300 million people worldwide go online everyday and there are more than one billion web pages in existence.
There’s a myriad of tools or vehicles that digital media has in offer, using which businesses can benefit in terms of convenience, cost-effectiveness and accessibility. There are various ways a company can promote its products and services online. Companies have realized that it’s not just enough to have a website. Companies are going for search engine optimization (SEO) – the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines or search engine marketing (SEM) – a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages through the use of paid placement, contextual advertising and paid inclusion.
Another technique that is now widely popular in online media is Social media optimization (SMO) – the process of promoting a site, business or brand through social media channels by engaging and interacting with existing or potential consumers. This social media field has witnessed phenomenal development at a rapid pace with social networking site Facebook leading the crew followed by Twitter, Orkut, Hi5, Flickr and Hi5, among others. Nowadays companies are also using Search Engine Reputation Management (or SERM) tactics to proactively shield their brands or reputations from damaging content brought to light through search engine queries.
Additionally, companies are getting registered in Google local (includes maps) and Yahoo local (directories, trade directories and other tools as such, expanding their online presence even more.
Having talked about internet and its advantages to businesses, one might ask what is more convenient and cheaper to carry than a laptop. The answer would be ‘mobile’, undisputedly. Today almost eight out of ten people have mobiles with them. Telecommunication technology has grown by leaps and bounds. You see a new mobile launched in the market almost every alternate day. Mobiles are lighter to carry and can be used anywhere anytime. Customers can log on to internet on their mobiles and can access the information they want. That makes it necessary to companies to have mobile websites to tap the customer base that uses mobile phones rather than computers to look for information on the web.
The digital constellation has expanded and is still expanding into new horizons exploring untapped frontiers with more and more convenient and low-cost alternatives for companies to leverage on in order to increase their customer base, which in turn results in increased market share and more profits.