Whether you already have a business or are just starting one, building an online presence is a critical part of creating a professional identity or brand on the Internet. By being online, you are keeping up with the way most people search for companies and services. It’s a very low-cost way to extend the reach of your business and make it convenient for customers to find and interact with you. A solid Web presence also helps customers feel more confident and secure in your professionalism.
Today there are multiple options for getting online, but all of those methods should be tied to your unique domain name, your brand identity on the Web.
Your first stop: a domain name. This section will take you through the practical steps of selecting one or more domain names, registering them, and getting started with the most basic elements of an online presence.
For small and local companies, referrals have always been the bread and butter of new business. Today, social networks and the Web are the biggest referral networks in the world. Having an online presence, whether a social media page, blog, or website is key to activating this online network. According to analysis by Boston Consulting, businesses that actively engage customers online can expect to grow 40% faster than they would without an online presence.
You can take charge of the impression your business makes by building a strong, positive online presence. It’s easier than you think, and more valuable than you can imagine.
A full 91% of customers look online for local goods and services.(FreeYourID Small Business Survey 2013)
Four in ten individuals use local search once a day, while two-thirds use local search at least 3-4 times per week.(YP Survey, October 2012)
90% of small business customers are more comfortable with branded email (@joesplumbing.com) versus common email like @aol.com, @yahoo.com, @gmail.com, etc.(FreeYourID Small Business Survey 2013)
71% of small businesses said having a website made it easier for customers to find them.(Boston Consulting Group 2012)
FreeYourID is proud to help SCORE support the success of small businesses by providing business mentorship through free webinars and tools.