"Good tactics can save even the worst strategy. Bad tactics will destroy even the best strategy."
- General George S. Patton Jr.
I mentioned in a previous blog that having a website is THE basic step you should take in establishing an online presence because it serves as an online storefront where consumers can inquire about your product or service 24/7. Having said that, it's not enough to just throw up a website and go about your day. You want potential customers to be able to find it and contact you with as little resistance as possible. In this digital age, the more resistance consumers encounter while seeking a particular product or service the more likely they are to move on to a competitor. Think about how easy it is to make an Amazon purchase and find it on your doorstep the next day, and in some instances, the same day. There's a reason why it's the most valuable brand in the world as of March 2023.
You hear it all the time: search engine optimization (SEO), keywords, keyword phrases, etc. There's no way around it - you're in a competition the moment a consumer decides to pull up Google on their mobile device and search for the service or product that you offer, and it's based on more than the quality you provide. SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Sites that have a higher rank in search results get more traffic than sites that have a lower rank. This particular traffic is called 'organic traffic'. The process of ranking may sound complicated, and it is, but the more time and effort you put into it, the more cost-effective and beneficial in the long-term it is.
Reviews, Google reviews in particular, are necessary for your business's online presence and heavily impact its search engine rankings. These Google reviews must be visible on your website as well. Not having many or having no reviews decreases your business's visibility in search results. A business not taking reviews seriously can indicate that the business is relatively unknown or lacks customers. It's a red flag to consumers because consumers depend on reviews to get a sense of the quality and reputation of a business. It is absolutely necessary for you to actively encourage customers to leave reviews to help improve your online presence and reputation. You definitely need to have a simple review-request system in place with as little resistance for the customer as possible. We've found that a text-based review request is the simplest, fastest and most reliable option.
Google prioritizes websites that are well-designed, regularly updated and optimized for search engine optimization. A website that lacks these features will suffer lower search engine rankings and will make it harder for potential customers to find it. A well-designed website is optimized for current web browsers and mobile devices so that users can navigate and access information with, you guessed it, little to no resistance. It needs to have modern communication features and functionality such as live chat, web forms, and clear calls to action (CTA). Security is also a mandatory component. An optimized website is easier to find through search, provides a good user experience through up-to-date design and functionality, provides simple and direct communication options, and is secure.
We live in a time when instant-direct communication is a normal, everyday part of life. With instant-direct communication tools in place on your website, you can begin your sales process the moment a potential customer contacts you and keep them from moving on to your competitors due to lack of responsiveness. This is what it all comes down to, right? A potential customer found your business through a Google search and clicked on your website link after checking your reviews. Having a live chat widget and/or web form in place will allow your potential customer to communicate with you in real time. Provide that potential customer with immediate assistance, address any questions or concerns they may have, and guide them towards making a purchase.
Your website must be optimized for Google search, be up-to-date functionally and security-wise, and have instant-direct communication tools in place to begin your sales process. Google reviews play a crucial role in your business's online presence due to their heavy impact on search engine rankings. By optimizing your website and actively encouraging customer reviews, you will improve your online presence and reputation, leading to increased organic traffic and sales. In this digital age, it's important to make it easy for consumers to find your business and contact you with as little resistance as possible to stay ahead of the competition.