March 8, 2013

Why is effective online presence and SEO so important for business owners and retailers?

We often hear two stories in regards to how the internet has revolutionized our shopping experiences. From one side, some major retailers are complaining as they are unsure on how to compete with more sophisticated online forces. “We can’t match our international competitor’s prices”, or “online presence and the increased awareness of our competitors has damaged our business”. Ironically enough, Gerry Harvey himself once stated that he “refuses to consider online retailing, dismissing it as a dead-end for businesses”.

isonlinebankingsafe2From another tangent, shoppers are rejoicing with the greatly decreased prices and convenience that comes along with online shopping, with some items arriving to their new owner’s homes in as little as a day. According to PWC’s Digital Media Research, online shopping expenditure in Australia is to reach $16 billion (17.6% growth from 2011) and predictions are that it will only continue to increase

The main issue is that many businesses have failed to embrace change and have labelled it a mission impossible – all due to not understanding “how”, and failing to acknowledge the benefits this shift can bring to their businesses and how to take advantage of these.

Marketing theory states that in order to achieve great success, businesses must meet their client’s needs and wants. But when entering an online, global and extremely competitive market, this is simply not enough. Business websites also need to provide their consumers with relevant and original information, answer questions accurately and surpass their expectations in order to excel. Online shoppers aren’t just looking for the cheapest prices anymore – there are other factors like “who can deliver this item the soonest?”, or “free next day delivery” – which is almost an expectation amongst many avid online shoppers. All these factors which are often overlooked can greatly cost your company. Even if an online store doesn’t suit your business, it is still important to consider the subscriptions and leads gained from your use of online presence.

You may be asking, where does SEO come into all of this? SEO is a key internet marketing strategy that should be embraced by all business websites. For example, your website might be spectacularly well designed, have relevant and original content but have little to no views as it’s not reaching your target market. Similarly, your SEO might be excellently well managed and thought out but when your consumers are reaching your website it might be over-crowded with information, poorly designed and lacking relevant content. This leaves consumers empty-handed and confused, and they will not hesitate to cross you off their list. That is why it is essential to work with a digital or marketing agency to consolidate  these factors and other relevant marketing strategies into a  plan and maintain consistency and efficiency throughout your company’s online presence and SEO management. A digital agency can help you develop a holistic online presence; from online marketing to social media strategy, online store development (often known as “e-commerce”), branding and website design. This holistic approach ensures that all aspects of your company’s online presence are focused on the same task of ultimately creating more awareness and creating more business opportunities.

One of the largest concerns is the stereotype that developing a digital strategy is exuberantly expensive.  Many of our clients initially have a misunderstanding that developing a tailored SEO strategy particular to their business is tremendously costly; when in reality, they have found themselves doubling or tripling their revenues whilst greatly decreasing their marketing costs due to more optimised and efficient solutions – what a welcome surprise! Any reputable agency will work through this issue with you to find a solution which meets your business needs and budget, whatever they may be. These ideas should be thoroughly discussed and evaluated before implementation, and should be frequently maintained and managed. When choosing an agency, it is essential to look for experienced strategists that are truly dedicated to understanding your business and working with you to develop the best solution.

Now a day, a very Darwinist ideology of “only the strongest survive” is more present than ever in the Business world – but in this case it’s all focused on creating effective and creative strategies whilst taking advantage of technologies which can greatly impact our business models and how we compete within our industries.

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