According to Mr. SEO, a marketing firm, first page websites on Google receive 91% of all search engine clicks. And according to Chitika, another marketing firm, 94% users never even go beyond the first page of search engine results! Even on the first page, the very first link from the top receives 32.5% of the traffic while the second and third links receive 17.6% and 11.4% of the traffic respectively. Clearly, getting to the top of the front page is extremely important to drive traffic to your website and maintain a presence online. Also, perception-wise, users consider websites on the front page more relevant and authoritative than those buried deeper.
So, how can one beat the competition and get ahead? By building a great online presence. The way to do that is by being visible on the relevant social media platforms and by having a website with relevant content. Having a website is still considered the most important means of building an online presence by businesses surveyed by Merrill Research. Merely having a website with average content doesn't work. Google and other search engines constantly improve their algorithms to ensure that only fresh, unique, and relevant content makes it on the front page.
All the social media accounts and supporting content will be directed towards the website. So, the website has to have great content on it. According to Hubspot, 55% of visitors generally make a decision on whether to stay on a website within 15 seconds based on the content of the website. Ultimately all online presence is driven by content, especially written content such as social media posts, blog posts, emails, etc.
What Makes Your Online Presence So Important
But the question remains - why is building an online presence important? Let us understand the benefits of having a good online presence for businesses:
- Customer Insights: who they are, what they like, and how they feel about your brand.
- Brand awareness: 53% of Americans 12+ who follow brands in social media are more loyal to those brands.
- Rich customer experience: 67% customers first report problems or seek solutions from companies on social media, before moving on to other mediums like phone or email. - JDpower study
- Share content in real-time: It is the best way to make information and offers available to customers.
- Collaborative growth: Run campaigns in partnership with other brands and online personalities. Social media endorsement by celebrities has become a new way of marketing.
Also, let us look at the benefits for individuals (artists, writers, freelancers):
- Visibility: Your contributions, portfolio, research papers, and viewpoints become visible to your target audience.
- Building Authority: You can build authority in your niche by providing content that answers people’s questions or facilitates growth.
- Interaction and networking: You can interact with a variety of people and understand their viewpoints. You can also connect with like-minded individuals who may be privy to your cause.
Now that we understand the importance of having an online presence. Let us also understand why having a good website with great content is the first and most important step of building a solid online presence:
- Credibility: According to Stanford’s web credibility research, 75% of users admit to judging a company’s credibility by looking at the company’s website. The guidelines generated by Stanford based on that research recommend that websites highlight their expertise by providing great content, informing users about how the contributors are authorities, and providing credentials to prove that they’re real businesses.
- Accessibility And Sales: Having a website allows businesses to have 24/7 presence. Informative and educational content helps potential readers, subscribers, and customers decide whether the business is worth interacting with or buying from.
- Preferred choice: According to research by Merrill Research, 72% small businesses reported having a website as the primary source of their business. They chose to have a website over having social media presence by a factor of 6:1.
Also, no website is complete without a proper blog. This is because customers don’t just want to know who’s behind the company or what the company’s selling. Customers like to understand what the company stands for, what certain decisions mean for the consumer, and so on. A blog is also a good medium to educate users on new products or services. Let us look at some research related to why having a blog is important:
- Newer Content for Search Engines and increased traffic: As already mentioned, you need fresh and relevant content to stay on the top of the search pages. A blog gives your website a new indexed page every time you publish a post, which then gets picked up by Google, helping improve your ranking. A Hubspot report showed that after firms started a blog, traffic to their websites increased by 230%.
- Establish Authority: If prospects find answers via blog posts, they're much more likely to purchase your product or subscribe to your service. Readers who feel you’re an authority will trust your recommendations more.
- Humanizes the brand: According to Forbes magazine, blogging increases your brand’s likability quotient and encourages discussion between the brand and its consumers. Showing interest in concerns of people makes the brand more humanized.
- According to Marketing Sherpa’s case study titled ‘How Do Customers Want To Communicate’, 72% customers prefer to communicate with brands over email and 61% enjoy weekly promotional emails from their favorite brands.
- According to Campaign Monitor, for every $1 invested into email communication via mailing lists, $38 is generated as the return on investment.
- According to Marketing Sherpa, the click-through rate on emails increases by 750% when customized/personalized emails are sent.
All of the aforementioned techniques to build and enhance your online presence have one thing in common: they all require written text that is relevant, fresh, and unique. Great content can have a massive impact on your online presence. So, start working on content quality today. If you need help procuring this content, feel free to get in touch with us at Contentgather. Content is what we do!