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  • Writer's pictureLiam Heslop

How important is a Digital Business Presence?

If your business model relies on attracting a steady stream of new customers, then a digital presence (how a business is represented on the internet) is very important. The days of customers searching through physical listings of businesses such as the Yellow Pages are long gone and have instead been replaced by digital searches.

Google in 2007 served 438 billion internet searches in a single year. Fast forward to 2017 and they reached 100 billion searches in a single month. That huge increase demonstrates the scale of the digital movement and hence why a digital presence is very important for any business.

Establishing a digital presence can seem daunting for many New Zealand small businesses and many opt for no presence at all or even worse, establish a presence that affects the credibility of their business. Some common pitfalls to avoid are: 1. Having no digital presence at all – every business should have some sort of digital presence and it is now more affordable and easier than ever to cover the basics of a website, a business branded website address (domain name) and e-mail address 2. Stale Content – just as damaging as not having a digital presence can be a stale digital presence. Statistics show that digital channels such as Facebook that have not been updated for months or even years can cause potential customers to lose confidence in a business and look elsewhere 3. Un-branded e-mail addresses – a business using an un-branded e-mail address such as can cause a feeling of ‘untrustworthy’ or ‘unprofessional’ in potential customers and force them to go elsewhere. A branded e-mail such as is a much safer option 4. Choosing the wrong platforms – There are many platforms to choose from to establish your digital presence on such as Facebook, Websites, Google Business listings, Instagram etc. Choosing the right platforms is critical to ensure you are reaching your target audience, getting the best return on your investment and are not over-committing to a presence which you cannot maintain or respond to in a timely fashion. As a rule of thumb, most small New Zealand businesses are well served by deploying a presence on the following platforms in the following order as their time and budget allows: a. Branded e-mail and basic website with static information – a great starter platform as it gives your business an extra communication channel in e-mail, a digital online advertisement in the form of a website and needs no frequent maintenance b. A Google My Business profile – Google provides every business with a free listing in their search engine. Business listings are like digital versions of Yellow Pages advertisements and appear in the search listings of potential customers. Customers can engage digitally with your listing such as check your opening hours, get directions to your shop or browse to your website etc. Although these listings take a little bit of time to set-up it can be relatively easy, is free, and needs no frequent maintenance c. A Facebook business page – Out of all of the social media platforms, Facebook still has the highest number of users and is a good place to start for any small New Zealand business who decides to venture into the social media space. A business page can be easy to setup however special attention needs to be given to the messaging settings to ensure any customer contacts are performed on channels which you monitor and can respond to in a timely fashion i.e. email/phone Proper Mint can help your small business on your digital presence journey with our affordable branded websites and e-mail addresses. Check out our subscriptions for more information.

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