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The Value of Your Business's Online Visibility

30 Jul 2020
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Some SMBs are yet to understand the value and inherent importance of having online visibility — or conversely, the cost of invisibility. For many this is a product of the ignorance is bliss adage.

 

We know that with just a little bit of education, any invisibility related bliss will rapidly turn to FOMO for any SMB owner yet to achieve a successful online presence, so we’re here to shed some light on the issue and give some actionable insights.

  

(Almost) Every purchase starts with an online search

Ask yourself… if you’re thinking about purchasing a product or service, what’s normally your first step?

Is it:

  1. A) Pick up your phone.
  2. B) Research the product or service by performing a Google search.
  3. C) Search for companies who provide the product or service and click through to their websites to learn more about them and what you’ll get if you choose them.
  4. D) Look for online reviews for the product or the company providing the service.

Or

  1. E) All of the above.


Chances are your first step is one or all of those listed above. And what do they all have in common? That’s right — they all involve an internet search.

This means any businesses/products that aren’t visible in the search results you are served don’t get a look-in. Their lack of online visibility means they haven’t even made it to the start line, so they have no chance of winning the race to convert your search into a sale. For all intents and purposes, they’re invisible — they don’t exist.

A whopping 81% of people aged 16–64 report searching online for a product or service to buy in the past month, while 74% completed a purchase online.

 

 

Local SEO is essential for SMBs seeking visibility for local searches

When looking for a service or product to redeem offline, we naturally search locally and a vendor’s proximity to us is a big factor in our decision making. Google knows that in 2019 46% of all Google Searches were looking for local information and 97% of search engine users searched online to find local businesses.

Google understand our hunger for local information, which is why the ‘Local Pack’, featuring a map and a selection of local businesses relevant to your search, is commonly given prominence as the first organic (non-paid) results on Google search engine results pages (SERPs).

SMBs can penetrate this coveted SERP screen space and improve their online visibility by ensuring their Local SEO is on point and their website is well optimised for their targeted keywords, i.e., ‘truck servicing cromwell’, ‘Christchurch timber merchants’, ‘Christchurch cafes’, etc.

 

Optimising your website for your local audience is key to featuring in the Local Pack like our client shown below, Transport Repairs Limited.


 

What is the cost of not being visible online?

It’s difficult to quantify the cost of not being visible online because an SMB with poor visibility won’t have reliable data showing them how much business and revenue they’re losing to their more visible competitors. Continuing the racing theme, though — if your company is a non-starter in ten races with prize money of $1,000 up for grabs for each win, then you’ve potentially missed out on $10,000 in revenue.

Ask yourself, what is a conversion worth for your business? What are you competing for?

  1. $10
  2. $1,000
  3. $100,000

 

How many of these conversions are you missing out on each day through a lack of online visibility?

This calculation can help you estimate what poor visibility may be costing your business, and over what time frame a return on funds invested to improve it may come.

  

Transport Repairs LTD gain online visibility and land $14k job

Transport Repairs Limited (TRL) is a leading specialist in the transport repair industry, with eight branches throughout the South Island and a wide service offering. Earlier this year we built TRL a website and completed SEO work that has taken them from relative online obscurity to having prominent visibility in local search results.

TRL’s initiative to enlist our professional services to boost their online presence now sees them sitting in the top organic SERP spots (and often the Local Pack) for their targeted local searches, as pictured below. The impact on their bottom line has been substantial; within months a user who “never knew us from a bar of soap” found their website and converted to the tune of a $14,000+ brake job! Exceptional value and return on their investment.

 

Building a new website with an emphasis on SEO has resulted in top-three SERP position and Local pack visibility for Transport Repairs Limited.


Andy Reid, TRL’s Training/Fleet Manager reported their new website has driven a “marked increase in sales of TRP and CRC products” and, “much greater awareness of our Cromwell and WCR [West Coast Road] branches — not many knew they even existed before our website listed them.”

  

How to achieve online visibility

The approach your business takes to achieving online visibility can take many forms, no doubt influenced by your budget and access to professional resources. In any case, a website that quenches the user’s thirst for knowledge about your product or service needs to be at the heart of your strategy. So, maybe sit yourself down and give yourself the ugly baby conversation for starters.

From there you can put together a strategy including which channels it makes most sense for you to target (e.g., Organic Search, Local, Paid Search, Social, etc.), and how you’ll go about driving traffic to your conversion-worthy website.

If your budget allows it, we suggest a holistic approach that doesn’t put all your eggs in one basket by targeting just one channel. We wrote a blog about having a diverse business marketing strategy to avoid disruption to one channel having a colossal effect on your bottom line. You’ll also want to be visible in as many SERP layouts as possible. And if you think you’ve got your digital marketing nailed because you’re Boosting Facebook posts, think again.

 

How to maintain online visibility

Once you’ve achieved an acceptable level of online visibility, you’ll want to concentrate on maintaining it by way of ongoing management across all the channels you’re active in. You’ll also need to be vigilant of competitor activity so as not to be outdone on any given channel — is there any area where your competitors are more visible than you? What does that mean for your bottom line?

With users converting on your site you’ll then want to maximise their lifetime value by staying front of mind and striving for repeat business. This can be achieved through remarketing campaigns and automated direct emails sent from your CRM and inventory systems.

 

A helping hand

Creating an online presence in search results and converting clicks into sales is no easy task. If you like what you see here and would like to know more about how we can assist you in increasing your online visibility, please drop us a line.

 

 

Written by
Josh Casserly is one of our Digital Marketers and, as a well-travelled wordsmith, Josh combines his aptitude for engaging content with his ever-expanding digital marketing skill set.

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