Why an Online Presence is So Important for Businesses

Updated: Mar 2

Need a plumber, electrician, day care provider? Chances are the first place you look for one is online. And you are not alone. SEO expert Bradley Shaw reports that 92% of searchers will pick businesses on the first page of local results.

Does your business have an online presence? If not you could be missing out. Nectafy, a growth content company, states that 88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours. Statistics show that the number of people with smartphones is only growing–from 2.1 billion in 2016 to around 2.5 billion in 2019.

Why be online–because it works.

85% of retailers rate #SearchEngineMarketing as the most efficient acquisition tactic, according to Forester, higher than direct mail (15%) and offline advertising (8%).

Google, arguably the most popular search engine, states that 46% of all Google searches are seeking local information and seven out of ten customers visit a business or make a purchase based on info they found online.

How Does Your Business Look Online? Run a listing report on your business now!

women's hands map search ipad
Is Your Business Found Organically Through Search?
Here at Hillsdale Web Design, we help your business check the health of its online business information and find the most critical location data that appears on Google, Yelp, Facebook and dozens more maps, apps, search engines, and directories.

Having your business online is not only beneficial to you but to your customers as well. An up-to-date website and #SocialMedia presence extends your business hours, alerts customers to upcoming sales and events and takes your business global.

If you don’t think having an up-to-date website, Facebook page or Instagram accounts are important, just know this–your competition does. If a customer is searching for your type of business online, who are they going to find first?

Bing Yahoo Facebook Yelp Online Directories
Yahoo, Facebook, Bing and Yelp are all Online Directories

Remember, 92% of searchers will pick businesses on the first page of local search results. So where is your business? Customers don’t want to waste their time. They look online first. In-store traffic is based on online searches. 70% of customers visit a store based on information found online.

Now that you understand the importance of having an online presence for your business, how do you get more traffic to your website?

It’s one thing to have a website. It’s entirely different to have a website that gets results. Look, anyone can have a website. There are tons of programs out there to be able to throw up a site quickly and relatively painlessly. However, if you want that site to do anything, if you want to have anyone go to that site, basically if you want anyone to find your business you need client engagement or #SearchEngineRanking or “SEO”.

But what is SEO? The internet throws around a lot of acronyms and #SEO is one to know. It stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO means increasing both the quantity and quality of visits to your site through local and organic searches. So, not through paid advertisements.

Wondering what the differences is between organic and local SEO?

United States Globe View
Being Seen Organically for Farther Reaches

Organic SEO is the improving rankings for the main “organic” area within search engines. It is important to businesses with a national and international focus. This type of SEO focuses on improving rankings within the organic search results (as opposed to the “local-pack”) by optimizing a website for Google’s search engine algorithm. Organic SEO is traditional or classical search engine optimization, which starts with keyword research. The Internet is flooded with articles on how to perform organic SEO to improve Google rankings. Techniques within this form of SEO services include on-page optimization and off-page optimization, including things like meta tag and page title optimization, on-page content optimization, building backlinks and utilizing social media.

Detroit MI Map Pin
Being Seen Locally for Hometown Reaches

Local SEO is improving rankings for the “local pack” area within search engines. Local SEO services are important to businesses relying on local/regional customers. Location targeted SEO is more recent than general organic search optimization. Optimizing for local rankings focuses on being found within the local pack, the area within Google results that shows a map with a listing of the three local businesses. The local listings area is a huge opportunity for smaller businesses relying on localized customers. The SEO techniques used for local website optimization are different than those of organic SEO. Restaurants, auto repair shops, electricians and plumbers are a few examples of the types of businesses that benefit from Local SEO.

To break it down even more it means understanding how people search online. Easy right? Well, even though it sounds complicated and technical, there are specific steps a website can take to increase the number of visits, keep those who visit on the website longer and boost the potential for purchasing.


Check out our SEO Diagram where we show you the building blocks of SEO!


So in a nutshell, you want your business to be at the top of the list when people are searching for something related to your business. That’s the quality part. You don’t want people coming to your site who are really searching for something else. You wouldn’t want #Google to send people to your website as a resource for cheap flights or hotels when you really sell canoes and kayaks. You really only want clicks on your site that will yield results.

So you may think I could just throw some money at it, pay for some ads and that will get people to my site. It may sound like a quick fix in theory, but the best way to get clicks is through organic searches, not paid advertisements. In fact, according to moz.com, of all US searches, only ~2.8% of people click on paid advertisements. For the average consumer, organic search results appear more credible than their paid counterparts.

But you need to get them to your site and to get them to your site you need to be at the top of the search list. How do you do that? One concrete way to increase your website traffic is through content.

Content is key!

But not just any content–high quality, relevant content. Your website needs to be chocked full of information about who you are and what you do. This will make you more attractive to search engines such as Google and Bing and place you higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).

This can be accomplished through the use of keywords and phrases used in your industry. These are frequently used words that someone might type in a search engine when looking for answers to questions or products and services.

You may have to change your website design to make it more attractive to a search engine. You also may need to add more content in the form of tutorials, blogs, videos and infographics. You will also have to change content frequently to stay relevant. The more engaging and compelling the content is, the more likely people are to stay, navigate your site and hopefully make a purchase or utilize your services.

In the end, your business needs an online presence and boosting your website’s SEO is work, but it’s worth it! There are many more customers for your business out there. SEO has the potential to bring them to you.

If you have any questions please let me know!

Sarah Gray of HMG

Sarah Gray


Content Guru

"I want to tell your story!"


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