Giving your business an online presence means more than simply putting up a website with your company’s address and phone number. It means setting up a virtual version of your business, with a welcoming, informative website,and also a Facebook page and Twitter account. More people search online for the products and services they need as opposed to searching through a phone book. By gnoring this important potential marketing platform is akin to saying, “I don’t need any new business.”

The Internet never sleeps,it’s open 24/7 365 days a year, and every portal you offer online gives your business a virtual 24-hour showroom. This allows potential customers to research your product or service after business hours, and in the privacy of their own home. If you sell products, an online store allows for 24-hour order placement to capture a sale as soon as a customer is interested, as opposed to waiting for your brick-and-mortar store to open, by which time the urge to buy may well have passed.

The first step to building a Web presence is to create a website, or pay someone else to build one for you. Whether you run a business out of your home or represent a larger company, a website displays your services, products and contact information to customers. Once set up, a website can be far cheaper than manning a customer service line to answer questions about your business or to tell customers what your operating hours are.

Once you have a live website, the next logical step is to establish a blog and social media accounts. A blog gives customers fresh articles and content to view on a regular basis, drawing them back to your company’s Web presence repeatedly. It can also establish you as a credible voice within your industry. Social media accounts can be used as cheap advertising and to reach the millions of users that frequent sites like Facebook and Twitter daily.

It’s a well-known marketing fact that people like to buy but don’t like to be sold. A well-written piece of copy for your products or services on your website allow buyers to make a more relaxed, informed decision to purchase, as opposed to feeling pressurised into buying by a possible pushy salesperson. Marketing your business is also easier and more far reaching, as the electronic format allows for a wider, more cost-effective distribution as opposed to traditional marketing, which usually included printing and mailing costs.