According to statistics, there are more than 47 million SMEs in India but only about 5% of these boast of a website or some sort of online presence. While traditional media channels like newspaper ads and outdoor ads still lead the advertising spends for SMEs, the Internet is emerging as the fastest growing medium for advertising with 58% of SMEs with websites using the Internet to generate business leads.
An online presence is one of the most important assets for a business. Websites serve as the most economical and useful form of advertising for a business. In fact even a simple website can work as an online brochure for a venture.
Here are some of the obvious reasons why a company website is essential.
- It helps expand customer base, reaching out to many more potential customers (virtually)
- Helps differentiate products or services
- Helps create credibility & authenticity for a business
- Plays a vital role in spreading the company ideas, philosophy & building a social base
- Creates an ideal platform to share the company story and information
- Helps save costs by posting frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the company website
- Helps target preferred customer segments and generate interest globally
It is therefore vital to create a website that represents the company philosophy & encapsulates its values, principles and competencies.
Some of the factors to be kept in mind while building a website are to give great deal of thought as to the purpose of your website; pick an appropriate domain name; create your content; design your website professionally and to make sure that you list & market your website.
Here are a few simple ways to establish a business online presence and identity.
- Buy a domain name
Claim your Company name by purchasing the domain name. (Example: www.companyname.com). On GlobalLinker, the Website Builder module is powered by BigRock and offers a wide selection of domain names at very attractive prices.
- Monitor what people are finding about you online
As a business owner, one ought to make self-googling a regular practice. This will help the SME owner to gauge if the search results are consistent with what he or she wants people to know; is there another company with the same name in the top results; or if there is any potentially harmful information about the company on the internet. Monitoring the company’s online identity is critical to building a healthy and accurate brand image.
- Join and participate in online social business networking groups like GlobalLinker
For an SME owner, GlobalLinker is the ideal forum to network with other SMEs, seek advice from experts and peers, read the latest news and articles relevant to your industry, avail of special deals and offers, have access to a free office intranet that will help you streamline and manage business better.
- Share your views & expertise on online forums
Establishing oneself as an industry expert through writing informed articles and taking part in online discussions will help to build the company brand and credibility. The Biz Forum module on GlobalLinker is the ideal platform to take part in discussions, keep abreast with business news, read and write articles relevant to all SMEs.
Creating a robust company website & becoming net savvy is the way forward for SME owners in the 21st century.
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