The latest research by the Pew Research Center tells us that 84% of all American Adults use the Internet. From young to old, urban to rural dwellers, no matter their education level, financial status or ethnicity – the internet is a part of basically everyone’s lives in some form or another.

The number of internet users has grown exponentially over the past 15 years, and is likely to continue to grow. During that 15-year timespan (between 2000 and 2015) the way we used the internet has also evolved. The web itself is more social and interactive than ever before, with users expecting to find the information they seek pretty much instantaneously.

Buyer behavior has also changed; the buyer’s journey is no longer in the seller’s control, but has shifted to the buyer being in charge of when and how they make a purchase decision.

This seems like a big opportunity, but it’s causing major problems for companies.

Why?

Because most business owners aren’t doing a single thing to address these changes. Many of us are still marketing with the methods used prior to the Internet – sure some principals of marketing will never change. But driving traffic, leads and sales requires carefully planning and executing.

As entrepreneurs, we must evolve

What this means is that as a business, it’s more important than ever that you have a great, engaging website that can be found in search engine results.

Gone are the days when you could build a simple website, get it online, maybe do some paid advertising and then simply wait for the leads to come rolling in. Buyers are now looking for education about your products or services, and they want to gather this information about your business on their own terms without immediately being sold to.

When a potential customer visits your website, it’s vital that you can provide an answer to their question or solve a pain point they’re experiencing.

So, how can you ensure that your site will come up in the results when someone conducts a non-branded, online search?

Along with adding important search engine optimization (SEO) elements to your site like title tags, meta descriptions, headers and using targeted keywords, it’s important to have engaging, concise content that is constantly updated.

Writing blog posts and having a presence on social media sites, along with doing some paid search can help keep your website relevant.

Who has time for this?

Worrying about all this technical stuff is overwhelming. How do people find the time to get it all done? There are two options: 1) you can invest the time into learning it yourself or 2) you can delegate these tasks and focus on doing what you enjoy.

There are pros and cons to each option, and you should consider them carefully.

Final thoughts

It’s more important than ever in this internet age that businesses are visible online and that they’re positioning themselves as an authority on their products or services. You need to think of your website as a virtual storefront that can pull in potential customers based on your knowledge and expertise in your field.

Have more questions about being found online? Leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to respond!

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