A lot. Creating and maintaining a good online presence can mean the difference between a deal that you win or a deal you loose (this can go for employment as well). Say you are competing for a job and there are two estimates/bids….yours and theirs. Suppose they are very close in price and features, functions and benefits. Suppose both competitors are new to the buying company, so relationships have little influence. What’s the buyer going to do? Google you. Google your company. More and more people are doing that and they should. So, what does the buyer think when he sees you and/or your company with none of the top ten search results on the first page. He goes to page 17 and finds you there. What if he sees your competitor on six of the first 10 results. How do you look in comparison? Not that the buyer will base her entire decision on that, but you get the idea. All else equal, who’s going to win? You or them?
How do you know when Google finds you or your company? Google Alerts!
When the Google bots go out and crawl the sites and finds your name or your company name, Google Alerts sends you and email. You can track your competition this way, too.
You might say, “Online presence, so what.” What does good online visibility get you? It can mean that you are perceived as a national leader, a published expert, that you are bigger and better than the next person. It can mean that people will get to know you and will want to learn more about you and more from you. It can mean you get international recognition as an expert in your field. It can help you compete for the project or the job.
When I win a project because people found me on the web and they liked what they saw, it has a lot to do with finance. It helps them make more money because they hired me, and I get to help them make even more money so they can hire even more super people to take their company to the next level. I get to help business owners realize, track and manage the benefit of winning more business.
You cannot expect to win every deal because of having good online presence, just that every day that goes by and you have a pitiful showing online, more people will turn to those that have a good one.
I have found that even CFOs care about the web. There are both very positive and very negative challenges when a small and mid-market company starts executing on its online strategy. If you wonder why you should have an online strategy, well, you can stop reading now because this won’t matter to you.
If you want to learn how to increase your online exposure see the blog posting at www.ResourceNation.com for a good starter article to get you going.
Benjamin Franklin was a blogger – without a doubt. You think you’re social, read what he knew about social media.