With our Online Presence Maturity Assessment, you’ll receive stats on how you stack up against best-in-class businesses. To determine this benchmark, we put together a study analyzing those businesses.
What did we find?
92 percent didn’t include interactive content on their website
66 percent had a CEO who contributed more than two times on LinkedIn within the past month
48 percent had published more than two blog posts within the past month
42 percent didn’t have customer quotes on their homepage
Why is it so important to have a strong online presence? First, we must fully understand what that entails.
Online presence definition (what is online presence?)
Think about the media you consume each day on the internet. Think of how much content is thrown your way – often without your consent – during the (many) hours you stare at your screen.
Your online presence is your footprint in the vast Darwinian world of the Internet.
On the World Wide Web, only businesses willing to adapt survive. Making the most of your business’s digital presence is your way to cut through all the noise drowning internet users. It makes you David Hasselhoff throwing your life preserver to the poor unfortunate souls who need help determining the best service or product for their need.
So, what does it mean to adapt? Right now, it means including videos and interactive content on your website, buffing up your blog with online content as well as your social media presence, actively posting customer testimonies, keeping your domain authority above your competition, and more.
Some of this is easy, but much of it takes time and persistence. However, as the animal kingdom knows all too well, the best chance of survival is securing a spot at the top of the food chain!
The importance of your digital presence
To fully understand the importance of your online presence, step into your potential customers’ shoes. They have an issue, are in need of a service, or simply want a question answered. The internet – in all of its infinite knowledge – is the perfect place to seek all that they desire, right?
But there’s one issue – too many options!
How are they supposed to know which business they want to choose?
More importantly for you, how do you ensure it’s your business they pick?
That’s where digital presence comes into the equation. You need to gain your potential customer’s trust and stand out from your competition. Your online presence will show your potential customers who you are as a company, your mission and values, and what makes you different (i.e. better).
Your potential customers have questions, use your digital presence to show them that you’ve got the answers.
But how does your online presence stack up against the benchmark?
First, you must know what the benchmark is. That’s where our ‘State of Online Presence 2019’ Study comes in.
We analyzed 378 websites of midsize professional services companies using a 10-question maturity assessment based on the following:
If the business has a blog on their website
If there is a newsletter signup form on the website
If the website contains information about its key people
If there are one or more customer quotes on the homepage
If the website contains interactive content
If the CEO of the company has an active presence on LinkedIn
The websites’ Domain Authority score
The contact options available on the website
The website’s speed score
If the website contains video content
The multiple choice answers each corresponded to a score between one and 10. The total score was out of 100.
So, just how well are these businesses doing with their online presence?
Most of those working in online marketing know that they need blogs to help guide their potential customers down the sales funnel, but often, life (and work!) can get in the way of the best of intentions. However, Hubspot reported that B2B marketers who use blogs receive 67 percent more leads than those who do not.
But how many websites are frequently posting on their blogs?
We found that 48 percent of the websites in the study had more than two blog articles published within the last month, whereas 33 percent had blogs published, but less than two posts during that period of time. However, 19 percent did not have a blog on their website.
Newsletters – especially e-newsletters – are another important tool that 83 percent of B2B companies use as part of their content marketing program, according to HubSpot. The article adds that 40 percent of these marketers would even go as far as to say email newsletters are the most “critical” component of their content marketing success, also according to HubSpot.
Our study found that 46 percent of the businesses included a newsletter signup form on their website, but without any information about the subscription. Only 10 percent of these websites had a form with some more information about what people will get when they subscribe, whereas 44 percent didn’t even include a form.
Information regarding key people
Remember, you are working toward a trusting relationship with your potential customers. That, and that alone, will convert them into actual customers.
We live during a time when people want to know about the businesses where they are investing their money. Customers want to feel good about the CEO, his or her expertise, and what he or she believes and supports.
Our online presence analysis showed that 79 percent of the websites included the first and last name of the key people there, and 75 percent included a photo. Seventy percent included a short bio, but only 27 percent included a link to their LinkedIn profiles. Twenty-one percent of the websites included none of this information.
Yeah, yeah, we get it. You think your business is the best one that ever existed. Maybe you (and your mom!) believe that, but you need to convince others of it as well.
Again, we live in a time of savvy consumers. Their moms told them they’re the best, too, so they deserve only the best! That’s why most customers will not make a purchase unless they first read reviews. Spiegel Research Center found that the likelihood of a purchase increases by 270 percent when five reviews are available versus when no reviews are available.
While your savvy customers will most likely research reviews from all over, make sure to also provide reviews – in the form of customer quotes – on your website.
However, 42 percent of the websites in the assessment had no customer quotes on their homepage. Twenty-four percent included customer quotes with little information about the author, 22 percent included them but not on the homepage, and only 12 percent included the quotes on the homepage with the author’s title, company and picture.
Seventy-nine percent of marketers reported to TopRank that combining interactive content with their other content marketing tactics increased message retention. As a business that focuses on interactive content such as assessments, quizzes and tests, we believe fully in its capabilities.
However, interactive content is still widely underutilized. A staggering 92 percent of the websites we analyzed had no interactive content at all. Five percent had interactive content, but not on the homepage, and only three percent included it on the homepage.
CEO LinkedIn presence
Once again, you are working in a time of savvy customers who want to invest in businesses that align with what is important to them. That’s why it’s crucial that the CEO of a B2B company has a strong digital presence. At the very least, he or she should have an active LinkedIn presence.
Our study showed that 66 percent of companies have posted on LinkedIn – either on their company’s LinkedIn page or via their CEO’s LinkedIn profile. Eight percent contributed once in the last month, and 26 percent published nothing during that period of time.
“a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.”
Domain authority can be increased by several ways including a solid link building strategy and producing quality content.
We found that the average domain authority for the websites it analyzed was 33. This is a relatively low number, indicating that most companies do not undertake effective efforts to ensure that their website ranks in the search results.
Engagement is key when it comes to converting potential customers into actual customers, but when they want to engage with your company, is it easy for them to find a way to do so?
Making sure you have easy-to-find contact information available on your website is crucial to the success of your business. Our study found that 86 percent of the businesses analyzed had their phone number available, 80 percent had a contact form and 64 percent included an email customers could use. Ten percent of the websites included a chat feature, but only one percent included no contact information.
For many, time is both our most valuable but limited resource. We’ve got places to be and people to see! We simply don’t have the time – or patience – for a web page to take too long to load. Plus, there are so many options available on the internet, we frankly don’t have to endure that wait.
According to Think with Google, websites that load in five seconds – compared to ones that load in 19 seconds – see 70 percent longer average sessions. A performance report from Akamai stated that a 100-millisecond delay in load time can cause a drop in conversion rates by up to seven percent.
Our study showed that the average site’s speed score of the analyzed websites was 59 out of 100.
But our study showed that on the websites evaluated, 58 percent had no video content. Less than a quarter – 24 percent – had video content, but not on the homepage. Only 18 percent of the websites included video content on their homepage.
So, what is the score of your company’s online presence?
When you take our Online Presence Maturity Assessment, you’ll receive a report that will provide you with your position against the benchmark as well as personalized tips to improve your online presence and further readings with actionable advice.
Your digital presence will help you connect, engage and convert potential customers into actual, loyal customers.