When trying to find the products/services they need, most consumers will go online. Search engine juggernauts like Google process millions of searches on a daily basis. In the past, businesses could use things like print advertising to engage with potential customers. These days, these forms of advertising are considered outdated and ineffective.
Over 93 percent of online experiences start with a search engine like Google. If a person is searching online for the products/services you offer, then making sure your business shows up on their results page is crucial. The only way to achieve this goal is with an online presence.
The collective existence a company has online is referred to as their online presence. Businesses that focus on developing a great online presence generally have higher sales and profit margins. This is why you need to work on improving your company’s online presence.
Here are some tactics you can use to improve your online presence.
1. A Well-Designed Website
Ask any marketing professional about how to improve your online presence and you will undoubtedly hear answers that detail the importance of a great website. Your website is a digital representation of your brick-and-mortar business. Making the most out of this digital asset is crucial if you want to edge out your competition.
The first thing you need to ensure is that essential information consumers want to find is included in your website design. This information includes things like:
- The history of your company
- Your location
- Hours of operation
- Details about the products/services you offer
- Prices of your products/services
Over 70 percent of consumers will research a business online before using them. This is why you need a well-designed website in place. During the website design process, you need to develop a style guide. This will help you develop content and graphic elements that are in line with your brand identity. You also need to make sure your new website is responsive to avoid alienating mobile users.
2. Make It Easy For Search Engines To Love Your Website
Creating a great looking website is just the first step in establishing an online presence for your business. An appealing and informative website will not ensure your online success. However, if you focus on making your new website search engine friendly, you will have a much easier time generating new leads.
Search engine optimization is a digital marketing strategy that aims to boost a website’s visibility. You need to focus on three critical areas during the search engine optimization process.
- Technical SEO- This focuses on things like website architecture and page speed. Anything related to the backend operation of a website is considered technical SEO.
- Off-Page SEO- Areas like the backlink profile of your business is considered off-page SEO.
- On-Page SEO- Using optimized keywords and internal linking to improve the page content on your website is considered on-page SEO.
You also need to ensure that new content, like blog posts, is produced regularly. When posts with popular keywords are published weekly, search engines like Google are alerted. This will help to keep your website on the radar of these popular search engines, which will translate into more organic traffic and a larger number of sales leads.
3. Claim Online Profiles on Local Directories
Some businesses let their vision of appealing to a global audience get in the way of search engine success. Even if you want to take your business global, you need to realize the importance of claiming and optimizing your online profiles on local directories. One of the most popular local online directories is Google My Business.
Having a presence on this platform allows you to provide interested consumers with information about your business. If you want to optimize your Google My Business profile, then you need to do things like:
- Respond to comments, questions and reviews
- Provide your phone number, address and business name
- Include photos/videos of your services/products and location
- Update hours of operation for holidays and special events
A well-optimized Google My Business profile provides you with a wellspring of new leads and a means of managing your online reputation. This is why it is so important to claim your business listings on local directories.
4. Perform Competitor Research
The biggest misconception business owners have is that every idea to improve their online presence must be original. In reality, you can get a lot of inspiration by looking at the tactics being used by competitors to grow their online presence. If you feel like you are stuck in a rut that is leaving you unable to develop new strategies to grow your online presence, then performing research on your competitors is a great idea.
When performing this research, you need to look at your competitor’s paid ads, social media presence and email marketing campaigns. Having this information will help you see what your competitors are doing that works and where they are coming up short. Filling the holes being left by a competitor’s marketing strategy can help you grow. If you don’t have the time or tools needed to perform this research, then reaching out to marketing professionals for assistance is a wise move.
5. Use Interactive Content To Engage With Your Audience
Customer engagement is something you need to focus on if you want to improve your online presence. The average consumer is confronted with lots of digital content on a daily basis. Your main goal should be to develop content that is unique and interactive. Using interactive content in your online presence strategy is a great way to get more shares on social media.
Interactive content includes things like:
- Interactive videos
- Interactive infographics
- Tools and calculators
- Image sliders
- Interactive maps
Using interactive quizzes to push online consumers further down your sales funnel is also a good idea. These quizzes should be targeted to engage with consumers at every stage of your sales funnel.
6. Invest in Paid Ads
If you want to create an online presence to help sell more products/services, then you can’t underestimate the importance of paid ads. Placing these paid ads on platforms like Google, YouTube and Facebook can help you attract attention from consumers around the world. While you will have to pay for this attention, it will be worth it.
The key to getting a great return on your paid ad investment is allowing professionals to structure and implement new campaigns. The average business owner knows very little about Google AdWords. This lack of knowledge prohibits them from creating effective campaigns.
Using paid ads allows you to accomplish goals like:
- Generating more sales
- Better brand awareness
- More website traffic
- Finding qualified leads
Paid ads come in the form of images, text and video. This means you can create ads that appeal to a wide variety of consumers.
7. Create Profiles on Popular Social Media Platforms
Spreading your message to as many people as possible should be one of your main goals. Successfully building an online presence is a great way to make this goal a reality. Engaging with your target audience on the platforms they use is important. Since millions of Americans use social media platforms on a daily basis, it is important to create profiles on these platforms.
Platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have millions of users looking for new products/services. Once you create profiles on popular social media platforms, you need to publish content on a daily basis. Ideally, you need to entertain your social media audience more than you try to sell them products/services.
You also need to use your social media profiles as a way to promote new content. Posting a link to your new content with a short description can attract the attention of your social media followers. You can grow your customer base by driving more of your social media followers to your website.
8. Respond to Online Comments and Reviews
Providing consumers with a way to give feedback to your business is one of the main reasons to develop an online presence. If you have a website, social media profiles and a Google My Business listing, consumers can leave positive and negative feedback for you. When comments and reviews are left on these platforms, you need to be responsive.
Some business owners only respond to positive comments, which can create problems. Most consumers want to see that your business can deal with customer complaints in a respectful way. It is important to respond to negative comments and ask the unsatisfied customer how they would like to solve the problem in question. This not only helps the unsatisfied customer; it also shows potential customers that your business is responsive.
You need to realize that building an online presence isn’t a quick process. This will require lots of time and effort. Enlisting the help of the team at Small Business SEO is a great way to make building an online presence easier. We can handle the work involved in building your online presence.