Modern businesses need to make the most of as many platforms as possible when it comes to gaining brand awareness and reaching new markets. In order to stay ahead of the competition, it’s important to build an online presence and focus on how your business looks to people online. With more internet users than ever, all small businesses should focus on building an online presence, even if they don’t intend to make online sales.
What is an Online Presence?
All activity and material that a business or brand has under its name on the internet is referred to as its online presence. This includes any accounts of social media platforms, websites, blogs and content either created by or about that business.
Many small businesses often pay close attention to SEO and other aspects of digital marketing while failing to build a proper online presence. Most businesses create a website or a social media page and believe that this will suffice. However, in order to truly increase the online presence of a business, one needs to spread their site across many different platforms and channels available online.
Everything you have control over online is classed as your owned online presence. This includes the accounts you set up and any content you publish online. For most businesses, this is the most important online presence to consider, but it’s not the only type you’ll have to be aware of.
You also have an established online presence, which includes what others say about your business. This includes online reviews, comments on social media, blog posts, Quora answers and much more. Other people, including both satisfied and unsatisfied customers as well as competitors, can have a big impact on your businesses’ online presence as a result.
A good online presence will help make your business more accessible to new customers as well as increasing your credibility and trust among potential consumers. Not only that, but a strong online presence will serve as effective marketing and branding as well as helping you learn more about your audience through reviews and feedback.
Ways to Increase the Online Presence of Your Business
Nowadays, the majority of consumers consult the internet and perform research using search engines before making a purchase. This goes for offline sales too, and it’s a good example of why a strong online presence can be so powerful for a business. No matter what kind of business you have, being easily found online and offering a lot of useful information to show your authority on the subject is important.
Improving your businesses’ online presence can have a big impact on interest in your brand as well as potentially increasing sales too. If you’re looking to boost the online footprint of your business, you should follow these five steps:
Perform a full assessment of your current online presence
Before making any changes, you’ll want to consider your current online presence and how it’s looking. The best way to go about this is to put yourself in the shoes of your potential customer and search for your business online. You should then try and find important information such as your website, contact information, opening hours and address.
You can also look on social media for mentions of your business as well as sites such as Trustpilot and google reviews to see what people think. Most social media platforms will allow you to analyse engagement, so you’ll even be able to see how people are interacting with your social media accounts and posts. Finally, it’s also worth using a tool such as Google Analytics to determine the main traffic sources for your website, as this will help you to spot low traffic areas that can be improved.
Optimise your website
Optimising your site involves making it better not just at its purpose but also at being found online. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) involves making use of keywords and relevant content in order to get your site higher in the rankings for certain search terms. This is one of the most effective ways to improve your owned online presence, as search rankings have a big impact on how consumers come across your site.
As well as adding keywords and relevant content, optimisation should ensure that all of the pages on your site load quickly and work well on a variety of devices. Google and other search engines will prioritise sites that are fast loading and easy to use on desktop and mobile.
Create a content marketing plan that’s consistent
Content marketing is an effective way to demonstrate your authority on a subject as well as improving search engine rankings. You should create and post regular, high-quality content on your site, blog or social media account, making sure to create content that’s valuable to your potential customers.
Good content should be unique and authoritative while also being relevant to your brand and business. You can create written and video content, as both are effective for marketing.
Engage with followers on social media
If you’re successful with content marketing on social media, you should start to build a following of people who share to learn more about the topics you post about. To grow your following and increase your online presence, you should aim to engage with your followers, encouraging them to post comments and asking them what they think.
Reply to feedback and take suggestions on board
Feedback and comments from people online can form a big part of online presence, with potential customers usually looking at reviews of a business before they make a purchasing decision. You should always reply to negative or positive feedback and try to take suggestions on board if you feel they’re realistic.