Building a strong online presence for your business makes it easier for prospective customers to learn about what you offer and engage with your brand on a more personal level.
With more people moving more and more of their activities online, there has never been a better time to take stock of the online presence you’ve built for your business. Your online presence and the time and effort you invest into it could be the difference between success and failure for your business.
While having a well-designed, search-optimized website with lead generation forms is a critical part of your online presence, that’s not all there is to it!
You need to have multiple touchpoints to build your business reputation, increase brand awareness, and make sure your services or products are seen by your audience, especially when they’re actively looking.
Save this article, and work your way through the list to build an online presence that drives leads, converts customers, and grows your business.
1. Get a website that’s up-to-date
Whenever someone hears about your business, whether it’s through word-of-mouth, social media, or anywhere else, they are going to go look up your website.
Make sure your website looks good, loads quickly, performs smoothly on desktop and mobile devices, and gives the customer the information they need to make a buying decision.
2. Optimize your website to show up in searches
Just having a good-looking, smooth-performing website isn’t enough. Your site needs to achieve search engine rankings for relevant keywords, to show up close to the top of the search results.
Entire books have been written on search engine optimization, but for now, we’ll mention a few things you might want to focus on — relevant, frequently updated content, alt tags for images, metadata for your pages, and links to and from other trusted websites.
3. Research your competitors
When you’re working on strengthening your online presence, it pays to find out what other businesses are doing.
Thorough research on what they offer, what types of content they create, how their content performs, and how their online presence is shaped will give you ideas for content and strategies to use, and those to avoid while you create a competitive online presence.
4. Keep your brand consistent wherever you interact with your audience
Your content and messaging across platforms and touchpoints must be in line with your brand identity, values, and strategy. The most obvious benefits of doing this are better brand recognition, increased trust and loyalty, and improved recall.
While your messaging and tone might vary from platform to platform (maybe your Facebook posts are more fun and casual than your LinkedIn posts), it should still be clear that it’s the same brand speaking.
5. Leverage content marketing to strengthen your online presence
This one’s an extension of optimizing your website for search engines. Creating content that adds value when your customer is looking for information will earn respect for your brand, and keep them coming back for more.
From case studies, guides, and educational content to podcasts, videos, and live demos, your options for content marketing are limited only by your imagination (while still keeping in mind what works well with your customer base).
6. Use video to maximize engagement and improve your online presence
Do you know what the largest search engine after Google is? It’s not Bing, Yahoo, or AOL. Or even Ask.com. It’s Youtube, with search volumes higher than all of these, combined!
Social media platforms are also giving more importance to video content. You’ve probably noticed your own social feeds showing more and more videos recently.
Besides, video content is more engaging and viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, but only 10% when it’s in text.
7. Get help building your online presence
Building a strong online presence is a ton of work. But building relationships with customers, reporters, vendors, influencers, and even other businesses means they could all chip in to help.
Whether it’s a glowing review or a shared post from a customer, a mention in a news story, influencers promoting your service or products to their followers, or vendors and other businesses talking positively about you to their networks online, it all adds up to contribute to a stronger online presence for your business.
8. Plan your social media presence, choose relevant platforms and engage actively.
Social media to improve your online presence seems like a no-brainer, and often that’s how businesses approach it!
But thinking about the audience you’re trying to reach, choosing platforms they are active on, and having a strategy in place goes a long way. Engaging audiences and responding promptly to queries, complaints, suggestions, and compliments will also help improve your standing.
9. Create and complete your business listing on Google My Business
Your Google My Business listing is quite likely, the first representation of you a customer will see. It’s what shows up in search result pages and on Google Maps too. Make sure you have all the details of your business included in your Google My Business profile.
With Google My Business, you can engage with customers, post updates and offers, and get insights on your audiences.
10. Add your business listing to other relevant listing sites
Depending on your industry, business listing sites like Yelp, Houzz, and others, help potential customers discover you, and find your contact information to get in touch.
On many sites, creating a listing is different from claiming one. Creating a listing will add you to the directory, but if you want to edit your info, post updates, and respond to reviews and queries, you might need to claim the listing as the business owner.
11. Experiment with search ads, display ads, and social media ads; and have a plan to target mobile traffic
Advertising, when used judiciously, is a great way to improve your online presence. Paid ads will allow your business to appear in search results, social media feeds, and on other websites that your target audience might frequent.
With more than half of all searches coming from mobile devices, it might be a good idea to use device-specific ads for mobile, with tailored calls to action.
12. Build an email list and use email marketing to stay in touch with prospects and customers
Email marketing has an advantage over other channels because your audience has opted in to receiving your emails.
By creating attractive content or offers that your audience needs to sign up to receive — like case studies, guides, or discount codes, you can build a list of prospects to reach with your emails.
Segmenting your audience and targeting messages that will grab their attention and get them to take action is easier with email marketing compared to other types of outreach.
13. Explore if marketing automation is right for your business
Marketing automation can seem like overkill and something that only massive corporations must use. But businesses of all sizes are using marketing automation, scaled appropriately for their needs, to manage their online presence, and bring in more quality leads and conversions, all with less work.
That said, depending on your unique situation, marketing automation might not be the best investment. We’ve put together a short checklist to help you decide if your business could benefit.
As a business owner, the work that goes into building and maintaining a strong online presence can become overwhelming. There are so many platforms and tools out there, and you can’t possibly be on all of them at once. Consider what type of online presence makes sense for your business or industry.
Helping you strategize and pick those that will bring in the most ROI is where Mystique can chip in.
If you need some help planning and executing what needs to be done to strengthen your online presence – or if you simply don’t have the time to do it yourself – our experts will be happy to work with you.
We invite you to schedule a no-obligation discovery call with us to understand the steps you can take to grow your online presence and build your business.
Pick a time that works for you.