In today’s market, if you want a shot at running a successful business you absolutely need a robust online presence.
What this means is your potential customers need to not only be able to find you easily but that you actively engage with them and offer them value, even before they have made a purchase.
Indeed, building such an online presence can seem very daunting and confusing. However, there are some clear actions you can take to ensure your business is part of the conversation online. Keep reading to find out what they are.
Begin with a stellar website
The foundation of any online business presence is a website. Your website should act as a central point where potential customers can find out about your business and your products, contact you and engage with the content that you produce.
In fact, many argue that a business website is the most important of all customer touchpoints. With that in mind, it truly needs to look the part and be able to perform correctly. Your website is about far more than the information that you present to the public. It is also about the experience that you provide to them. One that you will want to be as smooth and as pleasing as possible.
To that end, opting for a self-built site, or a drag and drop option isn't likely to cut it. Instead, why not use a customer-friendly web design service to help you craft a site that will wow your visitors each and every time. Indeed, if you are to invest in any part of building your online presence, your website is the most sensible option.
Now comes SEO
Once you have a website set up, you will want people to be able to find it. This is where the value of good SEO comes into play. SEO is the process of getting your website to be displayed in the search results when users search for terms that relate to it. It is so important because while there can be hundreds of pages of results, people rarely click through those that are not in the first or second position on the very first page. This means the higher up in the SERPs results you can get ranked, the more people will visit your site and the better online presence you will have.
Of course, perfecting your SEO and getting that much-coveted no 1 spot can be tricky. Indeed, many experts describe it as a combination of both science and art. Not to mention that the way Google processes results changes all the time.
With that in mind, getting some help from an SEO specialist, or dedicating some time to understanding how SEP works, and how you can use this to improve your business’s online presence is vital.
Content is still king, and value reigns
Content marketing is a term that gets thrown about a lot these days, but do you really understand the immense value that consistent and high-quality content can provide to your online presence?
In particular, creating and releasing content on your website, social media, and via video streaming services like Youtube allow you to build a relationship of trust with your online audience. The way that you can do this is to offer content that has direct value for them such as entertainment, or information like a guide or tutorial. Indeed, many businesses find the best results come from combining both aspects as this boosts their credibility as an expert within the field, and also provides a strong reason for people to follow and interact with them online.
Social media, matters
Another vital aspect of building a robust online presence for your business is using social media. Unfortunately, social media can be somewhat overwhelming as there are so many platforms to choose from. Indeed, while it is tempting to set up a profile on everyone, it is often better to pick one or two types of social media that best suit your target demographic, Then you can avoid spreading yourself too thin, and ensure you dedicate the time and resources you do have to create quality content and fostering authentic engagement and interaction. These being the things that will reflect best on your business concerning your online presence.
Using independent review sites online is another way that you can help craft a high-quality presence. In fact, independent sites are loved by consumers because they provide objective information and reviews from third parties, rather than the business themselves, something that gives this information a great deal of credibility.
Additionally, review sites present a unique opportunity to businesses that use them because they allow them to answer any negative reviews in a way that demonstrates they truly care about their customers. Indeed, a well-crafted answer to a negative review not only provides your business with the opportunity to build bridges with unhappy customers, but it also provides vital information about where your business is going wrong so you can stop this from happening again, thus making it an important aspect of any company’s online presence.
Network your socks off
Last of all, when it comes to creating a strong inline brand it is essential that you embrace the network in which your company exists. One way of doing this is to join an online group for businesses similar to yourself. You can then use this to get advice on issues, provide help and support to others and even connect with those that are more established in your niche.
Similarly, you can also join a group that consists of members of your target demographic. This is something that can provide you with precious information about their needs, and wants, and allow you to guide the content and the products your company offers in line with this.
Another great networking opportunity that can help boost the online presence of your business is guesting on another business's or expert's podcast.
Indeed, just like when you guest post on another blog, being a podcast guest can help introduce your business to a whole new section of your demographic and drive traffic to your site.