7 Ways to Increase Your Online Presence
Whether you are a veteran digital specialist, or a small business owner, a growing digital world requires strengthening your online presence. For most businesses, the goal of a website is to attract new customers by ranking on the first page of search results on Google or other search engines.
Yet, ranking in the top ten spots on a search result page is easier said than done. If you’re looking for a way to bolster your website and increase your online presence, consider following these top tips.
The Importance of Brand Visibility
In a digital society, the success of your business is intimately tied to brand visibility.
Consider this scenario: You’re looking for a local business to submit your taxes and type “local tax appointment” into the search bar. Do you bother to scroll to the second page of search results? Chances are you click on one of the top five listings. In fact, only about 6% of all clicks make it to the second page.
If you’re listed on the first page, you have a much higher statistical chance of receiving traffic to your page. Of course, traffic is the first requirement of turning your audience into a customer.
Brand visibility is just as important for large corporations as it is for local businesses. Why do you think the second and third page of Google gets such little traffic? It’s partly because your needs are satisfied quickly on the first page. But there’s something else. As you click further from the first page, you lose trust that the results will meet your needs.
High page rank is a symbol of trust from Google. The higher your pages rank, the more you build trust with searchers as well.
How to Increase Your Online Business Presence
- Make a Website
- Remember Your Target Audience
- Produce Content for the Consumer
- Track Analytics and Optimize
- Share on Social
- Leverage Paid Ads
- Update Google My Business
1. Make a Website
Establishing a domain in your name, or your business’ name, is essential to building your online presence. However, having a website isn’t enough to perform well. To receive traffic and be looked upon favorably in the search engines, you must adhere to the following requirements:
- Mobile Friendly: With mobile searches dominating 60% of all searches, your site must be mobile friendly. Images, interactive features, navigation, and paragraph lengths must consider the mobile user.
- A/B Test: Test features on your website, such as forms, homepage design, and more with A/B testing. This will help confirm if your proposed changes will decrease the bounce rate or support higher conversion rates.
- UX: Consider User experience (UX) throughout the design process. Your website should be easy to navigate, read, and provide a clear call to action (CTA). Closely monitor your page speed, as it is the highest metric for UX. Your UX should increase conversions and increase a lead’s time on page. I would mention something about page speed, since it’s the highest metric for UX.
- Navigate your site on your mobile device and identity areas of poor UX.
- Implement an A/B test on major design or form changes.
- Add CTAs buttons to your site or even perform an A/B test on the proposed CTA.
- Use a third party to set up a survey and determine the pitfalls in your navigation.
2. Define Your Target Audience
Your online presence may falter because you are not aligned with the needs of your true target audience. Do you know their needs, questions, and interests? Defining a niche audience is crucial to creating content – and even products and services – that resonate.
- Create buyer personas and evaluate your existing website, content, and product offerings to it. Identify areas of opportunity or change.
- Examine your social media and update to match your personas.
3. Produce Content for the Consumer
It may tempt you to talk more about the things that you do well without addressing questions or concerns. However, if you’re selling something, it’s likely your potential customer is also looking at your competitor.
If you honestly answer their concerns or questions, without bias, you will earn their trust and, hopefully, their business as well. Minimize the frustration of the buyer’s journey by anticipating their needs.
If you’re a thought leader or a blogger, ask yourself what your audience would like to know more about. Do they have concerns about your industry that you could address? When you know your customer and you’re open to answering their questions, you create a blog post or landing page they want to search for and engage in.
Providing true value to your audience will increase your email list and your engagement.
- Create a list of questions that your audience may have. Answer these questions in a blog, video, or FAQ section on your website.
- Ask your audience on social media what their concerns are with your industry. Use the responses as fuel for new content.
4. Track Analytics and Optimize
Just because your website has performed well in the past, does not mean it will continue to return the same or better results over time. Brand visibility directly correlates to brand awareness. Optimized pages can reduce the burden on your sales team by providing more inbound leads.
Use Google Analytics to monitor your website traffic and standing. Check your organic traffic, bounce rate, and conversion rate.
To continue to optimize your site, consider:
- Keyword tracking: Keyword tracking enables you to see how you are performing for searches with your most important keywords. You can check month over month or year over year for keywords that are dropping in rank. This will give you insight into which pages you need to optimize.
- Bounce rate: Define which pages are key to conversion and check their bounce rate. The higher the bounce rate is, the more likely the page does not meet the users needs. Try rearranging the content, taking UX into consideration, and see if you can attract the reader to stay on the page.
- Gain quick wins by optimizing content that is already performing well. Optimize pages that rank in spots 8 to 15 for their keyword to see if you can get it higher on the first page of the SERP.
- Check analytics after performing A/B testing to identify the winner.
5. Share on Social
Social media platforms are a key component to improving your online presence. Effective use of social platforms results in an involved and engaged audience – a community.
As you develop your social media strategy, ensure you are choosing platforms that align with your industry and audience preferences. For example, not every industry is image-oriented like Instagram, while others are reliant on images to communicate their brand.
Choose a few platforms and update them regularly. Consistency is an important factor in gaining a loyal audience. Social media is used to stay in-the-know, to entertain, and to inform. When you fail to provide value in your posts, you lose the audience.
Consider implementing polls, encouraging comments and adding resources that apply to your audience even if it doesn’t promote your services specifically. Plainly speaking, a non-stop sales pitch is not what your audience wants. Ask yourself what do you like seeing from the companies you follow on social media and what makes for a great post. This is half of the battle.
- Perform a competitor analysis to see what works well for other companies in your sphere. What are the characteristics of posts that receive high engagement? Emulate what works and discard what doesn’t.
- Ask your followers what they would like to see, and what they do not see as valuable content. Boredom is the enemy of social media.
6. Leverage Paid Ads When Necessary
Paid ads or PPC is one way to grow your brand visibility strategically as you pay for spots related to target keywords and demographics. PCC empowers you to compete with your competitors even if you aren’t ranking on the first page of Google searches for a specific keyword. However, PCC can be costly and making a large investment in it can deplete your marketing funds.
To make the most out of your paid advertising spend, you’ll want to use HubSpot, or a similar marketing tool, to ensure you are receiving an ROI on your investment. For Google Ads, you can use their free conversion tracking tool.
- If you have ongoing PPC campaigns, check your ROI to determine if you’re making significant profit to justify the ad spend.
7. Update Your Google My Business
If you’re a local business, meaning you drive customers from your local geographic area, then local SEO should be part of your marketing strategy. Updating your Google My Business (GMB) account is substantial for both large and small businesses. It allows your customers to easily find you, your hours, and phone number.
With GMB you can also effectively post content and receive use Google My Business Insights to see your posts engagement and views.
Benefits of GMB include:
- Boosting customer confidence by adding pictures of your business
- Updating your map pin to your precise location
- Responding to reviews quickly for reputation management
- Gaining traffic to your website through posts
- Earning a spot in the local 3-pack, putting you at the top of local search results
- Verify your Google My Business account, if not already done.
- Post at least once every seven days, if not more.
- Respond to recent reviews as soon as possible. This will enhance your reputation and give customers confidence in your services.
Build Your Visibility
Building your brand awareness takes time and requires a thorough strategy for optimizing your website, social platforms, content, and user experience. By using the above methods, you can reach new customers and increase your brand visibility one step at a time.
Are you interested in learning more about building your authority through online marketing?