We live in a digital world, and your business (no matter how small!) needs to be a part of it. Your online presence is essentially the sum of all the different platforms your business is present on, and the activity and interaction your business is involved in on these platforms. It can take time and a lot of effort to build a strong online presence, but it is certainly worth the investment since it helps to raise brand awareness, build relationships with customers, and generate more leads and sales for your business.
But, how is it done?
Here are 6 key ways to build and grow the online presence of your business.
While it should not make up the entirety of a business’ online presence, a website is generally the first thing that comes to mind when people think about online presence. A website has become increasingly more vital for businesses large and small in recent years, as more and more people take to shopping, browsing and seeking information online.
When your potential customers want to find out more about you, they will go straight online and try to look for your website. If you don’t have one, or if you don’t have the right information on there, then this will turn them to your competitors. Make sure all of the key information about your business and its products or services are clear on your website, and that your contact details are easy to find.
Not only do you need a website for your business, you also need to optimize it so that people will be able to discover it. Not everyone online knows the name of your business to search for it or visit your website directly. Search engine optimization helps these people to find you and your website online when they search for given keywords.
You need to make sure that the design and content of your website enables it to be discovered on search. If you are unsure about how to do this, check out these 7 simple SEO tips to optimize your website.
Your blog can exist on your business website or as a standalone platform. Sharing useful and interesting content on your blog will encourage more people to come back for more, or to subscribe to your blog if you have set that as an option. It will also encourage them to share your content on social media, increasing the reach of your content, and your brand, online. Having a blog on your website also helps to improve your site’s SEO.
It’s not just a good idea to publish content on your own blog/website, but also on other people’s. This may sound counterintuitive, but writing a guest blog for another business or brand in the same industry, or one with a similar target audience can really boost your online presence. People who might not usually see your content will see it. It will also establish your authority in that industry, as well as also increasing social shares.
We’ve already mentioned how blogging can give you a presence on social media. To capitalize on this, as well as to engage with other online users and brands, you need to actually be present on social media. There are plenty of platforms to choose from, but don’t feel like you have to be active on them all. Determine which ones are best suited to your business, i.e. which ones your target audience is active on, and focus your attention on the two or three most suitable. If you try to do too much, then you will end up spreading yourself too thin.
In 2015, it was recorded that 80% of internet users own a smartphone. People are constantly accessing information and making purchases on the go using their mobile phones. Businesses need to accommodate this in order to grow their online presence. The first step towards this is making sure that your website is mobile responsiveness. What this means is that it displays correctly on any device, with any size screen.
Another option for businesses trying to increase their mobile reach is getting an app developed for their brand. Businesses can utilize mobile apps to sell their products, keep customers informed, encourage them to engage, and boost customer loyalty.
Building your online presence will get a great deal more exposure for your brand online. This will help you to grow a following of loyal customers and brand advocates.