Online presence is crucial for every business today, even for those who don’t conduct business online. Your online presence increases accessibility to your business and supports brand awareness, audience building, and other marketing efforts—all of which lead to more customers and business growth. Three areas that contribute to your online presence are: your business website, online directories, and social media. This post will go over how to increase your online presence in these three areas, no matter what stage of digital marketing development your business is in.
Creating An Online Presence
Businesses who are in the early stages of digital marketing can take these initial steps to create an online presence.
Set Up Your Website
With the number of consumers online today, your business needs a website. It is the go-to source for current and potential customers, in the place that they are spending most of their time today. Having a website is like having a second location, open 24 hours.
Further increase your online presence by setting up a website that is responsive. The more devices your website can render successfully on, the more people there are that can view your site.
Submit Your Business Listings
Your next step in creating an online presence is to submit your business to online directories and listings. Most search engines (such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing) now show local listings in their results pages, which come from their business listing database. Having a business listing for major search engines will increase your online presence by putting you in front of more customers who are searching for your service online.
Having a search engine’s business listing also means lots of other listings elsewhere. This is because smaller and more specified directories, such as Yelp, Angie’s List, and Foursquare, tend to automatically pull their information from the larger search engines.
Make sure that whenever you do submit your business listing, you use the same exact information every time. This helps to ensure your listings are complete, accurate, and consistent across sites.
Create Your Social Media Profiles
With such widespread use, social media can significantly benefit your business’ online presence. Of course this first requires creating social media accounts and profiles. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Snapchat are the most common social media platforms today. Depending on your product or service and your audience, some channels will be more effective than others in increasing your online presence. Simply having social media profiles will increase your online presence by getting your business in front of vast audiences.
Building Your Online Presence
If you’ve already set up a website, business listings, and social media accounts, these next steps can help you to further build your online presence.
Optimize Your Website
One way to increase your online presence is to optimize your website for search. Potential customers don’t go to your site because they typed your website in, but because they were searching for your service online (in what is known as an organic search)
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the employment of tactics around various components of your websites to make it more visible to searchers and search engines. Your first step to improve your website’s SEO is to to include information and keywords relevant to your services.
Update and Monitor Your Business Listings
As mentioned above, you will likely show up on more sites than just the ones you submit your listing to. However, because of this interconnectivity and automated information sharing, your online information may become inaccurate or incomplete over time. To continue building your online presence with respect to directory listings, be sure to update your business listing, no matter how small the change to your company information.
Also, be sure to monitor these listing sites regularly to stay on top of errors and respond to negative reviews. As you increase your online presence, Reputation Monitoring will become increasingly important.
Post to Your Social Media Profiles
Having a social media account increases your online presence by putting you on the map for these platforms, and enabling users to find your business and learn basic information. You can further build upon this presence by giving potential customers more than just basic information. By posting to your profiles, you can provide a taste of what your business is like—its personality, style, and values—and turn passive users into potential customers.
Increase your online presence with social media posts. Put relevant and useful content to your social media profiles such as with blog posts, company updates, and industry news.
Improving Your Online Presence
If you’re in the more advanced stages of digital marketing, you already have a responsive, SEO friendly website; you’ve got accurate, consistent, and complete business listings; and you’re posting regularly to social media. Is there more that can be done? Indeed there is!
Advertise Your Website
If you want to improve your online presence via your website beyond SEO, then SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is a great option for you. SEM enables you to improve your online presence through highly targeted and more immediate results. Our Introduction to Search Engine Marketing post can help you familiarize yourself with this method of increasing your online presence.
Optimize Your Business Listings
While your business listing will show up in a search engine’s local results, this doesn’t necessarily mean it will show up in the first results that are displayed. You can improve your online presence by increasing your business’s ranking in local business results. One route to List Optimization is through online reviews. The more reviews you have, the more a search engine will favor you in its results. Increase your online presence by encouraging customers to submit reviews and making it easy for them to do so.
Engage with Your Social Media Audience
To further increase your online presence through social media, you’ll want to engage with your audience. Rather than treating it like a one way street and always just putting content out there, use social media to respond to questions and comments, and converse with followers. There are many ways to increase social media engagement, such as by asking questions, running contests, and responding to feedback.
To increase your online presence, make your social media profile an interactive experience for users. The more people that are talking about your business, the more times your name is appearing online.
Another way to further improve your online presence through social media is to use Facebook advertising. Like pay per click ads (SEM), Social Media Advertising expands your online presence to a highly targeted audience.
Your online presence is a key factor in the growth of your business. Making the most of your website, online directories, and social media platforms can increase your online presence, putting your business not only in front of more people, but in front of more people who are looking for it!