Are you struggling to make an impact online and attract the right audience(s) to your business? We all know the importance of digital in today’s marketing landscape, but building your reputation online is easier said than done. Let’s explore a handful of key tactics and strategies that can help you build a successful online presence for your business.
Benefits of Having a Strong Online Presence
In the digital age, every business of any kind needs to have an online presence. Why? Because there are significant opportunities on search engines and social media to interact with your target audience(s) at the right time and place. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here are multiple additional reasons to establish a robust digital presence for your organization:
- Increase Visibility and Reach: Search engine optimization (SEO) tactics allow businesses to boost their average organic positions on search engine rankings. Over time, SEO can help your business achieve first-page rankings for relevant keywords, which will help prospective customers find your business.
- Build Trust and Credibility: Most people simply don’t trust businesses that they can’t find online. Why? Because consumers like to do research on their own time and they’re on the lookout for common red flags, like a lack of online reviews or an outdated website design. Having a professional website, active social media accounts, and positive online reviews all contribute to creating a positive image of your business, which can instill confidence in potential customers.
- Engage and Connect with Customers: Digital mediums have revolutionized the ways that businesses can interact with their audiences! For instance, through social media, businesses can engage and connect with their customers with more personalized tactics, messages, and promotions. Whether you choose to host giveaway contests or share value-add educational content through these mediums, your digital efforts can foster customer loyalty and strengthen relationships.
- Increase Conversion Rates: With an optimized online presence, businesses have more opportunities to influence purchasing decisions and improve conversions. Digital allows you to have multiple touchpoints with your target market(s), and as long as you’re consistent and thoughtful with your targeting, you’ll have more opportunities to persuade potential customers to choose your products or services.
How to Optimize Your Online Presence
In order to create a strong and effective online presence for your brand, you’ll need to focus your attention on multiple platforms and strategies to build brand visibility and your reputation. Whether you’re just getting started or are trying to revamp your online reputation, you’ll want to spend time optimizing the following digital mediums:
- Your Website: A well-designed website should inform site visitors, showcase your expertise/quality of work, and clearly communicate your core offerings. Fast loading times, a good user interface (UI), and value-add content will establish credibility and leave a positive impression on visitors.
- Local Listings and Directories: Make sure you have profiles created for your business on platforms like Google Business, Apple Maps, Bing Places, Yelp, and other online directories. Those listings will help improve your visibility online, provide a place for users to leave reviews, and showcase your work too. Once you’ve made sure that the information is consistent across these platforms, explore ways to encourage reviews from your current and previous customers.
- Your Social Media Profiles: Social media profiles are essential for all businesses in our digital era. It’s estimated that 55% of consumers learn about new brands through social media, which makes it an ideal medium for brand awareness and building up your reputation. Make sure you have profiles created for the most relevant platforms for your audiences and industry.
Improve Your Website for Humans and Search Engines
When creating your website design, it’s important to simultaneously consider how your business is presented and how it will be found. That means you need to think through not just the user interface and the user experience, but also the structure of your website content too. You could make the most beautiful and aesthetically pleasing website ever, but it won’t matter if your audience can’t find it.
As such, it’s important to prioritize search engine optimization strategies if you are looking for ways to boost your online reputation and visibility.
How Do Search Engines Work and Rank Content?
Search engines, like Google, utilize complex algorithms to analyze and evaluate the relevance and authority of website content. Those algorithms use a variety of factors such as site loading times, image alt tags, back-link profiles, and more to determine how to best rank your website among others. They make these determinations within seconds and they are constantly in flux due to the ever-changing nature of the internet.
In general, search engines rank websites based on their use of relevant keywords and metadata in the website content itself. If you want to have a robust online reputation, then a detailed SEO strategy is essential for your business.
Optimize Your Website with SEO-Friendly Content
By incorporating relevant keywords into your website, you can greatly improve your visibility in search results and, in turn, your online presence.
Keyword research plays a crucial role in this strategy. You’ll want to take some time to look at your competitors and keyword research tools to identify high-traffic keywords that are relevant to your industry. Tools like Google Ads Keyword Planner or Ahrefs can be very helpful in forming the basis for your SEO strategy. Once you’ve built a list of relevant phrases, you can assign keywords to individual pages on your website and start optimizing the content around those phrases.
When optimizing your web pages and content, keep these tips in mind:
- Make sure your blogs or pages are at least 500 words in length.
- Incorporate the appropriate keywords at least 4-5 times throughout the paragraphs and header tags.
- Optimize images on each page by including relevant keywords in the alt tags and file names. Also, look for ways to reduce the file size for faster loading times.
- Include internal and external links to show that you’re not just speaking in an echo chamber.
- Write the content for humans first and search engines second. Consumers don’t want to read content that sounds generic or like it was written by a robot. Make sure you keep your audience in mind when writing any new pages or blogs.
Establish Your Business on Social Media
Social media platforms have become powerful tools for businesses to connect, interact, and communicate with their customers. But, before you jump on the bandwagon for every social channel, it’s important to think through your strategy first.
Developing a Social Media Strategy
Social channels offer a great way for consumers to discover new brands, and for businesses to differentiate themselves from competitors. And when it comes to online channels, it’s better to be strategic and targeted instead of broadly throwing your brand name around. Here are some tips to help guide your social media strategy:
- Set clear goals: What are you hoping to achieve from your social media channels? Make sure your social objectives are aligned with your overall business goals, and that they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
- Understand your target audience: Do you know who your ideal customer is? And do you know which social media platforms they are most active on? Having a detailed understanding of your target audience(s) enables you to tailor your content and messaging to resonate with them.
- Analyze competition: Which channels are your top competitors on? What kind of content are they sharing? You can glean plenty of insights by studying your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, which can help you identify unique ways to stand out.
- Choose the right platforms: It simply doesn’t make sense for your company to be on every social media profile. For example, if you only sell services in one geographic area, then you likely don’t need a TikTok profile because that platform’s content is not localized. It’s best to create profiles on social platforms where your target audience(s) are most engaged and active.
- Create an organic content calendar: Ensure your content is diverse, informative, and engaging. Use your data and knowledge of your target audience to ask hard questions like “What are the pain points of our target audience?” and “What type of content would resonate with those users the most?”
- Find inspiration: It’s unlikely that your first month of organic posts will go viral. To keep your social strategy fresh and valuable, it’s important to stay up-to-date on industry trends, follow relevant influencers, and explore your audience’s interests to find inspiration for compelling content.
- Track and analyze performance: Utilize analytics and data to measure engagement, reach, conversions, and other relevant metrics. Use these insights to adjust your strategy and improve results.
Creating Quality Content and Ads Simultaneously
With the ever-increasing number of social media users, you need to find ways to stand out from the crowd and engage your target audience(s) effectively. It’s a good idea to explore a variety of post types (e.g., static images, polls, videos, gifs, etc.) and content categories (e.g., FAQs, pain points, testimonials, etc.) to see what clicks well with your audience. That content will communicate to followers that you are trying to add value to your customers’ lives and that you’re an authority in the industry, which will reap dividends for your online reputation.
But an organic strategy simply isn’t enough. Only a fraction of your followers will see your organic content and it can be challenging to reach social users outside of your follower base. For those reasons, it’s a good idea to simultaneously have a paid social media strategy running tangentially to your organic calendar. You can build custom campaigns from scratch to attract new followers, drive website traffic, promote conversions, and so much more.
By having both campaigns running simultaneously, you will strategically build up your online presence in the short- and long-term.short url: