Gaining a strong online presence for your business is not easy, especially if you have not begun to look into online advertising and marketing yet.
Without any kind of stability backing up the online side of your business, it can become incredibly difficult to achieve the success that you are looking for.
Growing your business means growing your marketing efforts, and doing that in an effective way can be tricky. Thankfully, there are always some basic marketing options and tricks that you can fall back on to get the results that you want.
Building Brand Awareness
Table of Contents
- Building Brand Awareness
- Measuring Success
- Finding Your Online Presence Definition for Success
- Creating a Strong Online Presence through your Website
- Getting an Effective Online Advertising Focus
- Building a Strong Social Media Presence
- Useful Guides
Being able to build brand awareness is the core of any business online. You can’t draw in your target audience if they do not know that you exist, and finding ways to create brand awareness boosters is a major part of online presence management as a whole.
This uses a combination of many things. Appearing in search results, being recommended by another online business, covering multiple online channels, getting mentioned on social media – all of it has practical value to a company that wants to grow and gain more customers.
The better your brand awareness levels are, the easier it becomes to increase your overall online presence.
Making potential customers more aware of your brand allows you to market yourself much more effectively and increases the amount of natural, organic traffic your site will get over time.
One of the biggest hurdles you might run into when growing your business is the data. It can be very hard to measure overall success – more social media followers are great, but how does that translate into actual business benefits?
Tools like Google Analytics are great for purposes like this, and there are countless other tools that can offer everything from industry news to Google alerts about changes in your marketing.
Some of these are free tools, and others are paid, but it is important to have a good toolkit before you rush into marketing as a whole. You need to apply the right tools at the right time to get the best results, and actually tracking those results is a huge part of how digital marketing operates.
Finding Your Online Presence Definition for Success
While your online presence is obviously a very visible part of your marketing, it is up to you to decide what is part of your overall presence and what is not.
For example, online directories are part of your online presence, but you might not consider them a part valuable enough to focus on.
It is important to approach your online presence with a critical eye. You have a wealth of free tools, content management system options, and other businesses to consider, and you can’t use all of it without stretching yourself thin.
If you want to overhaul your online presence, then you need to refine the plan you are going to follow. Remember that circumstances can still change without warning – you need to be prepared to change with the market if something upsets your original strategies.
Creating a Strong Online Presence through your Website
Both current and potential customers need to interact with your website at some point, as well as your overall online presence as a whole.
Everything your brand does online becomes part of its online presence, and sometimes you want to craft that image into a particular style.
The first part of building a good business online presence is to have a good ‘base camp.’ Without a decent website, it will not matter how far you increase online presence – your target market will not be buying from you, and there will not be any easy way to close sales.
Focusing on just your website for a while can be a good way to establish your company’s online presence at the earliest stages, giving you a place to send website traffic and make the sales you need to keep your company strong.
Search engine results pages have their results chosen through a ranking algorithm, which dictates how each individual site appears on those search engines when relevant keywords are searched.
SEO (search engine optimization) is all about building up your own rankings to appear more often across most search engines.
Keywords are the terms search engines look for when ranking sites. If your business creates and sells chairs, and somebody searches for “blue chairs,” then your site has a chance of appearing.
However, specificity and competition matter. There might be countless other sites also offering chairs on their website, and some may focus entirely on blue chairs.
That means that you will have a lot of competition fighting for the top spot in those search engine results, and many will be ahead of you.
Creating content on your website and including those keywords can help you boost your own SEO rankings since your site has become more relevant to those terms. This tends to mean more organic traffic and an increased web presence.
Online content can appear in search results quite often, but you also have a lot of chances to use that relevant content to pitch your own services.
Combine that with a stronger online presence, and it is possible to become an authority on a subject that perfectly fits with your target audience.
Alongside that, useful content can draw in links and attention from other sites, especially if they are using that relevant content as a reference on their own site.
There is also off-site SEO, which is when you use off-site methods to boost your rankings. Backlinks are a legitimate business tool: when another site links back to you, you do not just get more traffic (potentially) from their link but also a range of SEO benefits.
This means that you can improve your SEO by simply getting more links from good-quality or well-respected sites. In practice, this often means paying for those links and/or guest posting on blogs, but creating good enough content to receive organic links also works sometimes.
Local businesses often want to attract local business. Using SEO to appear in local search results allows for a lot more flexibility while also ensuring less competition – you are only competing with local businesses in terms of those searches.
This means that you can focus less on growing your online presence straight away and more on gathering as many local potential customers as possible. Dominating your local market sets you up to expand your business online at a later date but still gives you that local safety net to fall back to.
Aside from offering on-site SEO benefits, improving your site helps with improving online presence statistics overall. There is no point trying to draw in the right audience if your landing pages are so bad that they would rather go to other websites instead.
Ease of Use
New customers do not want to wade through all kinds of confusing options to spend money. Most businesses – especially a small business – want to make sure that the average consumer can use their site just fine.
This means keeping business information clear, allowing easy navigation, keeping the information accessible where possible, and making sure that customers have multiple channels to easily get to your sales funnel once they are on the site.
While some sites rely on using more than one platform for certain functions, it is best to keep everything on a single platform whenever you can.
Small businesses may need to use third-party payment systems or other compromises, but you want to make sure that users are not being taken away from your brand online too often.
It also does not help SEO to split your web presence across too many sites since you would need to do on-site and off-site SEO for each of them.
Getting an Effective Online Advertising Focus
Advertising is the fastest way to build a strong online presence, but it comes at a financial cost. This means that it can be scary to break into advertising for the first time, especially if you are unsure exactly how it will impact your presence online.
Remember that there are a lot of different kinds of advertising worth considering and that most businesses use a complex combination of many different strategies.
There is no single correct way to approach advertising, especially not if your business is in the process of expanding itself with new services and/or products.
If you have not begun any kind of digital marketing, then it can be tough to know how to start the journey. Even if you have, it takes more than a few months to fully understand the limits of your own marketing or get an idea of which audiences you could target next.
Approaching digital marketing well requires you to understand a lot about your own business, meaning that it can be tough to break into at first. Thankfully, it is not hard to figure out some effective marketing options once you get started.
Paid ads, including those on search platforms, can be an invaluable tool to let small business owners broaden their web presence. Being able to craft ads that point directly at a certain target demographic opens up a lot of interesting ways to market your business.
A few examples include paid advertisements on search platforms to help draw in competitors’ customers, paid ad placements on websites that are relevant to your business, or even video advertising content that plays on sites like YouTube.
All of these can be incredibly versatile options with a lot of flexibility behind them.
The only problem you need to worry about is the cost since budgeting for paid advertising can become a major concern if you are running on limited funds and do not have a stable source of customers yet.
Paid advertising on platforms like Google search can be extremely powerful. By placing ads on search results, you are essentially paying to bypass SEO requirements since your ad will always appear within the top three to six results.
This means that a small company can massively boost its online presence by targeting keywords that are relevant to whatever it sells, giving it a significant chance of overtaking competitors for a while. Of course, more valuable keywords cost more to bid on, so you have to plan ahead when dealing with paid advertising.
Cold calls can be quite effective in the right hands but can be disastrous in others. Using them well means understanding the audiences you are trying to target and getting a better grip on your own marketing, right down to the content you are putting in each email.
Cold calling, a customer requires that you already have some information to actually contact them with, such as an email address or phone number. This means that it is best paired with on-site methods of gaining this information, like newsletter sign-up forms.
Email marketing can be a big risk since it relies on you sending out cold-call emails to people who may simply leave them in their spam folders. Most people tend to assume that random emails are spam, but it really depends on if they know your company – and whether or not the email does go into their spam folder automatically.
Since most of your emails will be going to people who have already given you their email address, many will still know who you are. If nothing else, this reminds them that your company exists, which can be a good way to draw potential customers back in to finish a purchase or reconsider your services.
On the plus side, email marketing is free. Unless you use some kind of specialized tool, emails will always be a free option for sending out reminders or nudging users to re-visit your site. The content of your emails is the part that is going to dictate how many actually follow up on your emails.
Cold calling over the phone is another option that can seem quite risky at first, but it actually has a better success rate than emails overall in many cases.
While this will not directly increase online presence statistics, it does give you a way to draw in users who almost became customers.
The way that you handle this cold-calling matters. If you randomly send out basic phone calls to every person on your calling list, a lot of them will not really reply.
You want to make sure that you are doing enough to draw them in, no matter how long it takes to plan out a good phone call strategy.
Building a Strong Social Media Presence
Your social media presence can be a major part of your marketing, one that many people completely ignore.
Online presence as a whole is very reliant upon interacting with – and appearing in front of – customers on a regular basis, which makes social media the ideal option for handling both.
While social platforms may not seem like a priority for a new company that has just started to establish itself, it is always worth diverting some time into creating social media pages. Even just having them there can provide some passive benefits in the long term.
While it might not be obvious at first, social media platforms actually contribute to your SEO in a very basic way by default. If you use a company name that includes generic terms (such as this random example: American Custom Furniture), then that company name can also trigger generic keywords.
By having even one social media account, you are effectively doubling the number of options that can appear in search results.
If somebody searches for something similar to your business name, both your main site and social media platforms can appear, giving you more online presence and taking away a spot from a competitor.
Interacting with customers and followers on your social media posts can be a very effective way to increase online presence stats overall, especially since your online presence is partially based on how the internet perceives you. If you are open and communicative, expect users to be more biased towards you.
Engaging with customers through direct messages allows you to develop relationships with them in a very clean and private way. This means that you can allow your brand voice to speak for itself, often helping you guide them towards certain services that can solve their problems.
Public interactions on posts can increase online presence quite dramatically and also allows you to leave a call-to-action in response to certain replies. More importantly, it shows that you are active, and there is always a chance that your responses will get shared around more.
The posts you make are always going to have value, and that is the beauty of social media accounts. Every post you make is part of your overall online presence, and that means that you can tailor each one to try and achieve the best possible social media presence with your current resources.
Social Media Ads
One of the most underused features of many social platforms is the ability to promote posts.
While this is not exclusive to a business account – most users can do it if they want to – it allows you to quickly spread a post around simply by paying a small fee.
This system is different for every platform, but it does allow you to specify a lot about your target audience.
Doing this well will grant you even more potential ways to improve your online presence, all without having to make that many changes to your social media presence.
Other Factors to Consider
If you are ready to boost your online presence, just remember that it is not always as simple as it first seems. There can be a lot of moving parts to work with, especially if you are using multiple platforms to boost your online presence all at once.
The most important part of boosting your online presence is to gain short-term benefits.
There is no point overhauling your entire online presence if your company can only last for a month without any marketing success, so get your priorities straight right from the start.
The way you handle your business during the earliest stages of your growth will change the kind of opportunities you get later on.
As you grow, you will get more and more ways to continue improving your business, but not all options will be available to you anymore.
Being able to develop relationships with customers, clients, and partner businesses makes a huge difference.
Do not sacrifice all of your long-term benefits for short-term goals. Otherwise, you might burn through your options far too quickly and be stuck with no plan for the future.
Long-term business success is obviously an incredibly vital part of any market, and you need to remember that it should be your core focus as your company grows bigger.
Once you are stable and well-established, you can start thinking about your online presence in the future.
Using a mixture of strategies is always the best way to ensure success. Even within a niche like local SEO, you can combine anything from meta description rewrites to building external links, forming an entirely new strategy that is suited to your company’s needs.
Always think about what would give your business the best results overall.
Copying another company’s business and marketing plan wholesale can seem like a good idea, but it tends to put you in situations where you are doing things that are not actually going to benefit your business.
Even the simplest Google search marketing methods require a plan. Just like you can’t get up a Google search advertising campaign without an idea, you can’t perform any major marketing for your business without knowing what you want to target.
Having a structured plan in place allows you to gradually adapt as needed without losing sight of your own goals. It can take a lot to figure out how you should proceed with your marketing, and having a defined plan there allows you to consider the most straightforward options without losing track of your original goals.
A good plan makes all the difference, so do not shun the idea of planning out your entire marketing campaign. Even if the plan goes off the rails after only a few months, it still gives you a reference point to work with.
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