In today’s world we have all become digital-first customers, whether we realize it or not. Having an online presence is critical for any business to succeed, or even remain in business.
What Exactly Does it Mean To Have an Online Presence and Why You Need It
Simply put, having an online presence means your business appears online when people are searching for your solutions or while they’re navigating their social platforms.
The more your target audience comes across your business in their buyer’s journey, the more chances you have to increase your brand awareness, traffic to your website, and ultimately inbound leads.
There are also other ways a strong online presence benefits your business, besides getting discovered by your target audience:
- Be perceived as a legitimate business: Buyers like to research companies before contacting them and they rely on multiple sources to find information. The more information you provide about how you help clients the more chances you’ll have to show up un search engines as they do their research, and be considered as a contender.
- Market your business 24/7: Your website is your place of business in today’s marketplace. Having a strong online presence will put you in front of qualified buyers whenever is convenient for them, in any device, on their own terms.
- Increase sales: Buyers of promotional products searching on the internet are ready to buy. When they contact a provider, they have already done their research and are ready to do business.
19 Easy Things You Can Do To Increase Your Online Presence
The following are all effective ways to build your online presence, and most of them are completely free! Use this as a checklist to work on, but keep in mind, it’s not magic, none of these produce immediate results, but you will see a difference over time.
1. Make sure your site is crawlable by google. Submit a site map to Google and if you don’t have an SSL certificate, have it installed ASAP.
2. Add your own content to your home page, make it about what you do, who you help, and the benefits of working with you
3. Change all the stock images on your website with your own originals
4. Create a page on your website for each of your services or specialties
5. Expand on your about page. Tell your story: how you got started, anecdotes of your early days. Add your photo, photos of your team, your office, your vehicle wrap…
6. Add content to your website on a regular basis. Start a blog and post about common questions you get and things your clients want to know. Share your posts on social media. This is the #1 factor in increasing your online presence.
7. Start a video series. There is so much you know about your industry that your potential clients don’t know. Make a list of topics and talk about one aspect in each video. Then share on social media.
8. Add keywords in your pages content, title and description.
9. Set up your Google Business Profile. Here’s a step by step guide on how to do it.
10. Ask for reviews. Have your customers post them directly on your Google Business Profile, show the reviews on your website using an app. There are several apps for this, choose the one that works with your website platform.
11. Add a blog to your website. Write regularly about topics that your ideal clients are interested in, such as new products and ways to use them.
12. Show your work on your website.
13. List your company in local business directories
14. Check your website regularly for errors using Google Webmasters Tools (It may have a different name at the time you read this).
15. Optimize your social media profiles by filling out all the information that it asks for, including images.
16. Have a LinkedIn company page and post your content on there, then share it on your personal profile.
17. Post regularly on social media, make sure your posts and imagery are branded.
18. Advertise on social media. If you have a low following, few people will see your posts. Expand your reach and traffic to your website using social media advertising.
19. Write a press release and send it to local media outlets. This is not free but it can be very effective when done right.
Having an online presence in today’s business environment is not optional. Even if you don’t have much of a budget for marketing or don’t have a ton of time, you can start working on the items above, one by one, and you’ll be on your way.
Don’t be left behind.
Use this list to create a plan of action to expand your online footprint.