In today’s day and age, having an online presence is the key to succeeding. With all of the day-to-day chores that need to be done, it can be easy to put improving online presence to the side. Although it might not be the easiest thing to tackle, it’s something that always pays off. It can market your business, target new customers and open the door to new opportunities. So taking the time to market and produce digital content for your company can benefit it in a multitude of ways.
Here are some steps I regularly take to improve online presence, and improve increase user interactions.
1. Professional website design
Owning a professional looking website is crucial for any business, whether solely online or brick & mortar. Having a professionally designed site will set you above competition that has badly designed sites as well as improve interactions between potential clients and your company. It doesn’t really matter if you’re planning to make money directly from it or not, you should treat your website as good as your employees.
Whether the site is an ecommerce site or a marketing page for a dog sitter, a professional design will bring a lot of value to a company. A website is more than just an online business card, it’s your ambassador that attracts global traffic and introduces new relationships that could never have been. If a website is badly designed and hard to navigate users will leave and avoid working with your company.
The last thing anyone wants is to lose business over something that can easily be fixed. Updating to current web trends or updating a sites content can be all it takes to drastically improve client relations and lead generation.
If you’re looking for some assistance with any web design services, please feel free to get in contact.
2. Write relevant articles & share
Creating new content for websites is possibly the #1 way to improve a company’s online presence. For one, it creates new URL’s that Google can crawl and add to its index, allowing people to find your site organically. Secondly, writing fresh content means you can distribute and spread new information over many channels rather than just adding new content onto a site.
When creating new content, it’s always important to make sure the content is relevant to your audience and any keywords you are trying to rank for on Google. Creating content that isn’t relevant to your user base will only decrease interactions and hurt your company; so remember, quality is always better than quantity. A lot of companies make the mistake of over marketing or posting, and thus turn themselves into spam. A moderate, steady flow of highly targeted and relevant information is best.
No matter what kind of business you are running, improving your online presence is paramount. If your customers can’t find a Facebook page or an easy to use website, they will go elsewhere. Causing you to lose valuable customers at this crucial stage of your business’ progression.
Other than having a website with your company’s name, it’s important to create social media outlets for your users to interact with, and hear the latest news about your company in a friendly, and common way. Most people will not have your websites blog bookmarked, but they will most likely have Facebook or Twitter bookmarked.
The top social media outlets that every business should be using are: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, and Stumbleupon.
Increasing your online presence doesn’t always require you to be in the virtual world. Sometimes meeting face to face with people is the best way to get quality clicks. While you may not be able to share your URL to as many people as you could online, when you share your website to someone in person, there is a much higher chance of them taking the time to review the site, look at the content, and possibly take affirmative action. While sharing a post on Stumbleupon may get you 2,000 clicks in a day, having one high quality click will always be better.
Some great places to network are the places you already go to. Next time you’re grabbing coffee and you see someone working on their WordPress blog, or looking at Google Analytics, take some time and start up a conversion, if anything you could land yourself a very high quality lead just by buying a coffee and mentioning your website address.
Other than trying to eavesdrop your way into a conversation, finding local conventions or meet ups is another great way to spread word about your online estate. In San Francisco, there are a ton of annual and random events for tech related industries, these are some of the best places to network and meet new people that will be much more likely to go to your site and see what you have to say.
4. commenting on other blogs
Similar to networking, commenting on other relevant blogs is a great way to improve online relationships and increase exposure to your online business. When you comment on another blog, you are not only notifying another content creator that you find their content useful and informative, you are creating a connection that could lead to potential business and a traffic source.
If the sites commenting system allows for website URL’s, this is a great way to increase the number of backlinks pointing to your site, and you might even get a few clicks from users that found your comment helpful.
5. keyword research + content creation
Writing a post is only a third of the battle. One of the other important factors is researching your primary keywords, and creating content that will help your website rank for those words. While every post does not have to be about the same topic, it’s always good to do some research and find some secondary keywords that can be used within your post.
When it comes to researching new posts content, I usually first start by trying to answer a simple question: “What could I write about that potential clients might be asking themselves?”. By creating posts that answer a question or give insights to something unfamiliar to your readers, you are confirming that you are an authority for that type of info, and that your content will be helpful for that specific user.
Content creation can take many forms, from writing blog posts on a personal website to creating images and graphics. After you have successfully researched keywords and article topics, there are many ways to spread out the effort put it. Instead of just posting an article on your site and calling it a day, you can take that same content and create articles on other sites such as Medium or WordPress.com and link back to your site as the source.
A simple and direct way to reach out to potential clients and users is by advertising your website online. This can take the shape of Google Ads, Facebook ads, or even sponsored post on another blog. There are many ways of advertising an online business, and depending on the type of website, specific ones will want to be used.
The easiest way to get started with advertising is to setup Google Ads or Facebook Ads. These ad platforms allow you to upload content and target specific audiences, and based on your budget Google or Facebook will then display these ads on specific users devices.
Advertising is a very complex and dynamic realm, so it’s important to take your time researching your options and knowing your user base before you start spending any money. However, if done successfully, advertising can be a great way of attracting new traffic and creating relationships with users that you normally would not have encountered.
Creating infographics is another way you can improve your online presence, and in a way that can easily be shared. A great thing about creating infographics is you can take content you already have created, and create a graphic out of the data that can easily be shared on social media platforms and be found on Google Images.
It’s important that somewhere on the infographic it’s clear where the info came from; allowing your user to locate the source of the content. While a link won’t be clickable, an easy to find name or logo will help users recognize the brand and make it easier to navigate to the source of the content.
Submitting your website’s address to online directories is a great source of initial backlinks. While submitting your address to directories will help establish your domain, it won’t be as effective as some of the other techniques.
A great way to find directories you should be submitting your website to is by first looking at your competitions sites and seeing if they submitted to anywhere unique. For the most part, you will want to submit your website’s address to any local business directory that will accept it, as well as other local business aggregators such Yelp, Yellow Pages, Google Maps, and the larger online directories like DMOZ.
9. email marketing
By staying in contact with previous clients and customers, you can create a stable flow of returning users as well as get a better understanding of your current audience. By split testing designs and layouts, you can see what your customers are more interested in, and you can then take this information and use it to improve your other online efforts.
Holding online contest are a great resource for companies looking to attract attention from consumers. By giving a product away, you can attract a lot of traffic from social media sites and other referrers, and capture every entries email for later retargeting. With a simple contests, you could easily see yourself gaining a ton of followers, facebook likes, or email addresses to use for marketing and advertising campaigns.
Not only will holding contest give you new markets to advertise with, it will increase reputation and approval of your business. Holding online contest are most useful to ecommerce or one-time services such as vacation services or luxuries.