At the very least, a business in today’s competitive market needs a website. Modern consumers expect businesses to have an online presence so they can find out more and, often, make purchases or reservations online.
A website can be inexpensive but is invaluable for ensuring customers and potential customers can find the business and learn more about its goals, values, and style. It should also provide pragmatic but essential details, like the location of any brick-and-mortar stores and their opening times.
Whether all you want is a one-page website with key information or you’re improving an enterprise-level site with multiple international storefronts, here are strategies you can use to strengthen your business’s online presence.
Know Your Customer
Just as in offline marketing scenarios, the better you know your customer, the more you can please them. To make sure your online presence is customer-focused and you’re not being dazzled by compelling but irrelevant resources and statistics, build profiles of your ideal customers. You’ll want to know things like:
- Their ages
- Where they live
- What they care about
- What problems they have
- What they buy
- What they like about your business
Other information that can be useful includes:
- Their education level
- Their income level
Understand that you will likely have several kinds of customers that love your product or service. Identifying each type helps you hone your products and services and how you market them. To gather this kind of information, you can install a tracking service on your website for subsequent analysis and improvement of your website’s performance.
The days of putting as many keywords (words that search engine users might search for) as possible into the uppermost part of web pages are over. Now, search engines are more likely to value authentic, useful, high-value content that required expertise to create.
Keywords are still important, though.
Make a great website. Make great content. But research the search words used by people looking for products and services like yours. This will help ensure you haven’t left any gaps and that your website is serving all your visitors.
How can you improve your online presence by focusing on your geographical location?
According to Hubspot, almost half of all searches are local. People are looking for businesses near them. They want to know which businesses are the best, of course, but they also want to know how far they’ll have to travel.
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, prioritize local SEO to make contact with people who are already searching for businesses like yours.
Optimizing SEO includes:
- Getting on Google Business and Google Maps
- Making sure your address is clear on your website and that your location is mentioned naturally
- Adding your business to local, professional directories to improve visibility and rankings
- Ensuring your details are consistent and up-to-date wherever they appear online
Page Loading Speed Optimization
There is so much competition for people’s attention online that a delay of several seconds can mean you lose about half your potential traffic. Make your page load as quickly as possible by using good page optimization practices, including:
- Using small images, as in their file size, not necessarily their dimensions
- Insisting on fast servers to deliver webpages without delays
Users are increasingly security conscious. By building trust, you can get more traffic. Some ways to make it clear that the safety of people’s data and their privacy are important to your business include the following:
- Use HTTPS / switch on SSL technology or ask your website host
- Ensure the closed padlock is visible to your customers, especially on pages involving forms or transactions
- Display transparent, easy-to-understand privacy policies. Tell people that you:
- Don’t collect more information than you need
- Get rid of the data securely when you don’t need it anymore
- Encrypt your data in storage
In marketing, there’s always a lot to do. Don’t expect that you can do it all alone forever. Although you may prioritize your time on high-value or urgent marketing needs, eventually, there will be so much to do that it’s more than a full-time job. Depending on the size of your organization, it can be multiple full-time jobs.
Fortunately, you can leverage the global marketplace and remote workforces. You can find, interview, hire, and collaborate with talented people all around the world.
Use Leadar to connect with vetted professionals that can provide the services you need to supercharge your marketing. Whether you want someone to define your marketing strategy, write and schedule posts, or everything in between, marketing help may only be a few clicks away.
It’s worth noting that if you don’t control your business’s online presence, other people will. Whether or not you are at the party, people are likely talking about your business online. No matter if they are making positive or negative comments on social media and review sites, it’s a good idea to have profiles on relevant social media platforms and to be a part of that ecosystem and those conversations.
Build your online presence by taking positive reviews and curating them on your website. Furthermore, reach out to your fans on social media to tell them how much you appreciate them. You can use their comments and insights to help you get better and what you do. And by appreciating them, they may become your best brand ambassadors online and offline.
If what people are saying about a business is not so positive, that’s okay. They are giving you a chance to demonstrate your professionalism and how much you value feedback. The world is watching, so show your potential customers how your business behaves when things didn’t go quite to plan.
Having an online presence is almost essential today. It’s also extremely rewarding. Your online presence helps differentiate you from your competition and allows you to promote your values.
Furthermore, a business with a strong online presence — whether it’s a uniquely branded website or a suite of profiles across the web — can connect with its customers in ways that are more meaningful than businesses neglecting their online identities.
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