Creating a Strong Online Presence for Marketing Success
By Terrie Wheeler, PSM Marketing
The world has gone entirely digital. And, businesses need to be visible where their customers hang out- which is online.
Even if you already have a Facebook page, a website, or a blog, you can’t sit back and relax.
Building an online presence takes consistent effort and time.
Therefore, if you have been wary of marketing or just unsure how you can build a strong online presence for your business, listen up.
Use these strategies to build yourself or your business as an authority online- in your marketplace, in front of your buyers.
Build/Revamp Your Website
Regardless of the size, nature, or shape of your business, you need someplace nice online to show what you do.
If you already have a website, but it dates back to the 90s, it might be time to revamp it.
Both for content and design.
The digital world is changing at a rapid pace. And, if you don’t keep up, you get obsolete.
It’s time for a website overhaul when you’re not getting as many website visitors as you’d like, they don’t stick around or return, your website isn’t responsive, your business strategy or positioning has changed, or you’re just tired of the same design.
Whether you are building a site from scratch or revamping your most important marketing tool, here’s a ready checklist to help you:
● Undertake a website audit to assess your current standing. Look at how your pages perform, which pages might be missing, what can be re-purposed or kept the same.
● Analyze competitors’ websites. Gather website inspiration or look at the best in your competition to learn what’s fresh and new in site designing.
Make a list of functionalities you’d like to emulate.
● Review your brand guidelines and styles. You don’t need a website that’s not coherent with your brand.
This step warrants attention so that every element on your site stands in tune with the brand image you initially envisioned.
● Create a timeline. A website overhaul can last a week or two months. Depending on the size of your site, create a reasonable timeline and strive to stick with it.
● Set measurable goals and track metrics to see when you’ve achieved them. What traffic density is ideal for you? How many inbound leads do you expect each month from your site?
● Content before design. Without the appropriate content on your site nudging visitors to become customers, your site is just a beautiful picture.
Create the content first by engaging a copywriter or jotting it down yourself.
● Design mockups and wireframes to test how your website will function. Take feedback from early customers or friends to see what’s working and what needs to change.
● Take user approval by rewarding your loyal customers when they beta-test your new design and provide helpful insight into their experience.
● Optimize your website for mobile. Period.
Any business’ website is their strongest marketing tool that works to bring them business even when they are asleep.
Publish Valuable Content, Consistently
Whether it stays on your website, social media channels, or goes to an online community, you should always be looking to share valuable content with your customers and prospects.
To do this effectively, determine the winning content format for your audience.
A monthly content creation plan is a must if you want to stick with the routine consistently.
Your online growth and visibility depend on what you share with your community.
Sharing high-quality content that is either entertaining, informational, or educational can help you gain credibility and authority in your niche.
Build relationships with other content creators and collaborate with them to leverage their network and gain higher online visibility.
Here’s a proven checklist to boost online presence with content engagement.
Make sure your content is:
● Findable – Include an h1 tag, metadata, links in the body of the text, Alt tags for images.
● Readable – Pay attention to the style guide. Use headers and short paragraphs.
● Understandable – Set context through a clear and concise introduction, use easy-to-comprehend language without difficult jargon.
● Actionable – Can the user do something about it after reading, listening to, orwatching your content?
● Shareable – Will the user feel inclined to share it with their network? Or, is the content useful and includes a CTA?
Marketing or content teams can expand on this checklist to include critical to-dos when it comes to content marketing.
Improve Your Online Presence With Search Engine Optimization
Once you have a website and have started creating content over several platforms, it is time you can invest in SEO.
Eighty-nine percent of consumers use search engines to research a product or service before making a purchase decision.
Search Engine Optimization can help you strengthen your online presence and visibility.
Here’s a quick checklist for you to measure your current SEO standing and improve it:
● Setup and use the Google Search Console– a free SEO tool to help you see keywords that bring the most traffic to your site, fix website errors, receive messages and tips from the Google search team, and more.
● Setup Google Analytics to see how people find and use your website. It shows how much traffic you get from Google, the pages that bring the most traffic, and helps identify other sites and search engines that bring you traffic.
● Discover long-tail keywords with Google Suggest to focus on them through your content.
● Include your focused keywords in your URL, Title Tag, the first 150 words on your site, and in H1, H2, or H3 tags.
● Efficiently use external and external links without overdoing.
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Search Engine Optimization can single-handedly improve your online presence and boost visibility across search engines, which customers heavily rely on to get to any business.
By building your online presence, you can ensure your business keeps getting inquiries, leads, and prospects to keep it running and eliminate cycles of feast and famine.
Marketing is a consistent effort companies need to engage in, and a strong online presence can be the best way to attract clients continuously.
Terrie S. Wheeler, MBC, is the founder and president of PSM Marketing, LLC. For nearly 30 years, Terrie has provided Outsourced Marketing, Law Firm Marketing Services and worked with individual lawyers to help them hone their personal networking and relationship building skills.