Online presence: how to build and what mistakes you should avoid
If you are doing your first steps towards achieving your business aims and getting to the top of success mountain, you should know that your online presence must be one of the main things you pay the closest attention to in your strategy. It’s not a secret that this part of your promotion takes a lot of time and sometimes can be a routine but it is worth it. The thing is that the online presence helps people to find your company and know it better. From your side, you are able to interact with people and thus build trust to the company. With online presence you can spread the brand awareness and gain new fans, followers that may become your leads and customers in the future.
Why having a website is a MUST
Having a website is not enough to build a strong presence online. But it is a core of it and also of the marketing strategy. The biggest mistake a lot of business owners make is creating social networks profiles for their companies before they have a website.
“Why do I even need a website”, you may ask. Such a great question. A website is a place where you are able to represent your company in all colors. There visitors should be able to get the detailed description of services and products, read about your company and get contact information so they can reach you. Also, you should remember that your website must be available for mobile and portable devices since the Internet usage on such devices has increased. It follows thence, it is significant to have a responsive website on any device for any business’s online presence.
Other businesses even having a website forget to invest in it. The reason is an absence of understanding fully of the opportunity they have in their virtual hands. Just like any other side of your business promotion the website needs some efforts to be made as well. Saving money on it you will lose more.
So what are the most frequent mistakes business owners make?
1Social media page instead of the website. It is a great misconception, though. Think of your customers how they would find you and read more about your company. The best way to make your company be found is to make a website for it. In this case, no matter where you are located you will be found on the Internet. If you don’t have money for developing a great website and have a social media page that is already greatly promoted, you can redirect those users who find your website through the search to the social network page. After you finish the works with your main business arena, you can simply remove the redirect. Also, a smartly chosen domain name of your business website will be in your visitors memory and after it is ready to start working you will not have to change its address.
2Free email provider instead of your company email address. If you think that a domain name is just an address then you are a little bit wrong. It is your business’ online identity and can help you to be more recognizable among, for instance, your competitors. Your web address can be used for setting up your custom email address. Which of these two email addresses will look more credible to your customers: [email protected] or [email protected]? The answer is clear. Any consumers trust more to the company that has a company-branded email than to the one with an email sent from a free email account.
3Setting aside your website building. As it was said before, having a website is a must for any company, small or big one. Of course, it is hard to launch a totally new website. But when there’s a will there’s a way. If you are not an experienced super professional, then you can use some free website building platform which provides templates that are easy to use. Also, there are many features in just one package that will cost you nothing.
4Not taking care of your website. After you have built a website for your company and forgot about it, it will not work on you. No one will see it if you don’t take any efforts to make it visible for everyone. You can generate traffic to your site and also find new customers using:
- Social networks. When you advertise your business or your products and services there you drive traffic to your website. Just use it smartly, create interesting content so your future visitors want to get more information about you and what you offer.
- Email. When sending customers information on something new and or special sales proposals, don’t forget to Include a link to your website. There customers are able to learn more. As it was specified before, a company-branded email can be used to build more trust to your company. So take that into a consideration, too.
- Search engine marketing. SEM is more known as paid search. It will allow you to promote the website in the paid advertising section of SERP.
- Content. It has never been a secret that one of the best ways to get customers to your website and make them come back is to create content that will have high-quality. Pick interesting topics that can be valuable for your audience. What do consumers usually look for at any website? In general, it is unique information that is easily found online. The best practice is to write about what is familiar to you so you are able to deliver data simply and cooked well. If you are new to creating content you can start a blog on your website.
Your readers won’t be bored if in each blog post you focus on a single topic. Don’t make your posts long write 2-3 paragraphs, they are easy for your customers to read. Also, it is easier to create a short and informative post than a long and boring article. Besides that, thanks to the new qualitative content at your website that is added on a regular basis its ranking on search engines will be improved.
How to build your presence
To get some successful and efficient results from your online presence you should, first of all, build it right and smart. Let’s try to figure out what you should take into consideration when building the online presence.
1Strategy. First of all, there should be a base. In our case, the strong base should be made on the goals you want to achieve. There should be aims for long and short periods of time. How will they help you? Taking step by step you must answer yourself how each of efforts helps to reach the goals you’ve set. Every business owner must remember that online presence is not one of those “supposed to be done” things, it is only efficient if it helps to achieve business goals.
2Strengthen the base. After you have completed the list of your business goals, start building a solid ground floor of your online presence fortress. The main brick is a website. It should be a place where internet visitors can learn more about what you offer. Also, there should be a possibility to contact you. The website is the main stage where you are able to interact and engage your users with the content. Requirements are simple: clear understanding of what your business is about, user-friendly navigation, ability to sign up to a newsletter and a contact page. Although, SEO shouldn’t be put in the last place.
3Optimize and improve. Turn off your inner perfectionist and don’t wait till your content is perfect. You will always need to optimize and improve your existing content. There are new rules and new criteria to SEO every day. All you need is start publishing and after that, you will be able to come back to what you have posted, analyze the results, improve some of your content and add something new. It is not “one-time thing”, it is a constant process.
4Gain credibility and authority in your niche. It might seem impossible to do, but it only depends on you and your desire to reach the goal you’ve set. Create consistent content that will be valuable and interesting for your audience. If it meets your users’ requirements then it will be retweeted, shared, liked and the visitors will come back to check if you have anything new for them. After you post really valuable content to the social networks and different communities you will notice the growth of the visibility.
5Socialization. Don’t regret using the social networks for increasing your online presence. They help anyone to get to any type of internet users. In other words, you can stay home and be everywhere at the same time. But don’t consider this opportunity straight as it is. You shouldn’t start using all the social networks you know. Test some of them and pick the ones where you get the best results for your business. After you’ve picked those that fit the best, don’t stop. Those social profiles should always be alive. It means you must post regularly there to engage new followers and keep up the interest of existing ones. Today social media is considered as one of the greatest marketing tools. So use it to gain new visitors, followers, fans and improve your online reputation.
6Become famous. So you have a great website with optimized content, a few profiles in different social networks, now you should take some efforts to make people see you. For this, it is better to find some online communities or groups of people who have the same interests as you do or run business in the same niche as you do. For building relationships, you should become an active member of these groups or communities. Don’t misunderstand, you shouldn’t advertise yourself or business there. If you are a member of a community and provide some valuable insights, other people will be interested to know what you do and what brought you there.
7Reap a harvest. Tracking of your results is very important part of the online presence building process. What to track? Check and compare a number of likes on Facebook, followers on Twitter, circles you are part of on Google+ and so on. Google Analytics will help you to track the traffic changes. Without analyzing and comparison you won’t be able to know why your traffic increased or dropped. Also, you will know what social networks perform better than others, etc.
Online presence has a huge potential for you and your business to become well-known. Of course, it takes time but if you start today and don’t put it away for later then you will succeed sooner. Create and optimize your website, post valuable content, be present on social networks, and build relationships online. This way you will expand your brand awareness and increase the number of fans, followers, leads and customers your company has and thus complete the set goals sooner.