6 Ways How To Improve Your Online Presence

Businesses of all sizes are using online marketing but may not have the type of online presence that draws a steady stream of new customers. Whether you’ve just started a new business or have a well-established business, you want generate referrals and new customers by optimizing your online presence.  In this post, we will take some of the mystery out of this all-important process.

What exactly does “online presence” mean?

An online presence is the sum of all the identities you’ve created and the interactions those identities have established, and participated in, online. It includes websites, social media accounts, and any pages that come up when your business or name is “Googled.”

An online presence is your digital sales force. When successfully optimized, it can spread brand awareness and turn digital interactions into ideal clients, eager to learn more by engaging with your business. Your online presence has huge potential to attract and retain interested prospects and customers to your various online channels. It may seem daunting, but it does not have to be.

Improving your online presence doesn’t happen overnight but it’s essential for the long-term growth of your business because it’s what allows people to find you, interact with you, and get to know, like and trust you. Building your online presence can be a challenge if you do not implement a systematic approach that streamlines and makes the most out of your invested time.  We have assembled 6 best practices that will put you on the path to increased traffic, higher conversion rates, and meaningful engagement with your company.

  1. Make sure that you have a mobile friendly website. More web searches are now being done from a mobile device rather than a laptop or desktop computer. As of October 2016, mobile searches exceeded those performed from a desktop and this number is growing monthly. What this means is that, in addition to having a visually appealing website, you need to make sure your site is mobile friendly.

This item is first on the list for a reason. Google search has expanded its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.    You can check your site by testing your pages with the Mobile-Friendly Test tool. This tool shows how Google Search sees your pages. To get a list of mobile usability issues across your sites, log in to your Search Console account and use the Mobile Usability Report.

  1. Incorporate a blog that you update frequently. Content is King. Almost everyone has heard this common refrain. You may be a bit intimidated by the idea of blogging. Don’t be. This is the best way to stay in communications with your prospects and customers.

It used to be that your sales activity was the opportunity to educate and inform your prospects.  Now, blogging is the cornerstone of your online presence.  Content is easily shared and one blog can reach a much wider audience than you could ever reach doing traditional selling.  Furthermore, if your blog is properly optimized with links back to your website, it may be the best way to increase engagement online.  Using a blog allows you to convey your brand personality with a unique voice and write in a conversational tone that humanizes your business. Blogs also improve search engine rankings via keyword-rich content, fresh content and additional indexed pages. Blogs are a 24/7 communication platform where you can quickly publish favorable content about your company.

Improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  1. SEO is an essential component of any online marketing strategy. SEO is all about making your website be found and ranked by search engines. The goal of SEO is to increase traffic to your website which is largely achieved through ranking higher in online search results. SEO helps you drive quality leads to your website, boost your brand recognition, and lend your business the credibility it needs to succeed in a crowded online world.

The goal of local search engine optimization is to help your business appear in search engines on a local level. There are specific tactics that build local SEO to help draw customers to your business. An effective local SEO plan, one that may include cleaning up multiple Google My Business Pages (here’s an example), focuses on getting your website ranked in the coveted 3-Pack (the top 3 results for your product or service). Google has a complex algorithm that determines where each page on your website ranks for various keywords. When you implement an effective local SEO strategy, you’re making sure that your site ranks higher than your local competitors, which improves your online presence and generates new inquiries.

  1. Invest in online advertising campaigns. It takes time (Google advises 3 to 4 months) to start seeing the results of your efforts with organic SEO. As you undertake improving your online presence to generate leads, one excellent and cost-efficient way to generate traffic to your business is with Google Adwords.

This is that set of ads that pop up on your browser when you’re searching for something. When people do a Google search, they are looking for specific information, products, or services. They are often looking for a solution to an immediate problem or need. When customers do a Google search for a product or service you provide, they are usually already in the buying stage, which is why Google Adwords can be so effective for increasing quality leads to your website.

Running ad campaigns on the social media platform that’s best suited to your target customers can be very effective. For example, LinkedIn is a great platform to reach business professionals.  in fact for B2B LinkedIn lead generation is one of the hottest marketing tactics of the year.   Instagram, on the other hand, is excellent for reaching the 18-25-year-old demographic. Understanding what social media platforms your ideal customers are likely to use is an important first step to maximizing the results of your social media advertising strategy.

  1. Be an active social media user. Social media can be a highly effective way to improve your visibility and reach new customers. The benefits of social networking come to those who interact not just with the platforms but with other participants; it’s essential to have interactions with your followers. In order to create engaged followers and customers through social media, you have to post new and interesting content on a regular basis. In addition to posting useful articles and offering expert insights on sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, you should also solicit and respond to comments on your posts. It’s not just about visibility, it’s about accessibility. Accessibility builds trust and credibility.
  2. Get listed on key directory sites. Often, especially for local searches, these sites rank at or near the top organically. There are many directories for specific industries, but there are more than 60 search engines and directories where your business should be accurately

These include Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, Mapquest, CitySearch and many more. Google has clearly stated that they use these multiple listings to aid them in ranking your website.  You can run a free scan here, to verify your listings and accuracy on all of the relevant engines.

In summary, you can build an effective online presence by creating and sharing valuable content, establishing a strong social media presence, and building meaningful relationships online. If you are not ready to take these steps on your own, consider hiring a knowledgeable consulting firm to get you started and educate you along the way.  This may be the best way to optimize your digital sales force.

Use these 6 digital marketing tips and you’ll see an improvement in your online presence, designed to drive traffic and convert visitors to customers, which is critical in today’s online marketplace.  Remember; the first thing someone does when looking for a product or service is to search the internet.  Be there when they come calling!

About the Author

Dennis Ottey Baltimore SEODennis Ottey is the founder of Dott Digital Marketing LLC and an SEO for Growth Certified Consultant in Baltimore, Maryland.

He brings over 20 years of marketing consulting, specializing in content marketing, web design and Search Engine Optimization in Baltimore.

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