What is an online presence?
Online presence is the collective existence of a company that can be found online through an online search.
Technically, if you have a website, you have an online presence. If you are a member of an association that has a member directory listing online, you have an online presence.
So, here are some examples of what makes your online presence:
- Association Directors
- Business Directors
- Online communities
- Content marketing
It is actually a long list that gives you a headache.
The point to remember is, you are not acting in a vacuum. You are competing against everyone in your industry globally for the same customers.
There are more places your business can hang out online the better. So you want a website, you want some social media accounts, you want to find relevant communities that you can start joining conversations in.
The great news is that you can get started with all of these things for free and you can pick away at it a little bit each day. Starting small comes packed with big benefits.
4 reasons justifying you need an online presence for your business
We have statistics to prove you that why you should be online:
- 82% of small business owners have claimed their primary source of new business is referrals
- 87% of potential customers follow ratings/reviews
- 7 out of 10 consumers use local business with information from social media sites
- 77% of searches on mobile are followed by action within an hour
3 ways to optimize your online presence
Now you have figured out ‘WHY” is online presence important, we have come up with “HOW” can you optimize it.
Here are three simple methods that help you stand apart from your competitors. It not only helps you grow but also increase your brand reputation.
Learn about these three major ways and how to get them working in tandem to bring you the most exceptional results.
Create a Professional Website
Today, the way both search engines and users search has changed the work and look of a website.
Your homepage is not just a placeholder and index for your links. It is now the start of a journey. It is a place to interact and build trust with your customers.
The first thing your homepage should demonstrate is the solution to their problems. No one comes just to check your services and products; they come looking for an answer, whether you can solve them or not.
If you can prove that you understand them and their issues, then you can begin showing them how you can solve them (with your services and products).
The content on your website should back up your claims. You can add a video, which is a trust-building element. A video where your team members are talking about their deep understanding of the problems is best. They not only build trust but a personal connection with the person.
Beyond the basic elements, your website must address the major technical hurdles.
In 2018, Google announced they would use mobile websites rather than desktop for indexing and ranking. If you haven’t optimized your site for mobile, you are lagging.
Security and Privacy is another bigger concern. After Facebook stumble with its online safety, consumers are more focused on their personal information. For a secure website, you must have an https site. This means your data are encrypted and you are safe.
Search Engine Optimization
Google has the greatest power today. Online is Google’s home, and we are just living in it.
So, from small business owners to bigger companies, the chief concern needs to be optimizing for Google. At the same time, you can’t forget about your customers and optimizing your site for them.
Two things you should be more focused on are:
Google My Business
Optimize for local search
Google My Business:
You can take a look at Google My Business and claim your business. Google itself holds Google My Business listings.
Make sure there are no duplicate entries of your business. Ensure the information like name, address, phone number, categories, and other information of your business sync with your website. You can add photos, videos, and descriptions to your profile. The great benefit is that you can directly connect with your prospects and customers through text.
Optimize for local search:
Another aspect is optimizing for local search. According to Google, 97% of customers use the web to search for local businesses. If a vast majority of your prospects are online, you should be online too.
Your website should give you the best shot to rank locally. Fill your pages with local data, content, and resources. You need to pay attention to the metadata behind the scene.
75% of the users never scroll past the first page. Develop your local SEO strategy so that you can land on the first page. Your placement to the search engine’s result could make a significant difference to your business.
Do it better than the competition
There is a saying “keep your friends close but your enemies closer.” It rings true in this digital age too.
You should keep your eyes on your competitors like a hawk. Study them, observe their every step, and stay two steps forward.
How is this going to help you?
You can see which SEO keywords you can target
Identify the most popular social media and why
Gain content ideas
Know more about your target audience
Learn how to engage and enhance the customer experience
This information is not necessarily about copying but analyzing their efforts to find a big-win opportunity.
Simplified: Show up, attract, and prove why you are better than the competition.