Small business owners realize that it's critical to have a powerful online presence in today's internet marketplace. Having an influential brand online allows your company to reach more people. You can show your products and services to customers, generate increased leads, and entice more people to visit your official website and physical store location.
How can your company improve its internet market reach and attract more customers to your site? In today's guide, you will learn 12 ways to improve your business' online presence in 2021. While we are bringing you a condensed, general overview on this topic for the Mind Your Business blog, you can read our extended write-up on the LocalBizGuru blog for more details.
1. Create a Beautiful Business Website Optimized for Mobile Devices
The first step your business can take to increase its online presence is to create an official business website. Be sure to have quickly-loading pages, optimized images, and responsive site designs. Have fun with your site while remaining professional; incorporate fonts, colors, text, video and images relevant to your brand. Create valuable content that appeals to the pain points of your buyer persona.
You can use a content management system or hire a web design service—like LocalBizGuru—to create an eye-catching search-engine-optimized, professional site.
2. Build an Email List
Building an email list is one of the easiest ways to help you succeed. Once you get a comprehensive list, it will enable your business to engage actively with potential customers and leads.
If your website hasn't officially launched, use a maintenance plugin with "coming soon" pages and encourage users to sign up for your email list. Another way you can build your email list is to produce gated content that your customers must sign up for to receive access. A monthly newsletter will also help to promote your company and collect leads through your distribution list. Promote your newsletter online using calls-to-action to attract readers.
3. Boost Your Site's Search Engine Optimization Strategy
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a process that increases your website traffic and improves your brand's recognition and online presence. This strategy helps potential customers have a better chance of finding your website when they search for terms related to your brand. Mastering SEO can also boost your rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).
To rank higher, business sites must incorporate two categories of SEO: on-site and off-site SEO.
On-site SEO is the practice of optimizing the elements of a web page to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic from search engines. Good on-site SEO helps search engines understand what humans see and the value they would receive when they visit a page. To master on-site SEO, small business owners should ensure their HTML source code is well-formed, and all elements of the site need to be optimized for speed.
Off-site SEO refers to actions taken outside your website that affects your rankings in SERPs. Optimizing off-site rankings involves improving a search engine and user perception of a business site's popularity, relevance, trustworthiness, and authority. Improve your off-site SEO by encouraging other relevant pages, sites, and people to link to and promote your website. This step vouches for the quality of the web content that you produce.
RELATED: 5 reasons to invest in SEO
4. Produce Engaging Content for Readers
Many studies have shown that the best way to attract more business is to produce content that creates value for your potential customers. This material is a fantastic way to introduce your brand and personality to the world and boost your digital presence.
To get started, you must create buyer personas that focus on your ideal customer's pain points and motivations, then create content that answers their questions as part of your content strategy. You can also reach potential customers through podcasts, guest posting, or question-and-answer sessions.
5. Have a Social Media Presence
Almost 3.2 billion people around the world use social media. If your company doesn't have a social media presence, your customers may not know you exist. Additionally, it allows your business to become more transparent and build trust with your target audience. Figure out which platforms your primary audience uses and dominate there.
6. Keep an Active Online Presence
To increase your online presence, your business must be active online; regularly post to your website and social media pages.
If you can, assign someone to engage regularly with followers and subscribers on your social media sites. Participate in conversations related to your industry. You can also hire a company—like LocalBizGuru—to handle your social media engagements.
7. Network with Other Companies
Another way to improve your online presence is to develop relationships with other people within your industry. Establish connections by sharing your hobbies, passions, and interests that you have in common.
Ask relevant bloggers and podcasters within your industry to feature your business. Accept any offers they make to have you appear in podcasts or write guest blogs for their site. When you build relationships with others, it will help your brand appear in more areas online.
8. Adopt New Social Media Platforms
Consider becoming an early adopter of new social media and popular web technologies. The main reason you should embrace new technology is that there is less competition on these sites. These smaller social media platforms also have higher engagement rates than other sites, so your brand will get noticed by more users.
9. Get Listed on Core Web Directories
Web directories are powerful ways to generate additional traffic to your website. These listings help you rank higher organically and are essential to local searches. Select directories that add real value to your business, especially Google My Business, Bing Places, Yelp, and Apple Maps. In addition to the primary benefits, these directories offer—like reviews and business information—they also provide backlinks to your website that can differentiate your business from the competition.
RELATED: Read more by Nachum Langsner
10. Use Online Advertising
Your company can also build its online presence through online advertising or paid search marketing.
When your ad appears at the top of search results, it drives traffic to your website, increases awareness about your business brand and improves your visibility.
Several popular search engines can provide enormous exposure for your brand, including Yahoo!, Bing, and Google. Don't forget to advertise on social media platforms with large followings, including Instagram, Reddit, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
11. Ask Influencers to Promote Your Product
Almost 92 percent of people trust recommendations from individuals. Social media influencers allow brands to have an organic way to earn the trust of individuals. When an influencer recommends your products, their large number of fans take notice and are more likely to purchase your product or services. You can directly contact individuals with followings of over 50,000 people through their email or direct messaging on their website.
12. Analyze Your Results
Once your business starts implementing strategies to boost your online presence, you must analyze your efforts by testing which ones work. You can use metrics from different sites like Google to see if your SEO is working well. You can set goals if you're building a subscriber list to see if you reach your target and other click-through rates.
Increasing your brand awareness online may take a few months, so be patient as you work toward your long-term goals.
Does your business need to improve its brand recognition online? Local Biz Guru can help. We empower small business through knowledge, transparency, and results. Our professionals offer website design and development, local SEO, and social media marketing services. To schedule an appointment, contact us today.
Nachum Langsner is the Co-Founder & CMO of LocalBizGuru, a full-service digital marketing agency based in Cleveland, OH. He has over 10+ years of experience in the SEO industry and is a frequent presenter and instructor of digital marketing and SEO seminars for entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Greater Cleveland area for organizations such as COSE, Jumpstart, the Better Business Bureau, Score and the Ohio SBDC at CSU.