How participating in multiple online channels can help boost online presence and search results.
To quote Julie Andrews, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.” What is an online presence? Your business’ online presence is the result of every post, listing, webpage, and social account that can be linked to your company through an online search.
Before the internet, there were two main ways to inform people about your business: traditional advertising and word of mouth. However, the digital age changed all of this; not just the methods we communicate, but how we communicate to our customers.
For some this idea is an intimidating, even frustrating, one. Understand that it is a time-consuming (occasionally confusing) task albeit an important one. Results from online search now dictate the vast majority of new client relationships. According to Yelp, 85 percent of consumers use the internet to find local businesses, and this statistic doesn’t even begin to cover those that shop and purchase directly online. Your online presence is what allows these potential clients to find you, learn about you, and decide to do business with you.
The Challenge:Be strategic with building your online presence. Just as easy as disregarding the need for an online presence is the temptation to hurriedly create one. When done correctly, your brand can be consistent and comprehensive, allowing new clients to learn anything they need to know about your business from the one who knows it best: YOU. Be strategic with building your online presence.
So, what needs to be included in your online platform? Your arsenal of search results? Your SEO tool kit? A combination of some or all of the following:
1 │ Build a website
The very first step in boosting your search results is to ensure you can be found: You need to have a website. When creating or overhauling a website, remember to keep SEO (search engine optimization) in mind. Think like a client and keep navigation and content simple, calls to action clear, contact information prominent, and photos beautiful (and limited to about one per page). Another important SEO key is to build mobile friendly websites since Google now penalizes websites that are not mobile-friendly. If you are not an SEO or responsive programming expert, no worries. Your friends at Red Sage are. Call us if you need a new or just-like-new website, or tips to boost it.
2 │ List your business
After you secure a location and website, the next big piece of the puzzle is to list your company in as many places as possible. Set aside some time to create your listings in Google My Business, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Business Finder, Yahoo, Bing, and other leading online directories. Each listing will bring more online attention to your company and enhance your search results.
3 │ Don’t forget to socialize
Social channels are great tools in your online presence because they are free to use, give you ample opportunities to brand and communicate your company, and often show up very high in search results. You have many options to choose from: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. Red Sage is not and never will be of the mindset that you need to be on all available platforms, but choosing a few channels that are a good fit and regularly posting engaging content can go a long way in building an online presence. At Red Sage, we love using Buffer to help manage all our social platforms from one, easy interface.
Carrying on the conversation with those most interested in your business is a good idea and it doesn’t hurt that it can also boost your online presence. Regularly posting to a company blog and sending out e-newsletters to your database are two good ways to further the online conversation. These mediums can expand on topics/products/services pertaining to your company while regularly feeding your website new content. Even by adding one blog post, and one e-newsletter a month, Google will notice and appreciate the new content and award you with a boost in search engine results.
5 │ Share the news
If your company has recently hired, been awarded a job, is adding a product, received an award, is participating in community service, tell the world about. By adding a news feed to your website and sharing relevant articles on your website, each article is another online listing that can potentially drive online visitors to your site. So whether you are creating or curating, share the good news about your company.
6 │ Pay to play
Advertising is not nearly as ambiguous as it once was. With online advertising, a company can set a defined budget per ad campaign and easily track how well the ad is performing including how many online impressions it has made, and how many people have clicked the ad. Not only is this a beneficial addition to your marketing strategy, every online ad is yet another element in your search engine arsenal, always making you easier to find.
Some Red Sage recommended online adverting options include Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, Facebook Promoted Post, and YouTube Video Ads. There are many online advertising options out there, but we have found that these PPC (pay-per-click) advertising options boost brand awareness and consistently drive traffic to your site. Remember, every click brings a potential customer to your website and even when your ad is not clicked, it still promotes your company’s name, logo, and contact information to someone who may one day become a customer.
If you have neglected building your online presence, or not approached this task strategically, don’t forget we are just a phone call away. Red Sage can help you stand out from the crowd, even online. We’ve done it before and you can be next!