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How to Build an Online Presence

Every company needs to be online nowadays.  If your company isn’t online, it’s almost like you don’t exist.  Your online presence is more important now than ever.  Since the pandemic in the last couple of years, everything has moved to an online space.  Even if your product or service isn’t exactly available online, you need to be able to sell it online and you need to have an online presence.  Your online presence is every part that makes up your business online.  It starts with your website and your social media and stretches beyond that.

While it’s obvious that every business needs to be online, the numbers that back up this claim are astounding.  97% of consumers search online for products and services.  That is the overwhelming majority of consumers.  83% of consumers visit a store based on information they found online.  Even if your product, brand, or service isn’t available digitally, you need to have a great digital reputation and presence to get most people into your store.  When your business is online, you are able to be there for your current and potential customers 24/7.  Curious potential customers can find your business any time of day or night, and with a good website and social media presence, they can get a good idea of who you are as a company, and whether or not they want to buy from you.

Here are ways you can build your online presence so you can be open 24/7, even when you’re not technically open, and you can appease the 97% of customers who are searching online for their brands, products, and services.

First step: Website

The most obvious way to show up online and have a presence is with a website.  More than 56% of consumers have said they wouldn’t consider a business without a website.  Your website needs to be an authentic reflection of all your business and what you offer your customers.  Your site needs to be attractive and easy to navigate.  Building an effective and attractive website takes time and patience.  If you’re not in the business of building websites, turn to a professional.  This person or company can relieve you of your stress, create the site you envision and ensure that your site best serves your customers.

Social media serves many purposes for your business.  Your social media is an excellent way to show up online and get into the eyes of your target audience.  When your social media is managed in the right way, you can target those most likely to purchase from you, your target audience.  Social media is the perfect place to engage with your audience, something that is becoming increasingly important.  Social media is also a great place to educate potential clients about your company and what you stand for.  Consistent posts that provide some kind of value show your existing and potential customers that your business is consistent and you truly believe in helping your customers, as seen in the free value you are already providing.  You don’t need to be showing up on Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter.  Just show up where your audience is and where they spend time.  If you are targeting 50-65-year-olds, Tik Tok might not be the best place to start your social media presence.  Figure out where your targets are hanging out and go there.  Social media management can be quite an undertaking.  Again, just like with your website, you can turn to a professional.

To drive traffic to both your website and your social media you need to use SEO, or search engine optimization.  This ensures that when someone is online and searching for your business, or what your business provides,  they are being directed to your website or social media.  In your potential customer’s search, they will use keywords that are also in your content and Google recognizes this and directs them to your site.  SEO can be optimized through your content, and also with the help of AI tools, which optimize your site and social media on both the front end of your site (what users see) as well as the back end (which users don’t see, but google bots still crawl).  Being on the first page of a relevant Google search is one of the most effective ways your business can show up online.

Showing up on Google is a big part of your online presence.  When you rank on that first page of Google search results you are not just having an online presence, but online domination.  This is possible for even the smallest of businesses when your content is on point.  Your content needs to not only be SEO optimized but relevant to your business and provide value to your customers.  Blogs are an excellent place to do this.  A blog does a few things for your online presence.  Blogs increase your SEO when posted regularly and when they have content relevant to your business.  These blogs can help your customers by educating them and answering questions they may have.  Regularly posted blogs show that you are an authority in your industry, and a thought leader.  The content you post on your social media needs to do the same.  Posting just for the sake of posting something isn’t the way to go.  Your posts need to educate, inform, or entertain those seeing them.

For your business to show up online you need to utilize online directories.  The first and most obvious one is Google.  Make sure your business is registered with Google, so you show up on searches.  Depending on your industry, there are many other directories you can get your business in.  Yelp is another directory that you can get your business in.  Only register your business with relevant directories and watch more people find your business online.

Online Reviews

Online reviews- engage with and respond, showing you care what people are saying.  More than 90% of online shoppers report looking at online reviews.  Online reviews provide a lot of opportunities for your business to show up online.  You can respond to reviews, which is another way to engage with your customers.  Thanking a customer for a positive review encourages them to keep buying from you as the appreciation is reciprocated.  Responding to a negative review shows customers that you care and want to change the elements of your business that have been viewed negatively.  Online reviews are social proof that your business solves your customer’s problems, you need to utilize that feedback for the best results.

Online ads like pay-per-click, PPC ads, let your business be seen by online users who are searching for something related to your business.  One of the best parts about online ads, both on Google and social media, is these ads get you almost instant results telling you if they are working or now.  If they are working, you know where you should be spending your ad budget.  If they’re not working, analyze and retarget.  Google Analytics can help you with this part of your online presence.  Online ads will get your business in front of more of your target audience. These ads are another opportunity to be seen online.

Just having a website isn’t enough these days.  Your website needs to be optimized and holds value for your customers.  The same goes for your social media.  There are many ways to get your business seen online.  The more you utilize these methods, the stronger your online presence becomes.  When you have a solid and positive online presence the internet works for you and your business is available to customers 24/7, even when you’re not technically open for business.  A strong online presence takes time and patience.  Turning to a marketing professional or agency, like The Creative Agency is a great way to not have to stress about your online presence because you know it’s in the hands of the pros.  Here at The Creative Agency, we curate online strategies specialized for your business so that you can maximize the potential of your online presence.

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