There are many steps involved in establishing an online presence for your business. Designing and building the website alone can take upwards of several months.
However, creating your online presence doesn’t have to be as complicated as you think it needs to be. In this article, we’ve broken the process up into separate chunks for you to work your way through.
Your Website is Your Front Door
You’ve probably heard the phrase that your website is like your virtual front door. Even if you have a physical front door to your businesses that customers enter through, you still need to have a well-designed website to drive more business.
There are several things to take into consideration when designing or redesigning your website. The first is that your website should be mobile friendly. With nearly 60% of searches happening on mobile, users expect websites to be adapted to mobile and that they’ll have a seamless mobile experience on your website.
Your website should also include crucial information that your customers might look for including your locations, phone number, and email. It should also clearly explain what your business. If customers can’t figure out what your business is in a short period, they will leave your site and go to a competitor.
Having a website also provides a new channel for you to sell products through. You can quickly set up an online shop for users to browse, add items to a cart, and checkout securely.
You can learn more about basic web design principles here.
Master the SEO Basics
When you build your website, you’ll also want to develop an SEO strategy for your website and your content.
Let’s start with your website and get back to our point about having a mobile-friendly site. You definitely want a mobile-friendly site because Google is about to roll out their mobile-first indexing. This means they’ll prioritize websites that have mobile responsive websites, leaving non-responsive websites to fall to the back of the search pack.
Your keyword strategy is also crucial for how you optimize your website pages. You’ll want to try to rank for several short and long-tail keywords that are related to your industry. For your primary keywords, you want each page to have a keyword in the title, meta description, headers and body text. Long-tail keywords are better suited for your content strategy which we’ll discuss next.
Create Value Wherever You Go
There’s a lot of noise online. It’s hard to parse through the fluff and find the valuable information. But when you can find useful information, it shines like a beacon to others, especially if it starts ranking higher on SERPs.
One of the best places to create value is on your website’s blog. Continually crafting content that adds value to your customers’ lives as it relates to your product or service will get you noticed by current and potential customers. You can generate topics by using social listening tools to determine what your customers are talking about at the moment.
Social listening tools can also help you figure out if people are saying bad things about your business. If you realize you have an online reputation problem, you might need to hire an ORM service.
You should also focus on creating excellent content elsewhere. Social media and email are popular channels to distribute content, and each has its place for different businesses.
Be A Social Butterfly
A principal excuse business owners give for not being on social media is that it’s too time-consuming. That can be true in some cases but having social media creates more opportunities to reach new customers and link them back to your website.
Having active social media channels is also a fantastic way to build trust with current and potential customers. This is especially true if you run a consumer goods business.
Your social media strategy will depend entirely on your business and which channels your customers use the most. If your customers are on Facebook and not Instagram, there’s not much point in trying to engage with them on Instagram.
Understand Your Customer’s Online Journey
Building tracking codes into your website and dropping cookies onto your customers when they visit your website and landing pages can help you understand their journey to finding you and deciding to buy from you.
Why do this? As you learn more about your target customers, what terms they use when they’re searching for a product or service like yours, and which channels they’ve come from, you can align your strategy and resources better.
Establishing an online presence does involve several components. The critical thing to remember is to take it one step at a time. First, build your website and optimize it. Then move into content creation and social media.
Once you have an established online brand, you can move into learning how to boost your brand online.