A strong online presence is so important in 2017. Most businesses operate online, and to be successful online you need to find a way to ensure that your presence stands out. It needs to be strong and unshakeable. Even if you operate offline, a strong online presence can help you to improve your business overall and increase your awareness.
Strengthening your online presence is an ongoing process, and lots of factors must be taken into consideration to make sure it’s done correctly.
Here’s everything you need to know about strengthening your online presence:
Take A Look At Your Branding
First of all, start by taking a look at your branding? Do you think that there’s still something to be desired? You may need a total brand makeover. Look at your logo, your fonts, your colors, and anything else that may affect the impact your branding has on your audience. You want your branding to wow your target audience, so you need to make sure that you design the various elements especially for them. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who are our target audience?
- What do they like/don’t like?
- What problems do our target audience have?
- How are other brands speaking to our target audience?
Answering these questions will help you to create a much stronger and more attractive brand, which will lend a big hand in improving your online presence. You want to be a brand that is recognizable at a glance, like Starbucks, Coke, McDonald, and other big brands. Your brand is about so much more than your fonts/colors/logo of course, but your physical image is a good place to start when you want to become stronger and more attractive.
Ensure Consistency Across All Platforms
Take a look at your website, blog, social media pages, email newsletters, and any other way you communicate with your audience. Are you being consistent across all of these platforms? Hopefully, the answer is yes. However, the answer for many brands will be no. Consistency means many things, from ensuring your tone and language is the same, to the level of customer service you offer, and how often you post. Of course things vary from platform to platform, such as the ideal posting times, post length, and the sort of information you’d share. You will need to make information more compact in a tweet, for instance, and you can afford to really spill what’s on your mind in the form of a blog.
Downloading software and apps to help keep up with the consistency across your platforms can make your life much easier. Just remember that although you can automate most things, you need to stay alert in case anything should be changed before posting. For example, when the Tesco horse meat scandal hit, Tesco tweeted saying they were ‘off to hit the hay.’ Perhaps a social media rep having a joke in poor taste, but Tesco claimed it was a poorly timed automated tweet. Don’t fall into the same trap!
Modernize Your Website
Perhaps your website needs a face lift. How can you modernize your website and make it more attractive to site visitors? Thinking you can do this yourself is redundant; it’ll take far too much of your time, and chances are, you’re not going to be able to do a very good job. This is the definition of spreading yourself thin. It’s much better to continue doing what you’re best at (running your business), and hiring somebody else to do the dirty work for you. While Posirank can make it easy for you to monitor your SEO ranking and other important aspects, you shouldn’t attempt to do everything on your own.
Make sure you know what to look for in a web designer, and that you’re on the same page before your web design goes ahead. They need to be able to take care of not only the aesthetics of your site, but all of the stuff you can’t see, like SEO and creating a mobile version of your site. You want a person or a company with the whole package.
Start Thinking Mobile
Following on from our last point; thinking mobile has never been more important than it is in this day and age. People use their mobile devices to browse the web and make purchases now more than ever. Smartphones and tablets need to be catered to first and foremost, so start thinking mobile to strengthen your online presence and increase your reach. If you haven’t considered the importance of mobile as of yet, then you’ve no doubt missed out on more business than you’d like to admit to. People don’t want to pinch and scroll to find the information they are looking for, and they have incredibly short attention spans. By thinking mobile and creating the perfect condensed version of your site, you will ensure your business is getting the attention it deserves.
Stay Connected To Your Audience
Staying connected to your audience keeps you in the forefront of their minds. However, you need to make sure you’re doing this right, or you could end up bugging them enough to click ‘unsubscribe’ on your newsletters. Send out newsletters, tweets, statuses, and blog posts designed to stay connected to your audience. This isn’t about selling your services too much, and more reminded them of what you can offer and sharing interesting and helpful information.
You need to make sure you’re finding ways to relate to your audience, responding to them in a timely manner, and offering the best customer service experience that you can muster. When you do this right you can create happy and loyal customers for life. When you don’t do this right, you can create disgruntled customers that ward off almost everybody they know from working for you in the future. Word of mouth is powerful, so don’t underestimate it and treat your customers how they should be treated.
Use Social Media Properly
We’ve already touched on social media in this post, but it really cannot be emphasized enough. Using social media properly is going to make the world of difference to your online presence. You need to post consistently at the right times for each platform. You need to avoid saying insensitive things, or things that may offend people. You also need to make sure you’re posting helpful information, and not just advertisements for what you can do. Use your social media platforms as a way to resolve customer issues too. You won’t be able to please every customer, or every person that lands on your social media pages. However, you should never engage in a negative back and forth or let your emotions rule your answers. You must be professional and courteous at all times. Even if a customer is wrong, others won’t want to work with a business that treats their customers callously.
Create Content Consistently
Consistent content creation is a must, and putting together your own posting calendar can help with this. Whether you take pictures, make vlogs, or write blogs doesn’t matter, you just need to make sure you’re posting regularly. If you allow your content to go stale, it won’t take your audience long to forget about you.
Ensure A Rich User Experience
A rich user experience is a must for both mobile and desktop users. They have little patience, and they want to find what they’re looking for within a few clicks. This is the number one thing you can do for a great search engine ranking, so make it your priority.
The information architecture of a website has to be easily understood. By studying data analysis and using heat map technology you can determine how visitors are using your site and highlight any areas you need to improve on.
Help People Figure Out What They Want
Did you know that most people, especially millennials, are never 100% sure what they want? This means you need to help them figure it out. Whether you create a quiz they can use to find their perfect product, or even an infographic they can follow, make sure you’re making it easy for them to make a buying decision.
Increase Your Online Security
How would you feel if your online presence was put in jeopardy because your online security wasn’t up to scratch? It seems basic, but it must be emphasized. Your passwords need to be strong, you need to make sure you’re storing information safely, and you need to make sure your staff are on the same page.
Come Up With Your Very Own Brand Personality
A brand personality can help to set you apart from other businesses. If you consider who your brand would be as a person, this can be a really fun and easy thing to do!
Outsource The Work
You won’t be able to do all of this yourself. Let’s face it. You could hire an in-house employee to take care of it, but then you have a whole bunch of responsibilities to think about too. Instead, outsource the work and get things done faster, to a higher standard. You can outsource web design, content creation, and more.
Make sure you’re always aiming to optimize and improve, and most importantly, be patient!