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I got asked a question some time back: "I have a website, but no business in coming in? What's going on?"
My answer was: "Have your checked what your online presence is? What have you done to improve it?"
What is online presence?
Online presence can be defined as how easy it is for users on the internet to find your business. With close to 2 billion websites, it's pretty tough out there. The online world is constantly changing and you need to adapt to its environment.
Online presence can then be further broken down into three categories:
How you perceive you business online.
What people say about your business.
How well your website does on search engines.
So, in essense, it's not just how well you can be found online, but how people preceive your business, the repetation and credibility.
Why you need a strong online presence?
The more places someone can find you online the better potential you have
Money saver: You can save money by not needing a physical shop/office to sell your product or service.
Always online: Your business is always online 24/7.
Increase in sales: The more people that see your busienss online, the more potential you have to get clients or make money.
Trust: Having a strong online presence builds legitemicy and credibility.
Higher ranking: The better you online presence, the better your business will rank on search engines.
What can I do to improve my online presence?
1. Social media
Who hasn't heard of social media?
Social media takes dedication and consistency to make it work. I see far too many business online that just open social media accounts and then leave it. You need to be active on social media to really get the most out of it.
Like I said, social media takes work, but if you focus on posting a few times a week, thats really all you need to get your business out there. It really only takes a couple of minutes to set up on any platform. Besides you then have free access to billions of people without even spending a dime. At the end of the day, social media can have a big impact on your online presence.
A website is probably one of the best ways to get your business out there. You don't need to spend a lot of money to get a simple website up and running. A website also makes you look professional, envokes trust and gives your business credibility. It is also an easy way for people to find information about your business.
Search Engine Optimisation or, SEO for short, is the enhancement of your website to perform better online and therefore rank higher up in search results. One of the main factors websites don't perform well online is poor SEO or the lack thereof. If you website is selling a product or service it needs SEO. In this day and age you can't go without it.
- Alt tags: Alt tags is text that is by default hidden and is added to the alt tag of an image. Not only does it help with SEO but if for some reason the image does not show or load correctly, the text will show instead as a placeholder. Alt tags need to be relevant to you image and business.
- Headings: The are 6 headings all websites come with. They are H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6. H1 is usually the largest and most important heading and there should only be one per web page. H2 is less important than H1 but more important than H3. The higher the H number the less important the heading is and the more of it you can inlude per page.
- Keywords: Every page needs keywords. They can be one-worded words or a phrase. Every web page needs one main focus keyword and 10-20 of the most common words or phrases people use to search for your business online.
- Titles: Titles is the heading that is shown on search engines when you search for a website. This is crucial to people finding you online and should include your focus keyword of that page.
- Descriptions: As with titles, description is the paragraph that will show when you are searching for a website online. This should include your main keyword and needs to be relevant to your business.
Ubersuggest is a great tool to help you improve your SEO.
4. Google My Business
Google My Business is a free tool from Google. It is easy to set up and allows users, browsing the internet, to easily see your business online. It allows you to add a physical address, contact information, a link to your website, business hours, reviews and more. I would highly recommend setting this up as it can often be the first thing a user sees online when trying to find your business.
Blogging is an excellent way to engage with your audience and potentially bring in new customers. Not only are blogs educating your audeince but they showcase what you know about your product or service. After all, when people search how to do something, most of the time they will come across a blog that has the answer they are looking for. When writing a blog think of the 5 W's - Who, What, Where, Where and Why and How.
Online reviews are a great way for your business to get more traction and to allow people to actively engage in your business. Reviews can be negitive or positive so this risk tells people that you are willing to be transparent with your business. The more positive reviews you get the better your online presence and search rankings will be.
Facebook and Google My Business as well as websites are popular platforms for allowing users to add a review on your products or service.
The fastest way to get your business seen online is to pay for advertising. Advertising will push your business to the top or search engines or social platforms.
The most common types of advertising are:
- Google ads: This is great for showing your product or service to a specific audience or location. This will in no doubt increase your online presence and make your website ranker high on search engines.
- Google Remarketing ads: These ads will show your product or service to users who have previously visited your website.
- Social media ads: Platforms include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and TikTok and more.
8. Email Marketing
Most people check their emails everyday.
The benefits of email marketing include:
- Increase in sales: You have the potential to get more clients.
- Increase in traffic: If you include links to your website or social plaform, this can increase your overall traffic.
- Personalised: You can create custom content solemly based on your business and clients.
- Affordable: It is a much cheaper option than printing flyers.
- Reach: Reach a greater audience quickly.
- Feedback: Email marketing is a great way to get feedback from you clients.