Last night I Googled "Black Blazer for Men" and The Iconic came up as the first search result. I clicked this result prompted by their offer of free shipping and 100 days return policy. I was then presented with a page filled with blazers of all designs.
I browsed through their page, read their helpful sizing guides and confirmed their shipping and return policy. Every question I had that may have prevented me from making a purchase was answered. Not one answer was more than a single click away, at the same time I wasn't inundated by information.
Ultimately I purchased something.
This outcome was not by chance, it was the result of a skilled team dominating the search results and then funnelling me from landing on their website to ultimately purchasing their product. They did this by creating a website that would rank on Google and ensuring they removed every barrier to purchase.
What if you don't like the blazer? return it...
How much is shipping? it is free...
What size will fit me? use this guide here...
Everything I needed to know was there.
So what does it mean to have an online presence? Well, an online presence at its most basic form is how easy it is to find a brand online. Your online presence is important for building your brand's reputation, increasing your brand awareness and creating visibility for your services when users are searching for the relevant keywords.
There are two types of relationships you can have with your customers. You can rent the relationship by paying a third party advertiser to present your brand to your customers through retargeting, alternatively, you can own these relationships by building an email list.
In order to grow your mailing list, the best way to start is to create an incentive. This can be done without offering any monetary incentive but through enticing individuals to join to gain access to exclusive information. Alternatively, you can offer a discount on products for signing up or potentially a rewards club. Depending on the type of business you run, any one of these might be the best approach.
So how do you present these "offers" to your clients? There is a range of ways you can suggest this to customers, this can be done subtly through calls to action or more forcefully through popups. From there you will need to find an email marketing tool that is the right fit for your company, depending on your size and the number of emails you would like to send then different options will best fit your use case.
When sending emails it is important to ensure they do not feel like spam and also important to resist the urge to send too many emails. One email every one to two weeks is often a great starting point, from there you can test the different impacts of other frequencies.
Posting social media posts and updating content on your website at the right time can often be tedious and time-consuming. Hence, we strongly recommend considering using automation to help streamline this process. You can schedule website updates late at night so your customers are not affected and schedule social media posts to upload at the perfect time when your analytics show you have the most users online.
Where is your audience? This is the first question you need to ask yourself when building your online presence. Today you see politicians across social media platforms because that is where they can reach everyday Australians, large corporations can be found on Linkedin, tech lovers can be found in specialised forums. Join these communities and become a part of them. You have to be careful here to not misuse the communities and understand why they were created. Once you understand, you can begin to interact or create content that fits seamlessly in with the community.
Connect with other brands that complement yours. This could include swapping the content to feature on each other's blogs which can help boost SEO, or even connecting with podcasters and blog writers who might be willing to invite you as a guest.
The larger your network becomes the greater your exposure will be across the internet.
Today there are two main ways to master SEO, one is by creating unique interesting content on your website and presenting it to customers browsing the web. The idea is that if the content is interesting and individuals remain on your website reading your content you will be rewarded by search engines and presented to even more people.
When creating content ensure you are using all the right keywords, you should also aim to include both internal and external links, and your content should be related to your target audience. You should also ensure that your images are using alt tags, this information is passed through to Google and will help you show up in image searches.
The second thing you need to consider is off-site SEO, this can be thought of sort of like the fundamentals of SEO. This includes things like the website itself, how it is structured, whether it loads properly and how quickly it loads. It also includes backlinks (other websites linking to your website) and your URL structures.
Setting up a Google My Business is free to set up. It can help you gain greater exposure and complement your SEO. Make sure to name your Google My Business strategically and try and gain reviews by sending review links to your customers.
In order to gain customers, you need to first create value. The first way to create value and bring individuals to your website is by providing free educational content. Hence, creating content serves two purposes, to boost your online presence and to provide value to your customers.
A great way to get started establishing your value is to work backwards from what current solutions are lacking. Once you have a list of everything you provide that other products or services do not you can begin to create content that establishes this value.
You can also use the unique selling points you highlighted in this activity across your website in headings and paragraphs to make sure your users are always aware of how you solve their problems.
Posting 2 blogs at once every few months is unfortunately not enough to establish your online presence. The same goes for your social media. You need to be active and you need to be active consistently.
Another great way to keep active is by engaging with your followers and subscribers on social media. You should also aim to be a part of exciting conversations within your industry.
Once you are a little way down the road to establishing the online presence you want it is now time to analyse your progress. What content is working for you? What is not quite performing as it should?
When analysing your results and performance begin by deciding which metric you would like to use, depending on your goal and the stage you are indifferent metrics may be appropriate. If your goal pertains to SEO you might look at the traffic sent organically from Google, if your goal is to grow your social media following you may analyse the engagement with each of your posts to determine the content your followers love.
A great way to help boost your online presence is by having a great website. Now if your goal is to simply have a website then a Wix or WordPress site will be sufficient. However, if SEO is your goal you need to seriously consider newer technologies. The features these newer technologies bring are going to supercharge any SEO efforts you make. When we switched to a fully optimised next-generation website we saw a 471% increase in impressions within a week. The impressions have continued to increase as we create new content.
Hence, what you can achieve with your website is limited by the technologies you are using.
In summary building a strong online presence is no small feat, however, the rewards that come once you have achieved this are incredible and worth it. It takes time, effort and resources to achieve. Once you dominate the online space you will finally be able to sit back and be proud of the hour of effort you and your team have put in to make it happen.
Photo by NordWood Themes