It used to be that having a website was enough for a company to have a great online presence. I’m sorry to say that’s just not the case any longer.
A website isn’t enough. When potential customers go online to check out your business, they are looking at your website, social media, reviews, and anything else they can find to learn more about your business.
Without a complete online presence, your business is at risk of missing out on new leads and falling behind your competition. Think of this article as an outline to start working on a great online presence.
The essential ingredients for a complete online presence are:
- Your Website
- Search Engine Optimization
Everything else you do online to market your business falls into one of these three categories. Let’s dig into each one in a little more detail….
Also from Tim Fitzpatrick: How to Build Credibility and Trust
Your website is the hub of your marketing. Almost every marketing tactic you use will lead people back to your website either directly or indirectly.
How well do you think your marketing is going to work if you have a lackluster website? Not very good, right?
Your website needs to FEED your business.
- Find: Your website needs to help people find you when they search for businesses like yours.
- Evoke Trust: People do business with those they know, like, and trust. Your website needs to establish and build trust with people.
Educate: Your website needs to clearly communicate the benefits of doing business with you and convey a clear message that is easy for people to understand.
Deliver: All businesses need leads to survive. Your website needs to convert and deliver leads for your business consistently.
Your website must have some essential website elements to communicate how you are different, how you can help, and the benefits of working with you. It’s not difficult, and it will differentiate you from your competition.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO can get pretty technical but fear not. Focusing on these foundational elements is a great place to start.
- On-Page SEO: These are the on-page elements that impact the SEO for your website. I would focus on title tags, meta descriptions, heading tags, on-page content, and URL structure as a good foundation. For more detail about on-page SEO, visit https://backlinko.com/on-page-seo.
- Google My Business: You should have a Google My Business listing for each physical location you have for your business. This is a must-have, and there are a lot of things you can do to optimize your GMB listing to stand out.
- Online Reviews: Online reviews are like word of mouth 2.0. When potential clients go online to learn more about your business, they WILL expect to see reviews, and you want to make sure you have high quality and high quantity compared to your competition.
- Directory and Citation Listings: Directories are websites that list businesses, usually by category and location. Yelp is a great example. Citations are references to your business name, address, and phone number online. Making sure your directory and citations listings are accurate is important for local SEO.
Also by Tim Fitzpatrick: The Perfect Client
Without producing content, it will be tough for your website to rank long term for competitive search terms. Most people don’t like to hear this, but it’s just the way it is.
It takes time and/or money to create content, and it’s a lot of work. If you are consistent with it, content will pay off in the long run. There are three main types of content:
- Content Marketing: Content marketing comes in many forms, but the more popular ones are blogs, videos, and podcasts.
- Email Marketing: Email is still one of the most effective marketing channels. It’s a great way to nurture potential clients and keep in touch with existing clients.
- Social Media Marketing: Sure, some companies have substantial social media followings and generate mass amounts of leads from social media. For most businesses, I think that’s unrealistic, especially when you first start out.
In the beginning, I would think of social media as a place for you to establish credibility with consistent posts. This way, when potential clients go online and check out your social media, they see consistent activity and not random posts from six months ago.
How are you performing in all the areas required to have a complete online presence? No need to fret if you have got some gaps, just take one step at a time to fill them. Once you check an item off the list, then move on to the next.
You’ll have a fantastic online presence in no time.