There’s no doubt that in today’s society, consumers are spending more time online than ever. In response to this, it’s important that your business has a solid online presence. When establishing your business’s online presence, it’s key to understand that the digital world is ever-changing in terms of rules and best practices. What worked a year ago, let alone last week, may not be as effective today. A great example of this are the recent changes to Facebook, which affect the way organic posts reach your customers.
There are so many aspects to creating a strong online presence, that it’s likely you have not considered them all. However, here are 4 major aspects you can address to strengthen and create your small business’s online image:
Think of your website like your virtual storefront. The visuals, the copy and the user experience all work to get the user past the homepage and ultimately make a purchase. This is particularly important for eCommerce sites. When creating a website for your company, you should ensure that your business’s contact details are easy to find. This way customers will be able to contact you if they have any questions about your business, products or services. Many business owners think that having a contact form on their website, with pre-determined fields, is the simplest way to encourage customers to reach out. However, it could be more beneficial to rather have a list of your business’s contact details and email addresses. This allows customers to reach out to you on their own terms. In addition to customers, this allows anyone else who might be interested in your business – potential partners or press – to contact you. So, having easy to find contact details on your website can help ensure you don’t miss out on business opportunities.
As covered in many of our previous blog posts, no matter if you run a B2B or B2C business, being on social media is becoming more and more necessary. No matter which social media platform works for your business, it’s important that the content you post is relevant to your customers. Ask yourself, are you posting content that interests or benefits your followers? Look back and evaluate your Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or other social media posts from the past few months. This will help you determine which posts have the highest levels of engagement (likes, comments or shares). Use those posts as a basis for what interests your customers the most.
Advertising on search engines such as Google is one of the most popular forms of online advertising. This also includes advertising with sponsored content on social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram. There are two important metrics you should know when delving into the world of online advertising:
Pay Per Click (PPC) – you only pay when someone clicks on your ad
Pay Per Impression (PPM) – you pay per 1000 people that see your ad
Online advertising is not simple – there are hundreds of things to consider when collating your online advertising campaigns. With that being said, there are platforms such as Facebook and Instagram’s Ad Manager that can help you get started. When utilising online advertising, it’s important to constantly test new ideas. The beauty of this platform is that you can test two ad variations concurrently (A/B testing). You can evaluate the results from these two tests to see which image, words or phrases produce the better outcome. Take your strongest ad and pit it against a new idea. Take the winner and repeat – similar to a knockout tournament. Testing your ads should be a never ending process. It will pay off when you gain increasingly more traction with what sometimes feels like insignificant changes.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO):
The fact that “Google” has become a verb should imply how important it is that your website can be found and ranked by search engines. While Google is the most prevalent, this information applies to all search engines. SEO is complex, but there are tools and best practices that can help ensure you’re on the right path. When you search for a term in Google, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that there is a list of results. Did you know that it’s possible to change where your website ranks on this list? A strong SEO strategy can help your business’s website rank highly for relevant keywords. For example, if your small business is a plumbing service in Liverpool, you would likely want your website to appear when someone searched “Liverpool plumber” in Google. Ensuring that these keywords (in this case “Liverpool plumber”) are evident across your website can help your page rank highly. Additionally, you should be able to incorporate relevant keywords into your website content organically. A great way to do this and to ensure your website has enough content, is to start a blog that shares information relevant to your audience. It could be about your industry, your business or even testimonial spotlights on previous customers.
SEO is multifaceted and can take time to master. We’ve barely touched the surface, so if you would like to learn more about SEO strategies, here is a great place to start.