You would be hard pressed to find a business that either does not have a website, a social media account, or both. If you happen to be one, this is your signal to take action. But how to build an online presence for your local business? Here’s what you should focus on…
How can you utilize online presence for what it’s worth?
It is hard to exist as a business without being online. That means you need to utilize all available platform options.
As such, creating a website and building your social media following is vital for creating a viable small business brand. Online visibility can help propel your business to an even wider audience.
Are you confused on how all of that works? Here are six considerations for effectively building an online presence as a small business brand.
Creating A Website
When it comes to business online presence, you might first think: How do you go about creating a website? Answer: You need to consider what your website is for.
If it is just for information only, give those searching for your business or a businesses like yours, then you can simply use a landing page giving out all the relevant information.
At a minimum, your website needs to include:
- Products or Services
- Contact Details
- About The Company
- Why Choose You
To start a website, you need to find a hosting company to host your website. There are many different types of hosting services. If you are expecting minimal traffic, then shared hosting is often the cheapest alternative. With shared hosting other websites use the same server, and their usage and traffic can affect your site’s performance.
For websites with many pages and for those expecting to grow with the application of a new website, then dedicated hosting should be the option. This means the server being used to host your site is used only for your company.
Keep in mind, this is typically an option for:
- Big brands
- Ecommerce websites
- News sites
That expect a large amount of traffic each day. You can also choose:
- Cloud Hosting
- Private Server
- Virtual Private Server
- Managed Hosting
Part of your decision should include security of your website.
Your Domain Name Is An Important Factor For Optimal Online Presence
Choosing a domain name can be like naming your child. You need to be 100% happy with the name you chose, and it needs to be unique to your company. It is best to search for a domain name that is not being used by any other business, charity or other purpose anywhere in the world, and it should be available for the country where you will operate.
If you also need a logo and branding, you can choose a service such as domainquick. This will allow you to get up and running quickly. The service combines both tasks and takes the hard work out of creating a logo and associated branding with a domain name for sale.
For those looking for brand development and long-term possibilities, a digital marketing team may be a wiser choice. They will spend time with you finding your optimal brand voice and supply several versions of graphics that appeal to your target markets.
It is advisable to purchase your domain name and associated URLs such as:
To avoid others buying them.
Also, it might be worth your while purchasing for a longer period than the initial year. This will secure the name for you and avoid you falling foul on non-renewal and losing the domain name you are now trading under. It also helps your SEO.
SEO Optimized Content
Once you have your logo and brand ready, you need to consider the relevance of using SEO-optimized content or keywords on your site. SEO is search engine optimization for the content and images you have on a website to rank in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
It is hard to gain business being on page 12 of the results. So you need to aim to be on the first page of results pages. To do this requires an intensive SEO campaign.
- Providing content
- Researching keywords
- Optimizing images
- Gaining backlinks
Allow the search engines to assess your authority on the topics you are ranking for can be a full-time job.
For this reason, many marketing teams outsource their SEO campaigns to help them benefit from years of experience, knowledge and expertise of those in the industry.
This is important for e-commerce websites too. 90% of people will search for a brand or a product/service before purchasing or visiting physical premises. This is why you might enable a solid SEO campaign from the first day you set your website live.
Add keywords to product descriptions and alt tags to images to properly describe the image. If appropriate, use keywords in the description.
The way you use social media can play a huge part in your business success. Creating a social media account for all the major networks is free. Anyone can create a business profile. But do you know how to use it effectively?
Running a brand social media account isn’t always similar to posting on a personal profile unless your company is based on your life and what you do, such as bakers, crafters, and creators.
Facebook is still thought of as the boomer of social media platforms in that its conception was years ahead of other popular platforms. Typically, it attracts older users who have grown up with the platform and feel more comfortable using it. There are currently over 2.85 billion Facebook users worldwide. It continues to be one of the best ways of advertising your business.
Social media managers will attest to a more complicated algorithm that can be a bit hit and is at times. Growing your brand’s visibility on social media is becoming harder and harder with each new update.
Harder, but not impossible, and using multiple social media accounts to promote your business can increase brand awareness.
But how do you play the algorithms and reach more people?
Many big brands will have a dedicated social media team whose sole responsibility is to post and curate content so people will want to engage with the brand. Others will outsource this task. Each platform has the ability to push paid advertisements.
While this can be a viable option to reach more people, there are other ways to maximize your audience to improve levels of engagement that will convert to sales:
- Viral Content
Any content you share should keep with your brand’s ethos and be geared towards your audience and target markets.
For example, Baby Boomers and Generation X, along with older Millennials, will comfortably be found on Facebook or Instagram. Gen Z prefers Snapchat and TikTok along with Instagram. Younger Millennials can be found trawling Twitter and Instagram as well as dipping their toes into Snapchat and TikTok.
Don’t be afraid to enlist influencers to your marketing campaigns. Find individuals invested in your brand values and also with audiences excited about what they promote. They will, in turn, buy from their recommendations.
Authentic influencers have a developed personal online presence and will appreciate the collaborative relationship. They would be happy to provide details on how they can enhance this partnership to benefit both parties. Of course, like any marketing efforts, results and sales aren’t guaranteed.
There are many reliable, honest influencers creating genuine, high-quality content. Be careful — some will seek to exploit small to medium-sized businesses for “free stuff”.
Increasing Visibility And Online Presence
it’s called quality online presence management…
Having a well-thought-out, consistent approach to all of your brand’s activity online can greatly increase your visibility. That is, from fully optimizing your website to creating engaging social media content across your chosen platforms.
You can choose to do this yourself, or in-house, and grow your online presence slowly using your company’s capabilities. Or you can outsource to an experienced social media management company to get quicker, optimal results. If you want to tap into the power of an online marketing, you must first learn how it can help you.