For many businesses, establishing an online presence may seem like a tall task and some may find it unnecessary depending on their product or offering. However, once businesses realize how impactful a solid online presence can be to their marketing, they are usually quick to implement some of these practices into their overall strategy.
An online presence can be defined by how easy it is to find a brand or company online. It’s important for building your brand’s reputation, increasing brand awareness, creating credibility as an industry leader, and providing visibility to your products or services when users are online searching for solutions.
Creating quality content that appeals to your target market is the key to success. Using resources like websites, social media platforms, blogs, and SEO best practices, can help make building an online presence a bit easier. With that said, here are five tips along with some insight on how to get started with improving the online presence for your company or business.
- Create a Website – this may seem like an obvious place to start for many, but there are some small businesses that rely solely on social media pages in place of a website. Creating a website for your business lends credibility and gives a central hub to the customer to be able to see you 24/7. Having your own site also allows for online growth opportunity and it sets you apart from your competition. Another advantage is SEO and online advertising, which are a great way to help build awareness and increase traffic to your website. Free website builders like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace are available to help you get started.
- SEO Best Practices – by following the best practices for search engine optimization you can increase the organic discovery and traffic for your website. An effective SEO strategy can help you deliver the content on your site to your audience as they search online. SEO provides 24/7 promotion and visibility for your business. Results can take time as SEO is more of a long-term strategy. However, it’s the quality of the results that can really make an impact. For example, if your page ranks on page one of a particular search, that user is more likely to take an action with your site receiving increased traffic.
- Create a Blog – if creating content for your audience is the key, then having a relevant blog is a must. A blog can establish your business as an industry leader by providing something of value to the consumer. How-to guides, lists, interviews, product reviews, case studies, and videos are just a few of the more common blog formats that can be used. Adding a blog into your strategy can offer benefits like an increase in organic web traffic and content that can be shared easily on social media. Companies that maintain a blog produce an average of 68% more leads per month than companies who don’t blog. Enough said!
- Be Active on Social Media Platforms – having a number of social media pages across the different platforms will certainly be to your benefit, but it is also important to go where your customers are. These days, just about every business has a Facebook page and that’s great but working that in with some of the other platforms can really set you apart. Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat are great places to display new product images, post video content, and stay engaged with your audience. YouTube can be the perfect place for a video blog or more in-depth videos about your business. Let’s not forget Twitter, which is a real-time platform perfect for trending stories and the latest news and updates related to your business. Again, it is important to determine where your customers are and be active on those platforms. Your social media pages may be the first place a user goes to learn more about your company. So, being on social media is an absolute necessity in today’s world.
- Create Valuable Content – creating good relevant content can provide your business with more organic traffic and increased customer conversions. It will set your company apart as an authority in your particular field which creates trust and ultimately leads to expanded brand awareness. The goal is to attract customers and keep them interested in your brand or business. It’s all about providing users with original content that is informative and useful. Remember to clearly define who you’re trying to reach, how you will reach them, what types of content you will create, and how you will measure the results.
These days most companies have a social media manager on staff or someone who handles their digital marketing strategy. The important thing for them to remember is to stay up to date on the best practices across this ever-changing medium. Here at A3 Media we believe it’s a multi-layered media approach that is always going to service your business best. Improving your online presence is just one piece of the puzzle.
It’s all about reaching your audience and letting them know you have what they are looking for and you may even convince them you have what they didn’t know they were looking for.
Social Media Specialist
One of the main benefits of search engine optimization (SEO) is the ability to garner organic traffic to a company website that will eventually convert into leads, and who doesn’t love generating new leads? Some other benefits include increasing visibility in search, establishing your voice as an industry leader, and leveraging your writing to create influencer relationships. Although many have a general understanding of what the term means, it’s the why and how of SEO that plays an important factor when writing a blog or creating web content for your business. Blogging actually goes hand-in-hand with social media efforts in terms of boosting your SEO, overall site traffic, and online presence. In fact, 20% of marketers describe company blogs as one of their most important channels for hitting their marketing goals according to HubSpot’s 2021 Executive Marketing Leadership Survey.
We’ve highlighted six tips as best practices to keep in mind for overall web content writing to bring value to your industry with insightful writing and thought leadership.
- Use Keywords to Your Advantage
Your URL’s structure provides both users and search engines an idea of what the destination page will be about. Google explains it best:
“A site’s URL structure should be as simple as possible. Consider organizing your content so that URLs are constructed logically and in a manner that is most intelligible to humans (when possible, readable words rather than long ID numbers).”
Additionally, you should also add your main keyword at the top of your page or post because Google puts more weight on terms that appear at the top of a webpage. It’s completely acceptable to use a variation of high-volume and low-volume keywords as well because you’ll want to touch on keywords that span an entire buyer’s journey.
- Internal and External Linking Can Boost SEO Power
If you reference pages that are hosted on your company’s website in your blog post, then you should link to them. This is called “internal linking.” Internal linking makes your site way more user-friendly, and it keeps your readers engaged. For example, since we’re talking about SEO best practices to follow for a company blog, we’d welcome you to check out our own company’s blog. It’s a work in progress, as most things are in digital marketing, but we’re headed on the right track.
External linking also has its advantages. Since you’d be linking to pages outside of your own domain, search engines would see the relevant content of high authority websites linked from your website. Including credible and authoritative external links helps build your brand and increases loyalty amongst your readers.
- Improve Your Page Authority
Your page authority is an indication of how your webpages will rank. Here are some elements to keep on your radar to make sure Google recognizes your webpages enough to be shown to its users:
• Fresh, relevant content
• Inbound and outbound links
• High-quality images
- Importance of CTAs
The CTA (call to action) is a message to the audience to take a desired action. Examples include buttons that say:
• Click here
• Learn more
• Sign up
• Join now
Typically, these CTAs are strategically placed within a blog or article to get the reader to respond. In a recent survey led by HubSpot, 56% of those surveyed said they have made a purchase from a company after reading their blog post. Writers can use CTAs to their advantage to steer the reader to gain more information about a product, provide guidance or example of how the product works, or mention and link directly to the product when it feels relevant.
5. Make Your Title Tags and Meta Descriptions Stand Out
It is always important to have a unique and creative title for your blog post, but it is almost more important to make sure that your title is optimized for SEO. For example, when using a plugin like Yoast SEO with WordPress, you want to include keywords optimized for search in your title so that your blog appears in the results query when readers search for that topic. According to Google:
“Titles are critical to giving users a quick insight into the content of a result and why it’s relevant to their query. It’s often the primary piece of information used to decide which result to click on, so it’s important to use high-quality titles.”
Meta description is the brief summary of a page that is displayed below the title tag and it offers detail into what the page is about. Meta descriptions do not directly impact search rankings, but they can influence click-through rates. For example, you would want to write a detailed description about your blog or website to help the reader understand what about your page sets it apart from others within their search query.
- Images – the Bolder the Better
Two of the most important image best practices are to name your images with descriptive file names and to always use image alt text. By using descriptive file names, you let the search engine understand the content in your image thus providing better search results. The alt text included describes an image and is used by a “screen reader” software so that a person who is listening to the content of a webpage (for instance, a person who is blind) can interact with this element. Google also uses the alt text in their algorithms to understand the content of the image and the page it’s on.
Your audience will look to you for thought leadership and the value you bring to the marketplace as an industry leader. Although writing unique and relevant content for each webpage can be a tricky feat, hopefully with some of the tips we’ve laid out, you too can have a successful SEO strategy to continue developing your reputation and online visibility to garner more web traffic, increase subscribers, generate new leads, and increase sales. Happy SEOing!
Bob Freas & Diana George
Social Media Specialists