Having a superb online presence is a necessity when you are growing a small business, and in this article we look at how to build your small business online presence, taking it strides away from where it is now and helping you to not just think about ticking off a ‘to do’ list, but really considering your online marketing strategy.
You may have a local bricks and mortar shop, or even a completely online business – and in both instances, your ability to build your online presence can have a huge impact on your business results.
Why do you need to build your small business online presence?
What we have learnt in these early few years of the 2020s is that there are no guarantees when it comes to your business growth. With global pandemics, inflation rises and the changes in consumer behaviour, we have to be able to adapt with the many disruptions that are created, through no fault of your own.
If we do look at the patterns of these last couple of years, one thing is for sure… all of them have seen the growth of the online marketplace, as more and more businesses adopt new digital strategies in a bid to support their growth.
If you are feeling left behind, or perhaps having a greater need to push your digital agenda for your small business, then there has never been a better time for your to reach more customers, create strong relationships, build you brand presence, and create new ways of attracting leads and sales.
We will explore your website, your social media presence, local online marketing and finally SEO, so you can look at how to build your small business online presence.
How to increase your online presence with your website
As high as 80% of buyers will judge a company’s credibility based on their website; both the design and the content, so a website is an essential part of your business and the difference between surviving and thriving.
First question for you: Have you got a website that stands up against your competition?
This means more than just putting a page together with your company’s contact details. You have to create trust with your audience, and a way for them to check out your offerings, credentials and whether you indeed have what they are looking for.
So the marketing messages have to be on point, ensuring that you create a visual and written customer experience that truly resonates with them as a customer, and what they are trying to achieve in their endeavours with a company like yours.
You will also need to show how your interactions, products and services have also benefited many other customers, so that you leave a completely positive impression on your audience. This is what really is required to secure a sale.
Another important consideration is leaving the breadcrumb trail so that any visitors to your site can find their way back again. So how are you collecting data on your site in a way that you can then stay in contact?
How to increase online presence with social media
Social Media is a superb start to building a relationship with your potential customers, and is key to the top of the marketing funnel. The important thing here is to ensure you don’t create a monster, by having a presence on all social media platforms, and then not have the ability in terms of time, budget and resource to manage them all.
Focus on a smaller number of social media channels and manage them well; creating valuable content that your ideal audience will love.
Make sure you are on the right social media channels for your audience. That means doing your research so you know the right social media sites to show up on.
Your Social Media Profiles are at the heart of your efforts, so spend plenty of time perfecting them and ensuring what you do and what you have to offer is crystal clear.
Content is king when it comes to your Social Media presence, across all social media sites, so how will you make sure that what you provide to your audience is going to make you stand out? The answer to this is simple. Focus on content that enriches them in some way, that will:
- Give them an answer to what is challenging them
- Offer them inspiration
- Provide them with a perspective on their circumstances
- Allow them to see a pathway from where they are now, to where they want to go.
If you can identify and resonate with a core audience, you will become known, like, trusted and memorable – and you will be using your social media sites to the best of your ability, to attract more potential customers int your marekting funnel.
You can read more about Social Media and what you need to do here, in this article titled 8 Social Media Tips for Small Businesses.
How to Build a Better Local Business Presence Online
97% of google searches are looking for local providers, according to ‘Social Media Today’. For that reason, if you have a ‘local’ business, serving a local audience, you must take this into consideration.
The development of your online presence is going to be different when compared to a national or international brand.
Not only do you need to think about your SEO (see below), but also think about local search and how you are most likely to get found, for example, though local business directories, local social media groups and one major player is ensuring that you have your Google My Business in tip top shape.
But the key to all of the above is getting found online in the first place!
If you know anything about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) then you will know that this is one of the most crucial activities for your business’ online presence and your marketing stategy. In basic terms, your SEO strategy is about getting your website ranked on search engines, e.g. Google. If you are fortunate to get yourself ranking high up in the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages), the more traffic you will get to your online assets. That should be the name of the game within those SEO strategies.
It’s not only your Website that gets ranked, but also your Social Media presence too, in fact within our business, our LinkedIn Profile for All Star Marketing Club ranks incredibly highly.
Don’t forget about video too. YouTube ranks very highly indeed, so if YouTube is one of your chosen channels, then ensure you incorporate that into your plans.
SEO is not a dark art, and there is a LOT you can do to create a meaningful uplift in your ability to rank more highly in the search engine results.
In addition to Search Engine Results, each of the Social Media Platforms has its own search functionality, and as such keywords, hashtags and much more are searchable from these platforms. In fact, there is as much traffic to business websites from social media these days as there is from the likes of google!
So what do you need to do to improve the online presence of your Small Business?
- Review your online presence and find the gaps – what are you missing?
- Make a plan on what needs to be changed, how and when
- Make sure you take recommendations and reviews seriously.
- Get to work on completing the tasks. Small regular actions and changes will add up to significant results.
If you would like some help in doing this… you may well find this short training course highly valuable – The Digital Domination Challenge. You’ll find it here.
It’s great for allowing you to see those gaps, and for you to understand why your digital presence is key, as well as what you can do to really supercharge it.