In today’s world, a strong online presence means more business, both through online sale and higher brick-and-mortar sales due to greater creditability and online awareness.
How can you increase and enhance your online presence? Here are five proven ways to do it, either yourself or hiring someone to do it.
1. Create concise, informative press releases that announce your online site.
The press release should provide useful information (you can find many of these on Google Trends which gives you an idea of what people are interested in right now), contact info, the site name and its features, and should be submitted only to publications that are generally read by your target market or a very broad, general segment like women, businesses, or families, for example. This is also a good way to build rapport with journalists and editors. (NOTE: Submit to multiple publishers and get even more exposure and links.)
2. Author blogs on your website.
Once you set up the blog, use it. For even greater online presence, utilize a service like Hootsuite, Buffer, or SocialOomph (also using IFTTT is good, but you might want to hire someone on Fiverr or SEOClerks to set the accounts up for you). Having a blog isn’t the end-all, it’s posting to that blog on a constant, periodic basis, i.e., once a week that creates the value and builds your online profile. You can write general blogs and then in the last paragraph relate it to your business. Having that last paragraph of relevant content is important for SEO purposes, as well as including keywords for your business in the blog. Also, commenting on other blogs related to your website's niche can be a good SEO technique. Many of the highest authority blogs are only too willing to let you comment. (Blogs are a great way to get higher rankings in the search engines. Search engines are always crawling your site, so “fresher” content, more content, and visitors linking to that content signal the search engines that there is something of value on your site, so they should direct others there. Backlinks are the strongest signa; to the search engines that your site has value.
3. Think videos.
Posting a video on YouTube that is properly tagged can help grow your business because YouTube is pulling millions of viewers in every day. You can also post on your website using the YouTube code. Videos are not hard to create: i) there are numerous free sites where you can grab a video and post on your site (while claiming ownership and being able to tag: Archive.org and Pixelbay.com are two sites that offer free videos (Shutterstock has tens of thousands of videos available on a one-time or subscription basis); ii) use Fiverr, SEOClerks, or another online vendor to create (they can b had for as little as $5); iii) your vendors may have clips they will make available to you; iv) you can create on PowerPoint and record right on PowerPoint; or, you can subscribe to Adobe Photoshop or another photo/video editor software package (or use the free alternative, Gimp); these software packages take some time to learn and some skill to use; and, v) hire us or a local vendor. Cost will usually run $400 or so for one minute, including voiceover. SALES SPECIALS CAN BE TURNED INTO A VIDEO. Properly tagged, not only will you attract traffic and businesses but also the search engines.
4. Email Lists.
Emails can be very effective as long as they are: i) directed at a target audience that has some interest in your products or services; and, ii) you send them periodic messages, i.e., every month. Once bought a direct mail marketing package after seeing an infomercial. Most important point emphasized was that repeated contact was important; they estimated average sale took nine contacts (obviously, will vary by industry but in all cases one contact ain’t going to do it. What can you say so many times: new products; personnel changes; special sales; special pricing; local events; interaction with vendors, community, church; charitable giving/events; etc. Doesn’t have to be product-specific, in fact more effective campaigns are not but your name and visibility will be enhanced. Are you capturing the email address of your visitors? You should try; that list is valuable.
5. Product feeds are valuable.
A product feed can help draw traffic and business to your site. The feed will show details that the search engines like, i.e., descriptions, images, and prices of your services and products. Submit them to sites which compare prices and to the major search engines. Add an RSS feed icon on your site or blog and suggest to readers that they should subscribe to your site's feed for the latest updates. (For most retail businesses, if you’re not selling on Amazon, think about doing it. Amazon will promote you at no cost to you.)
Every blog, video, email, or product feed should have proper SEO tagging, i.e., sub-URL, title tag, embedded keywords, keywords in the content and images with alt text tags.
OK, now you’ve attracted traffic and rankings. Is your website ready to handle, i.e., is the site visually attractive, have strong “call to action” prompts (telephone number, “Contact” button, and contact form, easy navigation, and have good content supporting the products and keywords? If not, update it. We can evaluate your site and redesign it (sometimes lonely slight changes are needed, i.e., add the phone number to the top, add visual boxes that click-through to the right page/section).
Make sure to avoid duplicate content. Each tag and written paragraph should be unique. If you cannot avoid them all together, avoid them in the index. Duplicate content and pages can lower your ranking on search engine result pages (SERP’s).
A good online marketing plan and proper execution of that plan will help enhance the company’s online profile, products, and services, as well bring more business to the site whether a national brand or a small local business. These programs and steps will help a business of any size. Contact us and we’ll help devise an effective, efficient plan and budget that works for you.