If you want your new business to be noticed, you need to have a potent online presence.
This means you need to be active on social media, have positive reviews from real people, have a great looking and functioning website, and be easy to find when searching for your business or products and services that you provide.
Before making a purchase, people are going to check your online presence:
And that's if they can find you online. In 2018, 46% of small businesses didn't even have a website. That number dropped to 36% in 2019, and even further in 2020.
Anywhere your business exists online counts towards your online presence, regardless if it's positive or negative, such as customer reviews or a poorly made company website.
Here’s are some of the more common places your business will pop up online in front of customers:
So where-ever your business is active or mentioned, it combines together to create your online presence.
If you want to succeed with your new business, check out these 7 essential strategies you can use to level up your online presence.
In today's digital age, it doesn't matter if your new business has a physical store, or if you sell hotcakes on your front-lawn – you must have a mobile-friendly website to help bring in new customers and give your business credibility.
There are two ways you can create your website. Hire a professional web developer or use a website builder.
Choosing an agency or freelancer to help design and create your website will be more expensive than doing it yourself. But you can rest assured that the finished product will be of high-quality.
But having said that, today's DIY website builders come with drag-and-drop tools, making it easy to build your own website.
Whichever path you choose, bear in mind these essential elements for your business website:
It must load fast: Users expect websites to load quickly. If it takes more than 3 seconds, more than half of your users will give up. To ensure your website loads fast, use a good hosting service, preferably cloud-based. Your website should also contain the least amount of code as possible to keep it lightweight.
It must be mobile-friendly: People are using their smartphones more and more. And most internet traffic now takes place on mobile devices. So, make sure your website looks great and loads fast on mobile.
Don’t forget to provide contact information: Make it easy for people to get in touch with you. List your contact information, opening times, and anything else that’s useful or relevant. You can even set up a live chat system so people can talk to you directly.
As your online presence begins to grow and spread across the internet, it’s essential to keep your branding consistent.
Branding is not only the look and feel of your business, but it’s voice.
Communication: All your communication should sound like it's coming from the same person. Whether it's informative, casual, professional, funny, etc. To find your brand's tone of voice, generate a customer persona (a fictional representation of your customer) and create a voice that resonates with them.
Logo: Your logo design is one of your most important identifying features. It can be the name of your business (Google, Amazon, and Uber all use their name as their logo), or it can be an icon (Like Spotify and Apple). It should accompany your online presence everywhere, which is why it also needs to look great. Just like designing your website, there are two options when it comes to creating a logo. You can use an online custom logo maker or hire a professional designer.
Brand colors: Your brand should have its own distinct color palette, which you'll use on your website, logo, and communication. Like your brand voice, it should be a set of colors that appeals to your customers and represents your brand's character and personality.
Google search is used by customers to find businesses, products, reviews, information, and everything else you can think of. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of pushing your website higher up the search rankings for keywords your customers are using.
Consider taking a course in SEO to do it yourself or hiring a professional to work with your business. SEO's main benefit overpaid ads is it can provide free and ongoing traffic to your website.
Online business directories are used by millions of people. They can go a long way in helping to establish your online presence. Yellow pages, Google Business, Yelp are just some of the more well-known ones.
There are also local business directories in your area you need to find as well. Ensure your listing is always updated with your business location, opening hours, images, and plenty of positive reviews from happy customers. Many directories allow you to upload your logo as well.
Getting positive reviews from customers doesn't happen overnight, and in many cases, only unhappy customers who are looking to vent will leave a comment. The best way to get real customer reviews is to ask them for it.
With every successful transaction, follow up with an email asking for any feedback and asking them to leave a review of their experience. You can also tempt them by offering extra incentives such as a special coupon or deal on their next purchase.
Creating your own content allows you to provide valuable information to readers and improve your authority and credibility. Writing posts or creating videos that give people tips and advice can go a long way.
Other types of content you can create, which are considered trustworthy by most audiences, are case studies. Case studies tell the story of a customer who had a problem and how you helped solve it. They're a powerful sales tool, and you can post them on your website and social media accounts.
Get active on social media groups and involve yourself in groups and conversations relevant to your business. Sometimes your goal isn't to try and turn every conversation into a sale but to genuinely offer advice and help if you can. But don't be afraid of pushing your business as long as it's not too pushy.
Be sure to create your own business page to expand your online presence, and engage with your customers as much as you can while also sharing your own content.
All these strategies and tips will help you to improve your online presence and develop a positive reputation. Don’t expect miracles to happen overnight. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. But stick with it to see amazing results for your new business.