The internet is an incredibly valuable and important resource for businesses of all kinds. With an audience vaster than any other, the web is the only tool out there which allows smaller businesses to compete on a level playing field with their larger competitors.
It doesn't make any difference whether you're an international company or a family run, local business, having a powerful web presence is an absolute necessity in today's age. Across the world of business, staying ahead of your competitors is always a challenge and more often than not it's those companies which embrace the web who get ahead.
Here, we take a look at seven simple steps which can help you to improve the scope and quality of your web presence. This will not only make your brand more prominent and accessible, but it will improve your reputation as a company.
1. Building A Strong Home Page
There are a vast number of places where customers might look for you online, but the single most important is your own home page. Whether you choose to go for a fully-fledged, content heavy, interactive website to hook your customers, or a beautiful but minimalist approach is up to you. What important is that when customers come looking for you online, they are met with a functional and professional home page.
2. Employing SEO
Building a great home page is one thing, but that's no use if your customers aren't able to find you online. Employing a wide range of search engine optimisation techniques and a web presence strategy will help point customers in your direction. If you're really on top of things, this could be the differentiating factor that helps to direct business towards you and away from your competitors.
Be sure, however, to strike a smart balance between optimised copy and appealing, informative content. You want customers to find you online, but you don't want them to be confronted with a messy, utilitarian website when they do.
3. Embracing Social Media
Social media is far from a secret in the business world, but it is a true gem. Not only do social media sites like Facebook and Twitter allow you as a business to reach out to customers, but it provides a medium through which your customers can actually engage with you.
Having a profile on each of the big social media sites is essential. Ensuring that you've got an active account is the next step. Social media is a great opportunity for businesses to enter into a public dialogue with their customers, improving their reputation at the same time as building a rapport. Once again, it's important to strike a balance between silent and intrusive.
4. Create Guest Content
On the web, content is king. Creating engaging and appealing content for your company is essential, but creating this same high quality content for others is also important. If your company can put high quality content elsewhere on the web, this can be hugely effective when it comes to broadening the scope of your web presence. Producing guest content for other sites is not only a great way to reach out to a new audience, but it could be a great opportunity for you to employ some SEO. Consider returning the favour for other companies and hosting some guest content on your own site.
5. Run Email Marketing Campaigns
Putting great content out there on the web is useful, but it's not quite as pro-active as seeking your customers and speaking directly to them. Email marketing is the best way to reach out to customers and offer them specific information.
If you are able to run exclusive promotions, offers and to provide up-to-date information about your business, email marketing can be a great way to establish and build a relationship with your customers. Be sure to get the frequency of your emails just right. You want to maintain a strong relationship, but you don't want your customers to unsubscribe.
6. Web Exclusive Deals
In the age of social media, the effectiveness of your web presence is often as much down to your visitors as it is down to you. For this reason it's worth keeping your online friends and visitors loyal by offering online only deals and offers. If you are able to convince your customers to engage publicly with you online, you can expect to get a lot more from your web presence.
7. Create And Build Your Brand
Consumer engagement online can be brief, but that's not to say it's never meaningful. Leaving a lasting impression with your online visitors is important, but you don't always have long to do it. That's why you need to be consistent in your image and your message. The bigger picture which is made up of each instance of your web presence is your brand.