If you’re looking for ways for effectively managing your online presence, you don’t really have to reach out to SEO service providers… although that will be a good investment if you can afford it. Regardless, there is much you can do by yourself towards building an online presence a little by little every day.
Here are some of the fundamental lines of action that will be required to effectively build an online presence for your business:
Your Business Website
In this day and age, you can’t afford not to rely on the Internet as part of your marketing efforts. And when it comes to doing so, you can’t afford to not have an official website that represents your business. This is just as important as having a physical office or business place, nowadays. Your website is your centre of operations online, and all online marketing tactics you use (both online and offline) should connect to your website like spokes connect to the hub of a wheel.
When it comes to running a website, it’s no longer about just buying a .com domain with your business name, adding your contact information, and hoping people will somehow find you. Your website is simply your virtual business place; you need to put as much thought and effort towards its development as you do towards the development of your physical office and/or your physical store. In fact, it’s no longer unusual to see people running successful businesses from their homes with only their website as a public centre of operations.
Content Marketing is the on-going process of strategically creating content that will add value to your website and establish your expertise. Whenever you look at a commercially successful website, you’re actually looking at a commercially successful content marketing effort that revolves around a website! The actual website is a hub for all online activities, but it’s also just a cover and placeholder for the content; it’s the content therein that ultimately impresses visitors and generates business leads!
When we speak of content marketing, we’re not simply referring to the articles and blogs you publish on your website – that’s only one aspect. Content marketing is an overarching, sweeping approach that revolves around creating useful information that will attract the attention of your target demographics.
Asides from publishing your best content on your official business website, you must continually look for other ways to use specialized content as a means to divulging your brand and business to keep generating leads and build momentum. This could involve different arrangements, from creating satellite websites to arranging guest post opportunities on authoritative websites related to your niche.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Most consumers who are in the process of purchasing a product or service will invariably turn to a search engine while doing research and making decisions. Search queries performed in the course of this buying cycle – and specifically queries that convey a strong buying intent – are typically made by people who are effectively highly qualified leads. Getting your website in front of these people can be tremendously beneficial to your business and the method for achieving this is called search engine optimization.
SEO is a crucial approach to digital marketing that begins with keyword research, a technique for determining what kind of search queries are being performed by your target audience.
Once you have determined what your ideal clients are searching for, you then want to take concentrated action to ensure your website ranks as close as possible to the top of search results for those keywords and phrases… which gets significantly harder to achieve in proportion to the existing competition.
This optimization process is ongoing and should go hand in hand with content marketing. The aim of content marketing is to establish the expertise of your business by publishing useful and relevant content, and the aim of SEO is framing your content in a way that clearly aligns with the expectations of your prospective clients.
Online Ad Campaigns
If Search Engine Optimization is the painstaking, long-running, slow process of aligning your content strategy with the concerns and interests of your clients (so they will naturally find your website), online ad campaigns can be regarded as the instant approach to the same goal. Ideally, you want to use both tactics as part of your digital marketing strategy.
Online ad campaigns should also begin with keyword research, in order to give you a clear understanding of what search terms your ideal clients are typing when they seek a business like yours. The main difference is that online ad campaigns involve paying directly to put your website in front of your audience, rather than gradually building up a presence online.
There are thousands of available online ad networks that allow you to put your ads leading to your website directly in front of your prospects. This is usually done on a pay-per-click basis where available advertising spots are auctioned in real-time among advertisers, meaning those who are willing to pay more will get their ads displayed immediately at any given time.
It takes an initial financial investment, close careful consideration, and many painstaking adjustments to establish a profitable online ad campaign… but once you succeed in establishing a profitable campaign, you may sometimes achieve an automatic lead generation machine in record time.
Social Media Presence
Nowadays, you can think of social media as the cool cousin to search engines. They have similar roles in the lifestyles of consumers, similar traffic volumes, and similar tool-sets and resources available for marketers. As such, you would be wise to put in comparable effort building a social media presence as you would into search engine optimization.
Building a social media presence begins with creating a profile in your chosen social media to represent your business, and connecting all such profiles directly to your website.
Having done so, you need to regularly publish content in your social media business profiles, and take the opportunity to interact with your audience up close and personal (which is something modern consumers both appreciate and expect). Since most social media websites now double as ad networks, you may also want to ramp up your efforts by creating social media ad campaigns as well, if your budget allows.
These are the fundamentals of managing your online presence: set up a website, perform content marketing, learn the principles of SEO, consider investing in online advertising, and build up a social media presence. These are ongoing tasks that you can do by yourself or with the help of specialized service providers.
Building an online presence is not an easy task: it takes time, commitment, dedication, and resources… but the results will be very much worth the trouble!