You took the leap and launched your website. Now you sit back and wait for the customers to roll in, right? Unfortunately, these days there are billions of websites fighting for views. The days of “if you build it, they will come” are long gone.
To stand out today, you need to have a solid online presence. But how do you know if your online presence is strong enough?
Thankfully, there’s no shortage of data and information these days. You no longer have to guess what’s working for you or not. In this blog article, you’ll learn what online presence for your business is, why you need it and how to improve it.
What do we mean by online presence?
First, we need to say what online presence isn’t. We don’t mean simply having a site online. Building a website and leaving it sitting there is not your online presence. Think back to your school days. You could physically be at school, but your mind may not be present and learning, right?
Your online presence is the total weight of your brand online across all the platforms you’re involved in. It’s everything from how easy it is to find you to how aware people are of your brand to how your clients interact with you.
It includes your:
- Social media accounts
- Local listings
- Affiliations with industry or community organisations
In other words, it’s your street rep, your credibility.
Why your business needs an online presence
Your online presence is vital to establishing brand awareness and ensuring you’re found when customers search online.
97% of people search a company online before engaging with them.
These days you can’t afford to not have a presence online. Your customers will use everything they can – organic search, social media, local directories to learn as much as they can about you before deciding on you.
As they’re searching, customers will move on if any of those pieces are off, broken, or look unprofessional. They have other options these days, just a couple of clicks away. You could very well be the best in your field, but your customers aren’t industry experts. They can only go off of what they can find and see. And if what they see doesn’t give them confidence, they will move on.
When you build an online presence, you help prospective customers find your business. You also give your current customers extra reasons to stay engaged as they stay connected with your brand across the internet.
How to increase your online presence with your website
Yes, an online presence is about more than just your website. However, your website is the home base for your online presence. Everything you do online will compliment, feed into or work from your website. So if your website is outdated, broken, filled with spam or other ominous signs to your customers, your customers will move on.
Only once you have your website sorted can you begin to look into other aspects of your business. But you must make sure your website is in top shape before doing anything else.
Why? Say you have a great Facebook campaign going that’s getting a lot of traction. The customers think, “Ok, I like what they’re saying. Let’s go check them out.” They click over to your site and find it broken, the page down, or it’s loading too slowly for them. They will leave and mentally write you off.
Any slick campaign you do in the future will get blocked by these earlier memories. “Oh, I remember this site. It never loaded. I don’t have time for this.” So before tackling the broader areas of your online presence, you have to deal with your website.
Here are a few areas of your website to focus on to get you started:
1. Make sure your website is modern and built for your target audience
We’ve all done it. You see an amateurish website and immediately judge the company. Honestly, sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all the style changes, updates and new techniques. But your customers don’t care how busy you are. More than 3/4 of customers admit to judging a company’s credibility based solely on how their website looks.
2. Work on your SEO
If people can’t find you, all the site updates, content creation, etc., are for nothing. Taking the time to authentically address your SEO has many benefits besides your page rank. For example, focusing on organic SEO helps you build good content delivery habits and also helps you learn to think like your customers. When you’re addressing your site’s SEO, don’t forget to also optimise your Local SEO. Developing local SEO content and strategies helps you stand out in your community and can really help drive your business.
3. Produce Fresh Content
You might fall into the trap of thinking, “I’ve launched my website. Now I can forget it.” Unfortunately, that’s not true. Fresh website content is a key to your success for a few reasons. When your customers see outdated content, dates, products you no longer offer, etc., it erodes their trust in you. They start thinking, “these people don’t keep up with the details.” Fresh content is also a critical factor in SEO rankings. Google loves delivering fresh, up-to-date content to searchers. If your last blog post was four years ago, we guarantee your competitor’s site will rank better.
4. Analyse your results
It’s not enough to just make changes and hope for the best. Who knows if the content you’ve created is working or the SEO changes are affecting traffic? You don’t have to just sit around hoping they are. The great thing about doing anything digital these days is that there is no shortage of information about what’s going on available for you. So don’t just absentmindedly make changes without knowing your baselines and what areas you should be tracking.
What our Online Presence Check Can do for You
Those were just a few tips to get you started. These days there are so many factors that go into your online presence.
To keep people from gaming the system, Google and other search engines are constantly shifting the goalposts for what they consider website best practices. Suppose you’re busy and lack time to keep updated. In that case, you might unknowingly apply a change to your site that’s outdated or will result in a penalty from Google. You don’t want that.
Managing websites can be overwhelming. We get that. That’s why we offer our Online Presence Check so that you can sit back, relax and have it all done for you.
We live and breathe website performance. When you have us run an Online Presence Check on your company, we test every aspect of your website using the latest industry standards and best practices. We check:
- Conversion Optimisation
- Website Performance
- Website Security
- User Experience
- Content Format & Copy
- WordPress Technical
- Search Engine Optimisation/ Online Visibility
- My Google Business
- Legal compliance
- Competitors Analysis
Each of these things is good to know, even if you don’t think anything’s broken. When you have these things clearly written down for you, you’re able to prioritise what areas to work on first, saving you time and money.
And once you have a baseline understanding of your website, you’re in a much better position to keep improving things in the following months. You’ll be able to see exactly how effective any changes were.
Have you ever had a date or a meal with a friend where you talked and talked, only to later discover you had food stuck in your teeth the whole time? If it was with a friend, it was probably simply an embarrassing story you’ll joke about for years. If it was a date…it might have been the last one.
Broken, dated, and buggy websites are like talking to prospective clients with food in your teeth while also yelling at them. It’s wrong on so many levels. Take the time to audit your site, or if you’re like many and lack the skills, find a trusted partner to help you check and prioritise what to fix.
We’d like to help your website function as best it can, so you can put your best foot forward online. Please book a Clarity Call, and we’ll talk with you about how to get started.
Checkout our Cheatsheet as well.
Have questions? Book in a call
READY TO BOOST YOUR WEBSITE SPEEDS?
If any of this is overwhelming to you. Simply book a Clarity Call. It’s free and we promise we won’t sell you anything. Talk to a human being that actually listens to you to see if we can help you.