5 Small-Business-Friendly Ways to Improve Your Online Presence
Just how robust is your online presence? Are there plenty of channels that lead possible customers right to your website? Or are you “making do” with a basic Facebook page and a website that looks like it hasn’t been updated since hit counters were all the rage?
“Online presence” is a blanket term for both how easy it is to find your products and services online, and how you present your brand. This includes any owned platforms like your website, your social media profiles, and any other sites you use to share your products or branding, like an Amazon product listing or a Medium blog.
Put simply — your online presence is how you show up on the internet.
While this may seem too broad to approach, an improvement in your overall online presence can help you find more leads, improve your connection with your audience, and earn more sales
A rising tide lifts all boats! By working on some of these core tactics, you can improve your visibility across the entire internet.
#1 Improve your page speed
Site speed has always been an important ranking factor for websites. But with Google’s new Core Web Vitals rolling out later this year, it’s going to be more important than ever. These ranking factors make up the “page experience,” and they’ll be getting more weight than before.
The speed measurement is called Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). This metric refers to how long it takes a page to load. You can check an individual page on Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, or go to your Google Search Console to see a list of your website’s URLs to see which are loading too slowly.
Fixing slow loading times could be as simple as switching to a faster web host, or it could require re-uploading smaller images. Whatever the solution, focus on speed to improve your site’s performance and overall search engine rankings.
#2 Get listed on the right web directories
We tend to focus on Google My Business as the place to create an online listing for your business. But GMB isn’t the only game in town. And if you don’t have a brick and mortar store, GMB isn’t even an option for you.
Instead, look for other online directories where you can create a profile or listing. Start local. Does your city or county have a chamber of commerce with an online directory? That could be a good source of local leads. Physical stores can also get into big online directories like Yellow Pages, Bing Places, and Foursquare.
Then there are the specialty directories. Angie’s List for home improvement projects. Realtor.com for real estate. Justia for legal services.
These directories can be a unique source of leads, getting you new web traffic and possible inquiries from the non-Google-obsessed.
#3 Create consistent content
Wherever you’re showing up, show up consistently. Whether that’s a blog on your website, a Facebook page, a podcast, or a YouTube channel, regular updates are key.
Each of these marketing channels will be someone’s very first introduction to your brand. If a potential lead first finds you on Instagram and you haven’t updated your feed in a year, why would they click on the link in your profile to learn more about your business? They may assume that you’re no longer in business, or that you’re inconsistent. Either way, they’ll go find another company to do business with.
You have to “check the traps” wherever you set them, to make sure that each marketing platform is doing its job and bringing in leads.
#4 Marry PPC and SEO
Pay per click advertising (PPC) and organic search engine optimization (SEO) are sometimes viewed as either/or tactics. “Right now we’re focused on PPC, but next quarter we’ll work more on our SEO…”
Really, they’re two different paths to the same result — more qualified leads.
While PPC campaigns can lead to a rapid increase in clicks, those improvements will only last as long as you continue your ad spend. SEO, on the other hand, isn’t tied to any sort of cost per click. While the results are usually slow, they can also last for months or even years.
If your brand shows up as both a paid ad and an organic result for a keyword on the front page, you’ve doubled your real estate and increased the chances that the searcher will end up on your site.
Think of PPC as a vitamin B-12 shot, and SEO as a lifestyle rich in exercise and leafy greens. The shot will give you a quick boost, but a dedication to fitness will keep you energized and healthy in the long run.
#5 Show up where your competitors are
Where’s the party, and why aren’t you there?
Social media algorithms are always trying to promote more content that users may like. If someone follows your competitor, it’s very likely that your profile will also show up as a similar account they might be interested in. But you have to be there!
Do a Google search for some of your top competitors to see what profiles they have. If you don’t have an account on those sites, make sure to get one.
Building an online presence is a process, not a task. Each of these strategies will take time and consistency to be effective.
As these elements work together to increase your online visibility, you’ll start to see an increase in web traffic. Then it’s up to you to turn those leads into customers!