Having an active online presence is critical to the success of any business, especially those that are just starting out. Being online makes it easier for your customers to find you all while increasing overall credibility. When you’re online, people tend to trust you more. And when people trust you, they naturally want to buy from you. But having a website that you threw together over the course of a day just won’t do. As a marketing firm that has helped several businesses build a successful online presence, we at Touché Studio know what it takes to be found in a sea of noise. Here are steps to take your online presence to the next level.
Branding is what differentiates you from your competitors. It’s also the first thing that your customers come in contact with, which determines whether or not they engage with your business. When done properly, your brand should evoke a set of emotions from your audience that results in a specific action, like signing up for a newsletter or purchasing a set of products. The better you understand your audience, the better your brand will perform. Get to know their likes, dislikes and what they care about most. Then, and only then, will you be able to create an effective brand strategy.
Make your brand memorable
Your brand is your identity, and it needs to be both memorable and recognizable. It also needs to leave a desired impression long after you’ve left the conversation. It’s important to remember that your brand is far more than just a pretty logo, it’s what your company ultimately stands for. If your company sells plastic straw alternatives, your branding and its messaging should reflect the importance of why plastic straw alternatives are better. It would also make sense to assume that your customers care about environmental conservation, which is why they’re choosing your products over others that may be cheaper. Making your brand memorable is simple: understand your customer, understand what they care about, and then talk about that.
Every great brand has invested is good media production. It’s no secret that the best way to attract your audience is to create captivating visuals. This includes videos, graphics and images that speak to your audience directly without the need for a sales pitch. Studies have shown that strong visuals highly influence consumer opinions. How often have you purchased a product just because it looks more appealing than its counterparts? If you put out visuals that are low quality and lacking professionalism, we can guarantee your customers will almost certainly never come back.
Almost everyone has a website. But that’s not to say that every website is successful in getting the job done. Websites are meant to act as a focal point for your business; a place where your customers can go to get information and hopefully, buy what you’re selling. The best way to ensure that this happens is by having an optimized site that does your bidding for you. An effective website generates leads and engagement, all while presenting your product on a silver platter. If your website is outdated, hard to navigate, and lacking critical information, you might as well ditch it.
Focus on usability
Creating a website geared towards user experience is a necessity. What do we mean by this? Well, picture a website that takes long to download, lacks human interaction, and presents a mess of information that’s neither relevant nor useful. The way your customers experience your website will significantly influence their decision to buy, and more importantly, return. Understanding the value of user-centered design will put your business miles above the rest. Web design that “looks good” is not enough. User experience is all about how your customers feel, think and act while on your site. Richard Horvath, founder of TheeDigital As a good rule of thumb, every website should be accessible, intuitive, responsive and easy to navigate. To kick it up a notch, make sure your website has a call-to-action, functional search bar, and contact tool.
What’s the point of having a website if no one sees it? This may seem obvious, but attracting visitors to your website should be at the top of your priority list. There are many ways to do this, both directly and indirectly. One of the best ways to attract visitors is through the use of social media. Start by creating a post on whatever social channel your customers frequent most, and then link to your website from that. Your post should be engaging and should always require a call-to-action, like ‘click here to learn more’ or ‘click here to redeem your discount’. You may also want to consider paid advertising, which does the work for you. Creating an ad on social media is both easy and effective.
In order to be successful, you’ll want to make sure that you’re tracking your performance, which means understanding where you started, where you are now, and where you want to be. You can do this by using free tools like Google Analytics. Simply put, Google Analytics helps you understand how your customers are behaving while on your website. This allows you to monitor and improve your website based on real customer data. Once you know which pages they’re visiting, how long they’re sticking around, and what they’re doing once they are there, you’ll be better equipped to create a website that moves with them.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, is what helps your website rank highly when it comes to search engine results. This means that when someone types your business into a search engine like Google, you’ll appear at the top of the page instead of wasting away on page 5. It goes without saying that the closer you are to the top, the more likely you are to be seen. But since everyone is competing for the top spot, you desperately need an effective SEO strategy.
Get good at SEO
Did you know that nearly 75% of buyers start by searching on Google first? Neil Patel, co-founder of NP Digital and Subscribers. To be honest, you’re probably one of them. We all are…well, 75% of us. The other 15% still own a phonebook. If you’ve ever typed something into Google, you’ll notice that the perfect match will almost always appear closest to the top. The question is, how can you get your business to appear in that same section. For starters, you need to be using the right keywords. The trick is to understand the words and phrases that real people are searching, and then to use those words and phrases throughout your website. We tend to use words that are specific to our industry or expertise, but in order to be successful at SEO, you need to dumb it down. Check out Google’s free keyword planner to get started.
Optimize your site
Once you’ve identified your list of keywords, it’s time to incorporate them into your website. Start by going through your existing pages and updating your content to reflect your newly found keywords. This includes existing text, title tags, meta descriptions and headings. You’ll also want to make sure that you’re producing new content on a regular basis. Your content should be tailored to your audience and should always provide value to the reader. If there’s no value in your content, then it won’t matter how many keywords you use. No value, no trust.
Now that you’ve mastered how to optimize your site for humans, it’s time to look at internet bots. Bots (robots) are tiny web crawlers that collect content from all over the internet and place it into a database, called internet indexing. Once your page is in the index, it becomes much easier to find when people are searching for similar topics. Technical SEO ensures that your website meets the technical requirements of modern-day bots, helping you rank higher overall. Willemien Hallebeek, Content Team Lead at Yoast.
There’s more to being online than just being online. By focusing on your brand, website, and SEO strategy, you’ll be attracting more leads in no time. Make sure to download our free e-book 5 Things Every Small Business Can Fix on their Website in the Next Week to Increase Leads for simple things you can do today to drive more traffic to your website.