Building a trusted and relevant online presence is non-negotiable for companies who want to go the distance. However, the digital world can be a bit intimidating. If you're a little lost and/or overwhelmed by the enormity of it all or the constant changes, don't worry! This Fort Worth marketing agency has a few tips to get you headed in the right direction.
9 Baby Steps To A Profitable Online Presence
Baby Step 1: Make sure your website is both user friendly and mobile friendly. Ensuring that your website is easy to navigate for mobile users grows increasingly more essential, because currently 75% of users access the internet through their phone! It's important for your website to be straight forward and not overwhelming, and to have a clear path of direction. On average, most people spend fewer than 15 seconds on a website before deciding whether they will stay or go elsewhere. Make sure you don't turn people off by having too many conflicting ideas, and using confusing or unclear jargon.
On the flip side, it's also important that your website be fully informative, and include all pertinent information in a visually appealing way. While you don't want so much content on your website that's it's overwhelming - causing people to leave out of sheer frustration - it's equally negative to have too little content. Everything a customer needs to know about your company should be on your website.
Baby Step 2: Get ready to present yourself! That will include getting quality photographs taken of you, your team, your products/services, your office, etc. People will want to see the face behind your brand, so be sure you have good photos to share of the team and some good "behind-the-scenes" shots, as well. This shows personality, and people will want to see that on your website and social media. In addition, prepare your story! People pick brands because of the way those brands make them feel, not because they sell the best products. Write down your story, and tell your fans what sets you apart and makes you different from the competition.
Baby Step 3: Register your business with Google Maps and Yelp. If someone searches for your business name, it's important that Google and Yelp recognize your business's location. This is particularly important if you have a storefront or physical location that people will need directions to find. For help on this, here's an easy tutorial to set up your business with Google, and this one will help you to register with Yelp.
Baby Step 4: While we're on the topic of Google and Yelp, another thing to consider is reviews. If your business doesn't bring up any reviews on Google, Yelp, or social media, strangers to your brand won't know whether they can trust you. This is particularly true of the millennial generation, as they tend to rely on online reviews and ratings more than other generations. If you have no reviews yet, try asking a few clients who you've worked with previously to leave you a review. Positive reviews build trust online and establish your business as authentic and worthwhile.
Baby Step 5: Find out what social media platforms your market is on, and be there. In this digital age, social media is one of the best ways to build relationships with your existing customers and attract future customers. Do some research to discover which of the (endless) social media spaces your target is most likely to be on. There's no point in wasting time in places that won't make you any money or further your brand in the long run, so focus your time on the platforms where your customers are active. Yes, millions of people are on Twitter - but if your specific market isn't, maintaining a Twitter profile will be a waste of your time and resources. Develop solid, vibrant and personable profiles. Interact with your fan base, use hashtags to gain more visibility, join groups, and reference studies that show when the best times in the day are to post on which networks. Then, develop a social posting schedule that you can stick to. Consistency is key!
Baby Step 6: Consider adding blog to your website - it's a great way to increase customer engagement and rank higher in search engines. Blogs are also an excellent way to continually drive new traffic to your website. Be sure you use relevant keywords (just don't overuse them!) in your posts, and share your blog updates on your social media accounts. Include social sharing buttons for other people to share your content, too.
Baby Step 7: Build an email list and begin sending emails. Establish a following - these are your people! Nurture those relationships and keep your fans close by gently reminding them you exist with a properly timed email. Use your email list to send coupons, industry advice, blog snippets, updates, and more. Remember the golden rule of writing emails, before you hit "send": would you want to read it?
Baby Step 8: Decide which places you'd like to invest - Facebook ads, Google Adwords, Twitter ads, etc., and determine your advertisement goals (more page likes, more engagement, offer clicks, etc.). Then, develop multiple advertisements. After they go live you should analyze, analyze, and analyze some more. Conduct A/B testing to find out what works best, what doesn't work, and keep fine tuning your ads accordingly. The more specifically you segment the audience and the more tailored your ads are to that audience, the more effective they will be. (For the full infographic above, click here)
Going from hardly-online to fully-booming-online is a process, and it doesn't happen overnight. Every brand is different, and you may need to adjust things here and there, accordingly. If you have any thoughts or questions, we know a little something about everything from web development to graphic design, and we're happy to help.