As more and more consumers choose to rely heavily on the Internet to get directions, read interesting content, and shop, any business that doesn’t have a good online presence could be missing out on a treasure trove of new leads and increased sales.
Today, you can’t only focus on improving your physical store and hope that a great number of customers will visit you. Setting up your online presence offers tons of amazing benefits, such as helping you stay competitive, building customer trust, reaching a wider audience, and allowing for effortless marketing and selling.
The catch is this: optimizing for online presence requires great effort, time, and resources to be successful. Read on to find out more about the works involved in optimizing your online presence.
Eight mistakes to avoid when optimizing for online presence
So whether you’re still at the early stages of your digital marketing or you’ve been on it for some time now, let’s go through the eight biggest mistakes you should avoid if you want to stay relevant and visible to your customers.
1. Keeping a bad website
If you think having a live website is enough to maximize your business potential, that’s where you’re wrong. You are unlikely to impress any of your target customers if that website isn’t even appealing in the first place. The tough part is that business owners often find it hard to communicate the message they want to convey to their audiences.
If your website doesn’t have quality content, strong visual imagery, and fast load times, you’re losing your chance of enticing people to buy your products or services. Not displaying your business’s contact information and address is also another mistake you should avoid.
2. Not taking advantage of local SEO
Did you know that 72% of people visit a store after doing a local search? That means local SEO is something you shouldn’t ignore if you want to establish your online presence. Regardless, if you’re planning to have a global reach, local SEO is still essential for having a higher ranking for your location’s search results pages.
Some simple tactics in maximizing exposure to local consumers include optimizing page content meta tags for local keywords, using consistent contact details on every online source, embedding a Google map on your website, and verifying your Google My Business (GMB) listing.
3. Ignoring customer reviews
Aside from personal recommendations, customers look at reviews before making their purchasing decisions. Businesses that don’t take advantage of reviews are obviously losing the opportunity to earn the trust of their potential customers. Serving as the best social proof, our team helps businesses like you generate more reviews to build trusting relationships with prospective clients. As a bonus, you also get to improve your SEO since they still count as fresh content for your site.
4. Not engaging with customers
Another mistake that many businesses make when working towards their commercial goals is not communicating with their customers. Engaging with the customers allows businesses to have genuine relationships with current and potential customers while increasing their chances of getting more sales.
Before one can establish an online presence, building solid and meaningful engagement with clients is necessary. You also need to measure and analyze everything from the initial user experience to the method of communication for you to prove the touchpoints’ effectiveness. This helps you optimize and get the maximum value from every key point of engagement.
5. No content or blog updates
Blogging has always been considered a vital element for building credibility, driving more site traffic, and boosting ROI. This strategic marketing tactic is used to share valuable expertise and knowledge to boost online presence. But if you want to put your best foot forward when attracting new customers, you need to keep your content fresh.
You can build trust between you and your customers by merely keeping your blog or content up to date. This also helps you establish domain authority. Let’s say you have outdated content on your website mentioning details such as your store’s old location or contact information. Not only will new customers not be able to find you—they will also think that you can’t keep up with the latest trends.
6. Not differentiating the offers
Creating a unique category for a product or service that’s relatively new to the consumer is quite a challenge for any business. But with the growing competition, businesses, especially small ones, should have a unique value proposition and communicate what makes them different. Give the people a solid reason to choose you instead of your competitors. Rather than focusing on making a sale, educate consumers about what makes your product or service different, making it easier for them to make a purchase decision.
7. Staying clueless on the metrics
Many businesses, especially start-ups, don’t have a clear idea of what’s working, what isn’t working, or their exact spending to reach potential clients because they don’t have a good handle on their metrics. Marketing ratios and metrics are essential for identifying which is the most effective channel at driving leads and knowing your cost per lead (CPL) and cost per customer (CPC).
One huge mistake you can make is being clueless about your business’s average customer acquisition costs (CAC) and the lifetime value of a customer (LTV). You can’t possibly figure out the best investment for increasing your sales if you don’t know how quickly you can get a return from your marketing spend or what a client is worth to you.
8. Being present everywhere
The next mistake that most online businesses make is being present on almost every social media platform. Doing too much can actually make it hard for you to establish a good online presence. Plenty of business owners often forget that they also have a website and other traditional marketing to take care of.
So instead of creating pages or accounts everywhere, only go for the ones where your target market spends most of their time. You also need to consider the type of your business, as well as the message you want to convey. Lastly, avoid posting the same stuff across all your pages and accounts as this can bore your audience.
Seven ways to maximize your online presence
Now that you have an idea of the most common mistakes that you should avoid when optimizing for online presence (and why you should take them seriously), let’s move on to how you can easily position yourself for online domination.
1. Strategically use the keywords
While keyword research is crucial, you also need to place them in strategic positions. The first key positions to include the keywords in are the URLs of your website’s important pages. These include your home, testimonial, services, about us pages. You also want to insert your target key phrases in your title, which helps you have higher rankings on the local searches. The next key positions for your keywords are your meta descriptions. You can easily create or edit your pages’ meta descriptions through free and easy-to-use plug-ins. Keep your meta descriptions short and relevant.
2. Build your email list
Creating and growing an email list has long been used for building an online presence, allowing your business to regularly engage with your existing and prospective customers. In building your email list, you can create gated content that requires sign-up or promote email newsletters through calls-to-action on your social media pages and website. To create your slide-in CTAs, forms, and pop-ups for collecting email addresses, use the tools available in content management systems.
3. Produce locally relevant content
Stuffing your pages with numerous keywords will just make you look spammy to your audience and won’t necessarily help improve your rankings. What you should focus on is creating locally relevant content that your audience will love. Quality, relevant content either satisfies a customer’s desire or provides a solution to their problems. Apart from your website blog, you should create and optimize other locally relevant content such as your Q&A pages and testimonials.
4. Optimize social media profiles
From your business’s name and URL to its physical location, it’s critical that everything is updated and consistent across all your social media accounts. Again, it’s not necessary to be present everywhere. Simply choose the platforms your target audience regularly uses. Other easy ways to optimize your social media profiles are through linking to your website, creating appropriate call-to-action buttons, publishing relevant marketing messaging, and using hashtags and other creative branding visuals.
5. Personify your brand
One of the best ways to help consumers to connect with your business is through brand personification. When personifying your brand, you must focus on authenticity and the characteristics that make your company human. People tend to show loyalty to businesses that have the traits that humans have, which can be categorized as trustworthy and thoughtful, influential and successful, exclusive and alluring, and more. The main point is to paint an accurate picture of what your brand represents to boost customer engagement while still staying true to your values and mission.
6. Get listed on web directories
Another thing you shouldn’t underestimate when optimizing your online presence is the web directories. Besides helping you boost your site traffic and reach your target customers, key directory sites can help you get higher rankings organically. For you to reap these benefits, you need to pick the web directory that can best add real value to your brand. You can check out different directories such as Google My Business, Bing Places, Yelp, Foursquare, and more.
7. Monitor Google Analytics
For businesses that want to know what works and what does not, expert marketers recommend setting up and monitoring Google Analytics (GA). You also need to analyze the extensive data provided by GA so you can better understand your customers and, at the same time, reduce bounce rates and boost conversion rates. You can check Google Analytics’ Real-Time section to find out the number of your current site visitors. If you want to check the different traffic sources for your site, go to the Acquisition Overview section.
Work with Us to Boost Your Online Presence
Want an easier way to get on top of the game? Shoot us a message and talk to our team of seasoned digital marketing consultants, strategists, and creatives. We can develop a powerful strategy to suit your brand’s needs and set up an online presence that will lead you to your most profitable year yet.