Did you know that 57% of a buying decision is made before the customer ever picks up the phone to talk you? That’s because your prospects are going online to research the companies they want to do business with. So it’s imperative that you have not just a website, but an online presence.
Think of your website as the hub of your online presence; with your social media pages, your YouTube channel, review sites, online advertising and online press releases, all linking back to your website.
In addition to the various pages that link back to your website, creating blog content is another way to increase your online presence and helps your prospects to find your site.
Here are the 5 Keys to Building Your Online Presence.
1. Build Your Content Platform. Content has evolved to be about listening to what’s important to your ideal clients, and then creating content that addresses the types of things people are searching for.
Blogging is also an excellent way to start building “know, like and trust”. Not only will it help with SEO, but if you amplify your content on social media, even more people will find you.
I spoke at a networking event this week about the Marketing Hourglass. One of the attendees was a dentist that loves working with children. She mentioned that physicians are now recommending that toddlers be seen by a dentist for the first time at age one instead of age three, as has been the norm. I suggested she write an article about this on her blog so that when parents in her area search for something like, “when should I take my child to the dentist for the first time”, her blog post will be found. Finding and reading articles that answer their questions goes a long way towards deepening their trust in your expertise.
2. Improve Organic SEO. Your content will be used to drive organic SEO. You want to make sure that when people are searching for answers to their problems, it’s YOU they find first. If you’re not optimizing your site for the search engines, prospects will never find you. To really simplify SEO, focus on the following 3 things: keyword optimization, content creation, and authority (getting authority sites to link back to you).
When it comes to optimization, think very specifically about what keyword phrases your prospects use when searching. And don’t be too broad in the title of your article – be specific. Here is an example of a not-so-good title and a good title, written by two consultants in the cleaning industry.
Not so good article title from consultant #1: How to find a good accountant
Good article title from consultant #2: How to find a good accountant for your commercial cleaning business
Notice the difference? The second title includes the target market of who this article has been written for. It is much more likely to be found by commercial cleaning business owners than the first article.
3. Don’t Give Up On Email Marketing. It’s not dead! It’s actually become even more important, more effective, and still produces the highest ROI of any other medium. And it gets you in front of your ideal clients. Just be sure to offer relevant, interesting content, and send a minimum of one email per month to your database to stay on their radar.
If you are sending email newsletters or blog post notifications to your list, be sure to amplify this content on your social media platforms too. I’ve searched for the topics of my own articles and the Google search results brought back Facebook “shares” of my newsletter content. That not only improves organic search results, it extends the reach of my content.
4. Social Media Marketing. Social media is here to stay and should be an integral part of your marketing plan. Social media allows you to expedite the networking process by connecting to people you meet locally, it helps you stay top of mind with customers, and it amplifies your content.
The key to social media is to get conversational with your audience. Post thought-provoking questions, graphics that grab people’s attention and starts a conversation, and short videos that people feel compelled to share. This type of marketing is not for generating immediate sales; it’s for building relationships and building trust, which will eventually lead to sales and solid client relationships.
5. Online Advertising such as Pay Per Click, is a great tool to use for testing and refining your marketing and advertising messages at a low cost. One way to make your online advertising pay off is to use it in conjunction with your educational content, offering compelling information for lead generation – rather than trying to sell your product or service on one click.
For example, an SEO company doesn’t use PPC to sell their SEO services. Instead they use it to offer a free SEO Analysis tool so prospects can get a report back on how their website is doing.
Their ad looks like this:
SEO Website Analyzer
Get a Free SEO Analysis
Before You Pay for SEO Services
Building an online presence can be a bit overwhelming with all the moving pieces. But it’s a very competitive marketplace these days, so start taking action NOW or you’ll find yourself being left behind those competitors that ARE taking action and building their online presence.