A successful web presence that attracts your ideal client and makes a great first impression is now much more complex. It incorporates not only your website and blog, but also your social media profiles, business directories and review sites.
It’s no longer enough to just have a website. Your website is just one component of a complex network of information about your business that must that project your brand and expertise to those in search of a product or solution.
Developing a solid web presence as part of your online marketing is an opportunity you can’t ignore. A well thought-out plan can help you gain visibility, develop an expert reputation and create a large digital footprint that attracts attention of your ideal prospects.
There are many steps and tactics to make your web presence effective that will be different depending on your business model. But regardless of your tactics, there are six overarching elements that are required for successfully creating a powerful web presence.
1. Solid Strategy
Developing a web presence strategy is not a difficult exercise as it should be integrated into your overall marketing strategy. If you have your inbound marketing strategy defined, include the following additional information:
- Determine your goals. Are you looking to increase visibility, obtain an expert reputation or drive inbound leads? Knowing what you are trying to achieve heads you towards the right activities and eliminates wasting time on exercises that won’t get you where you want to go.
- Research your business citations. Citations are all the places that your business listing can be found. Determine which ones are worth the time to claim and update. Do a search for your business name and catalog the various directories where it is listed. Compiling this list helps you understand the overall effort it will take to pull it all together and help you plan your time and resources.
2. Coherent and Consistent Brand
Is every place I find a reference to your company consistent in what it says and how it looks?
Think about how many businesses that have a similar name to yours. When someone searches for your business and finds you, will they immediately know it is you? Doesn’t matter whether they find you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Business Profile, Better Business Bureau, Yelp or any other directory, it should all look the same.
To establish a recognizable expert brand, be consistent everywhere you have a listing. This includes using the same design elements such as color, images and logos. When a visitor finds your business, make sure there is no doubt that they have found the right business.
3. Continuous Participation
You can’t just set it and forget it. Be present regularly to respond to questions, participate in conversations and acknowledge those who mention you on social sites. You also need to keep content flowing regularly. Update your blog, offer new content to your visitors and share content from others you find interesting.
On the local search front, it is also not enough to just let your business listings lay dormant. Seek them out and claim them, ensuring your company name, address, phone numbers and all other relevant information is accurate and consistent.
4. Relevant Content
Creating the right content for your audience is difficult. Create a content strategy that defines what you are going to write that your audience wants. Develop a content marketing strategy to define how you will promote that great content to gain visibility. The right content at the right time will help you be found when your audience is searching for a solution. Get their attention and help them out of a problem and you become a valuable resource they will keep going back to for advice.
5. Ongoing Optimization
You have an opportunity to optimize your web presence, including website, social profiles and business listings using your top keyword phrases. Once again, you can’t just set it and forget it because search engines change how they index web pages frequently. Produce new content and incorporate basic SEO components to stay visible and highly ranked in the search engine results.
6. Religious Review
Periodically review your web presence to be sure all listings are up to date. If something changes, update it across all properties. If you get a review on one of the review sites, be aware of it. You never want to be surprised by a good or bad review. Keep a spreadsheet of all the sites where you have claimed your listing so you can keep them updated when necessary.
How does your business look to searchers?
Creating a successful web presence takes a commitment in time, effort and persistence, but the payoff is huge. If you want to be visible in the search engine results, it is important that all of your web properties work together to project the consistent image and professional reputation you want. Make this the year that you commit to your online web presence and make it the best that it can be.