Building Your Brand Online: 6 Things You Need to Do Now to Gain Traction in a Competitive Local Market
Consumer habits and the digital landscape have shifted over the last decade. How consumers find (and choose) businesses to work with has changed too. These shifts in consumer behavior have made it necessary for companies to prioritize their online presence and invest in their digital assets if they want to grow their business and stay relevant in a highly competitive industry.
Online success starts with a solid digital foundation.
A solid digital foundation means your digital efforts (website, SEO, content marketing, online reputation, and paid campaigns ) align and work together to increase visibility, drive traffic, and convert engaged visitors into leads. The result is a strong web presence that gives businesses a competitive advantage, generates more revenue, and fuels business growth.
A strong web presence starts with a professionally designed, fully optimized website. It includes original, relevant content that engages visitors and converts them to leads. It includes a consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) across multiple high-value industry directories and a complete Google Business Profile with several positive Google Reviews. And it's supported by SEO, content marketing, and sometimes PPC.
In contrast, an outdated website and an incomplete Google business profile with zero or negative reviews place your business at an extreme disadvantage online. A poor online foundation will result in poor rankings, a website that minimizes value for visitors, and a reputation that fails to compel potential customers to buy from you.
Success starts by focusing on your digital foundation.
6 Digital Foundation Tactics That Help You Gain Traction in a Competitive Market
1. Build an Intuitive, Engaging Website Experience
A great place to start is with the development of a great website. As a leading digital marketing agency, we can’t underestimate a website’s value. Thousands of potential customers could visit your website each month. What should their first impressions be, and what actions do you want them to take when visiting? Here are a few elements to consider when building a new website:
It must be lightning-fast. Consumers expect to visit a website that loads quickly on any device, and Google ultimately rewards it. Ensure your web development company is optimizing your website for speed.
It should have strong call-to-actions (CTAs). Many websites share the company’s services but don’t clarify what they desire the visitor to do. Consider what action(s) you’d like your visitors to take and build a CTA button and link strategy around it.
Your website should have great content. Great content can come in many types but typically include website page content, blogs, articles, white papers, and case studies (success stories).
2. Create Content That Answers Questions People Ask Search Engines
When it comes to developing a solid web presence, content is king. Great website content will help clearly define your value proposition, drive more website engagement, and improve the time spent on your website by answering questions people are searching for. Engaging content helps you rank on Google. Google's algorithm places a premium on valuable website content, rewarding it with better rankings on SERPs. Great content will help improve website visit volume, visitor engagement, and, ultimately, new sales opportunities.
3. Optimize Your Website for Local Search
Optimizing your website for search engines is a critical aspect of improving your online presence. You should expect your website to gain more visibility, improve rankings, and gain organic web traffic from search engines through consistent, ongoing SEO services. So, how important are search engines for your business? Considering nearly half (46%) of all Google searches are looking for local information, it's fair to say that optimizing your business for local searches is critical to reaching your best customers. SEO tactics may include the following:
- Technical SEO - This is the most complex specialty and includes on-site (on your website) and off-site optimizations related to page structure, titles, tags, schema, page speed, server optimizations, and more. Technical SEO helps search engines crawl and index your website more effectively.
- Local SEO - This contains optimizing your website and local listings to improve the likelihood of ranking on Google for services you provide to a local community.
- Off-Site SEO - This may contain business listing optimization, citation updates, backlinks, and more. Many signals take place off your website that can help you gain trust and credibility in Google’s eyes….leading to better rankings.
- Content Optimization - By improving the type and structure of the content on your website, you'll improve the likelihood of better Google rankings.
4. Develop Interesting and Informative Blog Posts
Search engines love to see that you're publishing fresh content on your website. Consistently creating and publishing blog posts will provide fresh content that search engines desire. But this isn't the only purpose for keeping your blog updated. Blogs can also;
- Position your company as a thought leader. Highly valuable content showcasing your expertise will help you position your company as a thought leader.
- Blogs can help nurture potential clients. Leverage your blog content by using it in your email campaigns, posting it in social media campaigns, and using it in display remarketing ad campaigns.
5. Always Ask Customers to Leave a Google Review
Online reviews are an important aspect of building a strong online foundation. A high volume of positive reviews can help create a competitive advantage for your business. With most consumers conducting online reviews before making a purchase, you must make it a priority to manage your Google reviews. How exactly do Google reviews help your business?
- Reviews can impact your ranking on Google. Your Google My Business (GMB) listing impacts your Google rankings. The number, quality, and cadence of Google Reviews on your GMB can influence how often and in what position Google shows your business.
- Positive reviews can improve your closed business rate. Once you’ve attracted a potential new customer, most potential customers will turn to Google and begin conducting their own research. Typically, this includes conducting research on your company and comparing it to your competitors. Stack the deck by having 5X the positive reviews of your closest competitor and see the rate of winning business improve!
6. Invest in Paid Digital Advertising
If you're in a competitive industry or market, you know that ranking in the top three organic spots takes time, patience, and in-depth working knowledge of SEO. But there is one shortcut to the top. Paid Search, aka Search Engine Marketing, aka PPC.
With the right paid search strategy (and budget), any business, big or small, new or established, brick and mortar or home-based, can reach the top of search results.
Grow Faster with an Improved Online Presence
We've worked with thousands of companies over the past ten years, and we've seen firsthand how companies that make their online presence a priority GROW FASTER! Consumer habits have changed, and along with it, their expectations. Ensure your business meets the needs of today's customers by building a strong online foundation.