Building Your Brand Online: 6 Things You Need to Do Now to Gain Traction in a Competitive Local Market
Over the past 10-15 years, building a strong online presence has evolved from being a nice-to-have to a must-have if you desire to grow your business and stay relevant in a highly competitive industry. As consumer habits and the digital landscape have shifted, how consumers find (and choose) businesses to work with has shifted too. These shifts in consumer behavior have made it necessary for companies to prioritize their online presence and invest in their digital assets as if it’s a physical location.
Your Online Presence Should Be an Asset, Not a Liability
We must all start embracing our web presence as an asset to help create a competitive advantage for our business. A strong web presence means you have a great website that ranks prominently on Google, attracts a high volume of visitors, and delivers value to those visitors. It also means you’ve established an impressive online reputation through Google Reviews.
The strong online presence described improves the likelihood a potential customer finds and chooses to work with you. By checking the boxes on all of these foundational aspects of a web presence, you’ll be building a high-value asset that creates value for your company in the years to come.
On the contrary, years of neglecting to invest in your web presence will place you at a deficit compared to your competitors. A poor online foundation will result in a liability associated with 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.
Where to Start and Why
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 should be visiting 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. Think about 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).
Create Great Content
When it comes to developing a strong web presence, content is king. Great website content will help clearly define your value proposition, drive more website engagement, and improve time spent on your website by visitors. Let's not forget the power of content in helping you rank on Google. Google's algorithm places a premium on valuable website content, and they reward it with better rankings on search engines. Great content will help improve website visit volume, visitor engagement, and ultimately new sales opportunities.
Optimize Your Website
A critical aspect of improving your online presence is optimizing your website for search engines. Through consistent, ongoing SEO services, you should expect your website to gain more visibility, improve your rankings, and gain organic web traffic from search engines. So, how important are search engines for your business? Considering nearly 93% of all web traffic comes through search engines, it's fair to say that Google is an important place for your company's website to be featured. 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.
Develop 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 up to date. Blogs can also;
- Position your company as a thought leader. Highly valuable content that showcases your expertise will help you position your company as a thought leader in the space.
- Blogs can help nurture potential clients. Leverage all of your blog content by using it in your email campaigns, posting it in social media campaigns, and consider using it in display remarketing ad campaigns.
Build Online Reviews
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 paint your company in a positive light through 3rd party credibility. So how exactly do Google reviews help your business?
- Reviews can impact your ranking on Google. Your Google My Business (GMB) listing has an impact on 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!
Paid Digital Advertising
If you're in a competitive industry or market you know the path to ranking in the top three organic spots is 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 consumer journey by building a strong online foundation.