6-Steps to Position Your Online Presence & Dominate
Written by Isaac Ingalls
The world of advertising is not what it used to be. Prospects aren’t walking down Main Street or flipping through phone books in hopes of finding a business. Now, we are living in an age of information. An age where prospects are able to do their research online before picking up a phone and calling. This could mean that their first impression of you is whatever they find on the internet. In 2016, It’s 2016, according to Adweek, 81% of consumers conduct research online before they make a decision. Most businesses have started adapting to the online revolution, and you more than likely have too. However, internet trends change almost constantly, and if you haven’t done anything recently, then your online presence might need some revamping.
As the internet continues to change, and adapt – so that it can produce more relevant search results to prospects – it is necessary to refine different aspects of your online strategy. If not, you risk receding into an inconspicuousness state. Websites, listings, social media, etc. all have to be updated, or you may look like you’re out-of-touch with what’s going on. If you want to gain an advantage in the marketplace, you’ll have to utilize SEO, PPC, or have a social media presence so your prospects can more easily find you.
We have compiled a list of 6 things to consider when it comes to refining your online presence:
1. Reassess and Segment Your Target Market
Instead of making the changes that you want to make, take a moment to consider who your ideal prospect is and create a strategy around their common characteristics. Being able to understand their intentions will give you insight into where you should market, what you should be marketing and more. The more exact you can narrow down these characteristics, the more compelling your content will be to that prospect. If you are marketing to several types of people, then create personas for each one and manage your website accordingly. With targeting, you will be able to save money, and time when it comes to campaigns and SEO. As a broad example consider clothing stores. They sell clothes but have narrowed it down to men and women. Then they go further and market to boys and girls, men and women. Some stores go even further to certain types of demographics. But without narrowing it down, people would have a much harder time finding what they want to find.
2. Listen to and Engage with Your Audience
Once you’ve created your prospect’s persona, be sure to test it out and see how they react. The best channel for doing this may be interacting with past clients. If you create a survey or create emails you can gauge their interaction and see what works and what doesn’t. As you begin to integrate your new strategy with your existing online presence, it is important to test and watch the behaviors of those who are viewing your website. Knowing where your prospects are being half the battle. Once you are able to find them, that is where you will have the chance to engage with them. If you know what questions they’re trying to answer, provide them with that information. Track and monitor what they’re saying about your business or the market that you’re involved in order to continually update your content.
3. Optimize Your Landing Page for Conversions
The whole purpose of refining your online presence is to maximize conversion, creating customers from prospects who are visiting your website. The most opportune place to do this is a landing page. Every page should, in some sense, have the basic principles of a landing page. Are you trying to get your visitor to take a clear action after visiting each page? If you don’t tell them what that action is, sometimes they miss the whole point. Another huge principle to adopt is having clearly defined headlines. If a prospect views your website and becomes frustrated, they will move on to your competitor’s website. It is important to consider implementing the principles of a highly converting landing page.
4. Don’t Forget About Mobile
A large portion of small business websites are not mobile friendly. Which is definitely causing a negative effect on businesses, considering that half, if not more, of all web searches are mobile. Even though there is a countless number of blogs that attempt to break down the process of making a website mobile friendly, the truth is that it is a time-consuming and technical process that those without web experience might struggle with. If you are unable to make the changes yourself, it wouldn’t hurt to invest in a freelancer who is experienced with responsive design. Sure, it may cost, but having a design that is responsive has been known to increase conversion rates by up to 590%.
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5. Revitalize Your Social Media Accounts
Are you engaging with your customers? If you aren’t, you’re missing out on gaining great exposure and authority in your marketplace. If you’re able to provide quality content at a consistent rate, prospects will continue to engage with you. Don’t engage with prospects without an end goal in mind though. It is important to think of the intent behind a prospect interacting with you on social media. How can you help them get to a place where they’re ready to decide? If they are ready to make that decision, how are you positioning yourself so that they will decide to go with your business? This doesn’t mean that every post should be promotional, rather that it should be strategically placed with an end goal in mind.
6. Take Advantage of Google
Most people are using Google and if you aren’t showing, people are not finding you. One place that you definitely want to show up on is Google Maps. If you haven’t claimed your business on Google My Business, you will want to stop what you’re doing and claim it right now. Google offers many different features that are helping prospects find the businesses that they’re trying to find. Take advantage of Google’s 360-degree virtual tour, business view, and more. Claiming a listing is only the beginning. As you are refining your website, you will want to also take advantage of Google’s search engine algorithm by writing keyword-rich content. The more relevant you write your content to be, the more likely it’ll show up when someone is searching for that topic.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been running your business, taking advantage of these different aspects can help you refine your online approach and be able to maximize your value online. Gaining and retaining prospects is becoming more and more about understanding who they are, and providing them with relevant content.
Whether you’ve run a small business for 10 years or 10 months, these 6 steps can help you embrace a fresh approach to your online presence and maximize your ability to retain while gaining customers in this increasingly digital world.