5 Steps to Optimize Your Online Presence
Updated: Apr 23
Regardless if your company is a small, brick-and-mortar local shop or an international e-commerce brand, your online presence will play a critical role in how the public interacts with and perceives your business.
What is online presence?
Online presence refers to all activity and content that an entity—a person or a business—has under their name on the internet. This includes your website, social media pages, local business listings, your email marketing, and so much more. Most of your customers exist on the internet...don’t miss out on them!
Why do you need to care about your online presence? And what do you need to do to get everything online into tip-top shape in order for your company to thrive?
Check out our 5 step quick guide on what it takes to build up and scale your business’ online presence.
Step 1: Having a game plan is key.
If you’re a new business trying to ramp up your digital efforts by randomly posting, emailing, or updating your website, success isn’t going to come easy. Before getting started on all of that, you need to determine what your business’ goals are.
Are you trying to acquire new customers?
Satisfy repeat customers?
Drive more website views?
Get the phone to ring more frequently?
No matter what your end goal(s) may be, being organized and adhering to a solid plan is the way to go.
Once you’ve determined what your goals are, it’s time to build out your website. A variety of website builder options are out there for beginners that offer templates, walkthroughs, setup tutorials, and even live agent assistance.
Many hosting platforms offer creative and unique templates/themes that can help you bring your online vision to life. Even if you’re new to website design/development, they’re both pretty easy to set up and maintain. We personally offer services here at J&S Digital to build out your site, so just reach out if you need some assistance!
Now that you’ve got your website set up, it’s time to launch your business listings on Bing, Yelp, and so forth to get as much exposure as possible.
Step 2: Social Media can be your best friend.
Make sure that your social media strategy is fully aligned with the goals and timelines you set for your business during the game planning stage in Step 1. Not every social media platform will make sense for every business, but most will be a great way to connect with potential and existing customers. Ultimately you’re starting your business to make money and that isn’t possible without a steady funnel of eager, ready-to-buy customers. Once you’ve set up your various social media profiles (Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Twitter, TikTok, etc.) you should focus on building a community around your business. Invite your current and prospective customers to follow you and engage with the content you post, which should be on a daily — if not multiple times per day — basis. The more relevant the content, the more engagement you’ll receive from your audience. Shares, likes, comments, and other organic means of promotion can be amazing ways to get the word out about your brand/company.
Step 3: Always deliver high-impact, consistent value to your customers
Every business has a specific customer audience that it typically needs to target in order to be successful. Creating content that’s relevant to your own customers is a must if you want to steadily grow your social media following. Posting irrelevant or low-quality content results in less engagement from those that have expressed interest in your company in the past. Quality over quantity here, every single time.
For example, a vegetarian restaurant likely wouldn’t be providing their customer base with value if they were regularly posting about smoked meats and barbecue in addition to their regular offerings. Instead, they should be focused on promoting healthy/active lifestyles, vegetables, and fruits to their audience. Delivering relevant posts to the right consumer at the right time is the key to acquiring new business.
Step 4: Don’t forget to post regularly!
Social media is a significant portion of what you do every day to maintain and grow your business, but it shouldn’t take up too much of your time or energy. We recommend establishing a social media calendar/posting schedule early in the process so that you’re organized and ready to deliver that high-value content ASAP. If you’re not prepared to post across your different channels, creating content on the fly can become overwhelming and ultimately your quality will decrease.
If you have the time to post at least once per day, great. If your schedule only permits you to post once per week, no problem. Some companies don’t benefit from posting on a daily basis while others do, so do whatever works best for your availability and your particular business. A general rule of thumb, however, is that being more active on social media will yield better results than being dormant, so try to stay on top of it!
Step 5: Monitor, Analyze, and Revise
Your website host will include analytics pages to inform you on how social media and website activity impacts your business. Business owners that regularly forget to check on their analytics may be missing out on new customers or repeat purchases by simply ignoring an obvious data trend. The numbers provided to you in these analytics/stat pages are able to tell you what’s working and what isn’t.
It’s important to note that for new businesses, you’re starting completely fresh and it’s very normal to see a slow ramp-up in your social and website engagement. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not reaching your goals right away. Continue to monitor the data on your Google Analytics Dashboard, analyze trends and revise your strategy on a regular basis. And, by adhering to these 5 steps, you can expect your online presence to continue to evolve over time.
We know that starting your online business can be daunting, but you’ve come to the right place for support. Check out our available digital marketing and online services here, or reach out to us on social media to get a conversation started. We can’t wait to work with you!