Originally created as a military project, in less than 30 years the internet has grown exponentially and nowadays billions of people can’t imagine their life without it.
For a business or a company that wants to be successful, it’s essential to get and maintain a solid digital presence.
Businesses that failed to adapt to this digital world, such as Kodak and Blockbuster, have faded away and in their place giants such as Netflix took over.
So, if you are a business owner, you should learn a lesson from their mistake.
There are many ways this can be accomplished.
This post will highlight all of the key aspects of a successful online presence for your biz.
Digital Presence Definition
Digital presence is a very broad term. Some might think it is just another term for SEO (search engine optimization). Others suppose it is a website and its appearance. Some experts associate it with social media profiles of a company.
So what is digital presence, in general? To put it simply, this term means an overall appearance of a company on the Internet. This concept includes social media, website, SEO, design, UX and UI, analytics, conversions, etc.
Pro tip: if you are going to set up a flawless reputation and Internet presence, learn that the Internet remembers everything. And it is not likely to forgive mistakes.
Here are the main bricks of digital presence of every modern company:
- website and a way you build it;
- profiles on every social media;
- physical location of your business;
- reviews and customer opinions;
- relationship with other companies and customers.
Digital presence of a company includes every action and aspect of its appearance on the Internet. It affects many things as well. It has been proven that it’s more important to build a name on the Internet than creating a powerful network.
A little example: recall a company called Netflix. Perfect management, luck, and a timely occupied niche allowed it to become more popular than famous Hollywood giants (WB or Disney). Only now they manage to set up their own Internet channels instead of concentrating on TV.
Experts assume they will not reach the heights Netflix has managed to occupy years ago. Now Netflix promotes own movies and shows.
The next example is even more instructive. Having less goods and less production powers, Apple Inc. has overcome Samsung as a competitor. They achieved success thanks to quality and aggressive marketing strategies. Plus, they set a better Internet presence and a vivid public relationship.
A conclusion comes to your mind naturally: if to build a great digital presence, it will ensure success of your company on the Internet. It means you’ll probably win the whole market.
According to Internetworldstats.com, the number of Internet users reached 4,208,571,287 in June 2018.
That’s the HUGE piece of the pie that you don’t want to miss, right?
4 Elements of a Successful Business Web Presence
Each of the following aspects deserves a separate article. Though digital presence implies various features, a website, a blog, a newsletter and social media accounts are the main ones. Thorough management of these features means a half of work done.
Have you ever thought why there are so many successful website development companies on the Internet? The answer is simple: this service is popular.
Site building has become a separate way of art. It has own leaders, experts, rules, and hidden pitfalls.
As a rule, an average corporation has got at least 10 employees that are in charge of managing the site only. How does a site relate to your digital presence? If it’s attractive, interesting, beautiful and simple, people will love it. And the number of visitors will increase.
That’s how you can have a successful website:
- Make sure it has a memorable name related to your business. Read more about it in the next chapter.
- No matter if is it a complex web portal, a single page or a small online shop, it should have a clear structure and navigation. In a perfect world, a visitor should make only three clicks on a site to reach any possible page or piece of information.
- Trust to a website is a very important aspect for SEO and digital presence. Do not risk with shady hosting. Obviously, you’ll need to have your About page. There you need to tell a visitor about your company. Include the Contacts page with the information about your physical location and contacts.
- No surprise a visitor will dislike your site if its load speed is low, it’s navigation is complicated, and it shows much advertisement. Consider it the main store of your shop. Keep it clean, spectacular, and entertaining.
In general, there are lots of recommendations concerning websites and SEO. Though online presence and SEO are slightly different concepts, they do not exclude each other.
Having an informative, useful and entertaining blog is vital for every company. This is your main way of interaction with your audience.
Some experts consider it to be more important than a social media account.
According to HubSpot, businesses that publish over 16 blog posts per month are sure to get 3.5 times more traffic than those that don’t.
Think about it. A popular blog article attracts people directly to your site. A popular post on Facebook attracts people to Facebook first.
Many of them will not leave it to visit your site.
At the moment we face the second rebirth of blogging.
Actually, it has never died, it just changed from text to video.
Try to apply all means of blogging available for you. In a perfect situation, you should have a text blog, a video channel (on YouTube or Vimeo) and a set of podcasts.
How a blog can affect your web presence?
As it has been already mentioned, the trust of your customers and visitors is important.
A blog can increase it dramatically. An interesting article will be shared, attracting more visitors and potential customers.
In a video, you can explain how to use your products, how your company works, etc.
Pro tip: Being “alive” will increase your popularity. Let people associate your company with their lives. Talk to them directly, show that your team is full of real people as well.
A blog does not imply sending the article to a visitor directly. This thing is called online mailing, or a newsletter. The art of a successful notification is an important part of digital presence management.
It has own rules and peculiarities. The first one to remember is diversification of content between mailing and blog.
Filling of a notification and a blog article differs like the goals these two aspects achieve.
- works well for already attracted visitors;
- is aimed to keep them with the company;
- is smaller and more direct than a blog post.
You can inform your visitors about changes happening to a site, company or something else important for them.
Send personal congratulations when it is holiday time.
The newsletter is the main way to inform your clients about new bonuses, discounts, loyalty programs, etc.
Requirements for a newsletter are stricter than for a blog. Once a client marks an email from you as spam, you lose.
An era of social media continues.
Every two months we hear about a new one. Social media gain more and more members.
According to Statista, in 2019, it’s estimated the number of social network users will reach 2.77 billion around the world.
Having just one account somewhere is strange. If you realize the importance of online presence, you will create a business page for your company.
Social media can be divided into two big groups: popular and highly specialized. Try to be present in both categories.
Your choice will depend on two factors: your potential clients and your size. If you occupy a B2B sphere, your choice should be LinkedIn.
Do you own an outlet with fashionable clothes? Your clients will be glad to see you on Instagram.
Facebook is an ultimate social media and “a must” for every company.
How do social media affect your digital presence?
As a matter of fact, this is the only available mean of direct communication with big masses of your visitors and clients.
It’s a great way to “be alive”. A sincere and frank dialog filled with jokes and questions is the best way to get trust and love.
Plus, having a social media account is a perfect way to analyze the market and attract potential clients.
How to Measure Online Presence?
Instruments and tools for proper monitoring of your online activities are important as well.
They are aimed to show you how many people like you, how fast and effectively your information is being spread, etc.
Numbers of likes, shares, and comments are so important that sometimes people pay even for them. Obviously, it’s not the best way to follow.
It’s much better to invest in creating high-quality that will go viral.
How to keep an eye on everything that happens on your site?
Just a few scripts and a subscription for a needed tool will show you any information you want. That’s where Google Analytics steps in.
This ultimate instrument gives you an opportunity to see how many people visit your site. What is the most interesting information for them. How much time they spend on your site. What actions they perform there.
If you are an active blogger, take a look at Google Blog Search or Whostalkin.
With these tools you can easily track your popularity within the blogosphere. Do you need to track your close competitors? Then Google Alerts is at your disposal. You can check how they improve by their keywords.
All in all, the instruments for measuring your digital presence are numerous.
Some of them are simple, some are not.
Anyway, they are vital for building successful marketing strategies and attracting new clients.
How to Build an Online Presence?
Now you know about the ‘four whales’ of online presence, what it is how to measure it.
What about improvements?
What are the most powerful ways to get higher conversion rates? Let’s take a brief look at some valuable aspects:
- Content. Content is the heart of every site. Thus, it affects your popularity in a great way. It’s not a good idea just to describe your products and services. For a company, it is vital to highlight how these products and services can be useful to clients. Always try to connect your content with your mean of making money. Content must be diversified and help your visitors solve their problems. Shoot some beautiful and prominent videos (it’s easier than you think) and place them on a site. It’s good when your brand is mentioned everywhere. On clients’ phones, in their headphones, in their emails, etc. Do we have to mention that you should create unique content? Copypasting is not a way for a successful brand.
- Social media. Make them work for you. It looks odd when a site of a company and its Facebook account do not correlate. Leave useful links, connect your blog, leave ads there. In other words, make the members visit your site by all means. Experts say that creating your own challenge and hashtag is a cool way to boost online presence. Do not forget that people can follow you there without even visiting your site and making purchases. So, making something special for social media members is a good decision. Start from showing some unique content and finish with separate discounts and bonuses. Consider one more thing. There are a lot of people who have lots of subscribers. They are called influencers. Cooperation with them can be a great way to boost your popularity.
Choosing a proper domain name is the first step on the road to great online presence and popularity.
A good, memorable name of a site is a cheap advertisement.
At the same time, something overcomplicated will make people forget it faster.
Do not forget, that a domain name is the only connection of the offline world with your site.
The domains (.org, .com, .info) are important as well.
Having a trustable one will ensure you a lot of external links on various sites. While something shady can prevent Google from showing your site.
Hosting is your way to success in SEO and online presence.
First of all, trustable paid hosting simply works better than a free one. If you do not want to suffer from glitches and crashes, pay some money.
Plus, strange, cheap or freeware hosting is usually dangerous. You can be attacked by hackers who are likely to steal your databases.
As a rule, freeware hosting has capacity and speed limits.
Logo and Corporate Branding
Do you know that people will remember a picture better than a word?
That is why you need a good logo.
Think about it: a good logo goes far beyond a number of potential and actual clients.
Example: probably, everybody knows that a big yellow letter “M” means McDonald’s.
And a brand crocodile is LaCoste.
McDonald’s uses the phrase “I’m loving it”, which is absolutely wrong from a grammatical point of view. However, people love it more and more.
Playing with different mechanisms of human’s memory will boost your online presence. You need to create something entertaining, memorable, and cool.
Let’s make it simple: beauty attracts people. And it always will. Sophisticated photos, cool videos, and images connected with your company and brand are a way to improve online presence.
Connect them with already mentioned simplicity and availability of a site, and you’ll get an easy way to attract people.
A way you build your site is important as well. A simple choice of a content management system can affect your performance.
Be sure to supply your web resource with various plugins that will make it easier for users.
Your site should always be online.
In case you have to fix a page, isolate it from the other site.
Plus, a thorough development strategy will help you to test the content.
Nothing scares away a visitor faster than a virus, malware or annoying advertisement.
If you care about your reputation and trust level, having various tools for security and protection is a must.
A single failure here leads to unpredictable consequences. From a simple loss of clients to numerous suits brought against you.
Do you remember how many problems did Mark Zuckerberg get because of personal data?
Client Management System
This is another cornerstone of your digital success.
With a lot of sites (Trustpilot or social media) every customer is very important for your business. Working with clients, pleasing them and resolving their problems is a big concern.
That’s why many companies hire the whole customer support departments.
First of all, make sure that you have your contacts visible on a site. Make communication easy: set up an online chat.
Also, be sure to answer all claims and questions in your social media accounts.
A company cannot be evaluated by mistakes. It is evaluated by its response to them.
What is SEO? To make it simple, it is a set of actions aimed at making a search engine love you. Description of proper SEO management deserves a separate library. We’ll mention the main aspects:
- Keywords: these are your main tool of interaction with customers. Make sure to connect your brand with direct and related keywords. Always watch the words your competitors use.
- Local search. Many companies neglect this vital aspect. So, this is a sphere where a beginner can move directly to the top. Be sure your company has a physical location, can be easily found and reached.
- Plagiarism. A good company must create its own content. Stealing something without proper citing and duplicating content is a bad idea. It will eradicate your chances to be found in Google, Bing or Yahoo. Search engines can even penalize your site for this!
That is how you can control, measure and affect your popularity. Lots of researches on how to build an online presence are conducted every day. This article has gathered the main tips and features of gaining popularity and keeping it high. As you see, it becomes an important aspect of every business.
Every year new means of communication and interaction with visitors and clients appear.
Online presence is difficult to build and easy to lose.
If you own a business and want it to be profitable, you must not stay apart this sphere.
Consider the tips you’ve read here and you’ll get on the top of the market.
Feel free to contact us for any kind of help you may need with it.