Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to change the way we live. Many are working, studying, and reconnecting with their loved ones from home. For small and medium businesses, it has caused an abrupt shift in priorities, with digital transformation making its way to the top spot. Part of digital transformation means increasing businesses’ online presence, which is essential to thriving in this new age.
But for newcomers to the digital world who haven’t learned the ropes, it’s something they might struggle with.
What Online Presence Is and Why It Matters
This can be defined by how visible your business or brand is when you search it online. Online presence not only makes your brand more visible but it attracts more customers, increases your brand’s reputation, and makes your products or services more visible when people search for certain keywords.
This might be intimidating to those new in the digital industry, but there are different ways to achieve this:
These are advertisements that use images and text to promote a product or service and are usually found on websites and blogs. The most commonly used display ads are banners, landing pages, and popups, and these divert the user’s attention to whatever is being advertised. This can be an effective way to bring potential customers to your website as users are 70% more likely to convert to your website when they are retargeted with display ads.
Search Engine Optimization and Marketing (SEO and SEM)
SEO and SEM are types of advertising that can help increase content visibility and promote your business through searches.
- SEO — Businesses can use different methods to get better rankings on search engine results such as link building, high-quality content, targeting keywords, meta descriptions, etc. This type of advertising focuses on more organic research for better search result rankings.
- SEM — Some business owners pay to get their ads out in the open. This type of advertising on the other hand relies on a pay-per-click or PPC agency where businesses running ads are charged each time a user clicks on their ad. This can be helpful for businesses trying to get specific information about their market.
56% of organic search engine visits are made on mobile devices. As more people use their phones and tablets to surf the internet, it’s important to consider optimizing your business website to make it more accessible for mobile device users. Optimizing your website will help users find what they’re looking for in just a few touches. Keep in mind that Google prefers responsive design, which is efficient, easier to manage, and more budget-friendly when it comes to building and maintenance.
At present, there are about 3.78 billion social media users around the world. Even social network spending has topped $40 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $49 billion this year.
There are two types of social media advertising: organic (which uses the word-of-mouth method) and paid. Organic social media advertising involves building a social community around your business and interacting with it by posting content and responding to customer comments. Paid social media on the other hand involves paying social media sites to display your ads using different content formats based on your chosen demographic.
However, paid advertisements are on the rise as users are starting to become more comfortable buying directly from ads they see on their social media feeds.
Native advertisements are another form of paid content that are made to blend in with organic content, making them hard to spot. You can usually see this at the bottom of a blog, on your newsfeed, as content recommendations, or on top of google search results. With native ads, click-through rates are generally higher and engagements are stronger but others might find these kinds of advertisements vague and misleading. If you choose to use native ads, make sure that you use them in a way to benefit customers and not just your business.
Also known as “influencer marketing”, this type of advertising has become more and more popular with the rise of social media influencers. This strategy involves “affiliates”, who generally have a large and loyal following, promoting a company’s product and earning a commission through each sale made. Through affiliate marketing, you gain access to a wider range of potential customers that you would not be able to achieve if you used a different strategy.
Whatever strategy you choose to utilize, building your online presence doesn’t just happen overnight. It requires time and effort that, with consistency, will pay off and get you more sales and better brand visibility.