Unless your feet are solidly planted in 1993, you probably already know how important your business’s net presence is. Even if the product or service that you offer is strictly in person and never sold online, your target market is going to look online when they are looking for you. Actually, somewhere in the arena of 94% of time customers start with the interwebs when they are going to make a purchase. Even if they aren’t going to buy the product online, they’re researching businesses who offer the product or service that they need. They are looking for online local listings, phone numbers, and prices. They might even be trying to reach you through a call to action on your website. If you don’t have a strong net presence, these potential customers are going to reach your competitors.
Building and strengthening your net presence is low hanging fruit in your marketing plan. So how does one develop a net presence? You’ve come to the right place. We have a quick and dirty guide for developing your net presence, even if you aren’t a marketing pro.
Three Tips for Building Your Net Presence
- Create a Road Map for Reaching Your Online Marketing Goals
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your online presence (side note: if your marketing company you’re working with makes any promises about overnight success, you should run, not walk, away. It’s a sham). It will take time to gain brand recognition, but just like the tortoise’s strategy in the child’s classic, Tortoise and the Hare, slow and steady wins the race. Start by making a list of three or four long term goals you have for your online presence. A few good ones include gain X number of followers on your social media platforms, to build your email marketing list to a certain number, maybe to reach the first page of search results (which we’ll get to in a moment), or to increase your conversion rate to X.
Once your have the framework of your road map, create a list of actionable steps you can take under each goal to work towards it. For example, if you want to gain follows on social media, maybe one sub-goal will be to post at least one piece of quality content per day and to interact with other posts for an hour each day. Putting this plan on paper will give you a strategy, and help you determine the success of your marketing efforts.
- Create a Good Website
This might be the most obvious point on the list, but you’d be surprised how often it is overlooked. Who cares if you can get one million new visits to your website, if they all just take a look at it and say, “hmm… nah” and move along to your competitor.
Once again just like Rome, all roads lead to your website. Your online ad campaign, your SEO efforts, your social media are all going to point to your website. That’s where the magic happens. You don’t need it to be all-encompassing for it to be effective. At a minimum, you want a website that:
- Is fast. If your website takes more then a few seconds to load, more than 75% of your visitors will jump ship.
- Is mobile-friendly. Your visitors are more likely to coming to you from their phones than a desktop. On top of that, Google uses mobile-friendliness to rank pages.
- Has a call-to-action above the fold. Your call-to-action is your bread and butter. Make sure it is the most obvious part of every page.
- Is simple. Visitors don’t want to feel like they’re on a scavenger hunt when they are looking for information.
If you don’t feel equipped to build a good website on your own, hiring a professional web development company is a good idea.
- Pay Attention to SEO
Almost all of your traffic is going to come from search engines. When a future customer searches for your product, 80% of the time they’re going to ignore any paid advertisements and look at the organic links. Of the “natural” links, 30% of visitors will go with the first link, 18% will go to the second, and each following will get less and less. Focus on SEO and you’ll get the visitors you want.
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