Is your online presence lacking the cut through you need?
It is clearer than ever that if you don’t have a strong online presence in today’s world, then you are not going to reach your full potential.
There is statistical evidence that your very existence is under question if your brand or store is not on the top list of online search results.
Making sure that you are found in those online searches is crucial to your business viability and that your name comes up for the right searches.
Too many businesses and enterprises have either little to no online presence and, in some cases, may only rank for very specific searches that bear limited sales enquiries.
It is surprising how many enterprises spend large amounts of time and money on their brand development but fails to capitalise on that outlay in the online world.
Being found by search engines
There are many and varied approaches to making sure your online presence is as strong as possible.
The idea that as long as your website looks great and has all the bells and whistles on it, that it will mean you are inundated with hits and sales is way off the mark.
Even the flashiest and most eye-catching websites can be a waste of money and time if they are not properly structured, optimised and serve the purpose of the business.
One of many theories begins with the idea that you should make sure your website has high-quality information for anyone clicking on your site.
Whilst this is an important element, it is not the top priority.
What is the point of having devised and reworked all the information on your company and what you offer if nobody will find your site?
It is a stark and rude awakening that if your site does not rank on the first page of search engine results, it is highly unlikely that you will receive any significant number of enquiries.
Some say that if you don’t rank in the top 5 or 6 results of that all-important Page One, then you may as well not exist at all.
The reliance on search engine results is a ruthless and sometimes demoralising exercise.
There is hope for a smaller enterprise to rank well if search engine marketing is done cleverly and consistently.
Making the most of your unique aspects
Imagine that you are a business that makes a new product but has limited resources and a limited budget.
You will need to ask yourself:
- What is my point of difference?
- What do I want to be identified as?
- How can I stand out from competitors?
- Who is my specific target market?
- How can I market myself for that target market?
Let’s take the example that you offer a special soft drink called ‘Orgo Soft’ that is a local, organic and artificial free product.
You could try to market yourself online as ‘special’ because of these elements.
An online search for ‘special soft drink’ will bring up soft drinks that are on special/part of a special offer and that will not be your product.
You may think that your point of difference is that you are local.
Then the questions come flying – Are there other local soft drinks and how many? What does ‘local’ mean? (Is it locally made or sold or both?) Does the target market care enough to choose your local soft drink over any others on offer?
Maybe you choose to focus on your organic qualities and highlight the point of difference as being a healthier alternative to the leading brands.
You won’t be alone in this approach, but you can make the most of being organic because you are targeting those who eat organic food which is a growing market.
This market is prepared to pay a little more than most because of the healthier lifestyle. The trouble is that you have still a wide-ranging field of competitors.
Then you focus on the fact that your Orgo Soft drinks have no sugar and only use organic sugar alcohol made from non-GMO corn.
Organic, sugar-free soft drinks are already working better for you.
Making more of what you offer for a better online presence
It can be interesting to see just how different searches can bring markedly different results.
If you market yourself as simply ‘organic soft drink’ – you will be one of nearly 100 million search results.
Change that term to ‘organic sugar-free soft drink’ and you are down in a pool of 75 million.
Make that term as ‘organic sugar-free soft drink Australian made’ and suddenly you are in a catch of only 11 million results, and it shrinks to around 2 million if it is more specific such as Melbourne made.
Whilst that may still seem like a huge group to play in, you are not going to waste your time competing with world-famous brands and you can make other in-roads into getting better known.
This is where it pays to enlist the help of an experienced digital marketing team who can offer expert guidance and special skills like on site IT support services.
They will know how best to help search engines find your website and draw up a keyword strategy that ensures your website is search-friendly and you are found for the reasons you want.
This can include local SEO where those who search for your product from your local area are pointed straight to you as the top choice. This is a powerful tool for directing actual foot traffic to your physical store.
Mistakes to avoid in building your online presence
Your online presence needs to be more than flashy images and endless website pages.
Remember that connecting to your target market and engaging them is the key to your success. There is no point in having thousands of clicks on your site if none of them is ever going to be actual customers. If anything, you could tarnish your brand by being irrelevant.
A smaller catch that includes actual buyers is always going to be more lucrative than drawing in numbers from a larger pool of inappropriate search numbers.
Being found online is the first hurdle. You then need to be seen as the brand that is exactly what someone searching online is looking for. This brings a stronger profile and grows your standing as the right place to go for what you offer.
Your online presence should be a gift that captures your target market and gives you real results on which to build your business.