Your online presence is important to build a brand for yourself and your business as it can help with spreading brand awareness, which ultimately leads to potential customers and leads.
But where do you start when building your online presence? For starters, it’s important to remember that building your identity online is an ongoing process and it isn’t something that will happen over night and definitely isn’t something that once you’ve established a presence, you can forget about it and move on to the next thing. Here are just some things you can do to help establish yourself (and your brand) online.
1. Blog Your Way to Influence
Maybe this isn’t the best option if you don’t know how to formulate your thoughts and tips into written word, but blogging can have huge benefits on building your authority online. Blogging can also establish you as a thought leader in your industry too if it makes sense for your brand. For example, if you have things you could be blogging about, start a blog on your website. This will help draw new visitors to your website and keep people coming back for more, not to mention that it also shows that your business (or you) have something valuable to offer and share.
If you aren’t confident that you can provide enough content to your own blog to make it valuable, think about guest blogging on other people’s websites that may have the same audience as you. For example, if you are a retailer selling products for children, maybe you’ll reach out to a mommy blogger who is looking for guest posts. This can be a great way to get your brand out there and reach your audience in a new way.
Tip: Remember, if you’re going to build a blog, you need to be consistent with posting. Build out a content/posting calendar and stick to it! You should at least be blogging once a week to start out.
2. Be a Social Butterfly
Social media is meant to be social. Surprise! If you have social media accounts for your business, make sure you build out a strategy and are consistently using these channels. Even if your audience is small to start, the only way to build it up is to be consistent. Also, don’t forget to follow people and join in on conversations in your space. For example, if you’re a restaurant located in Montreal, interact with foodies or food bloggers in the city through Twitter, this can help you gain exposure through other peoples networks.
Don’t forget to also use your personal social media channels. Many entrepreneurs seem to think that their business channels can also act as their personal accounts, but in reality, having your own personal account is valuable too. A business account shows your brands personality (if done the right way) and doesn’t allow much room for sharing your personality. Using your personal account can help establish you as an influencer in your industry and also put a face to your business.
3. Optimize for Search
SEO or search engine optimization doesn’t need to be that gibberish language that web developers talk that an average person would never be able to understand. In fact, there are things you could be doing right now to improve your SEO without having to hire an expert. For starters, publishing relevant content on your website (aka blogging regularly) is one thing that can help you become more authoritative to Google and make the search engines happy.
Another simple solution for those that don’t want to break their website (or the bank) is to see if there is a simple plug-in you can download with your content management system. These can allow you to easily plug in the data that will make you rank higher in Google overtime without having to mess with the backend (and scary side) of your website. For example, Wordpress offers several plug-ins but the most popular is Yoast that essentially almost does all the work for you.
Your online presence is critical in 2016. This is how your customers will not only find you but also build an impression of you and your business. Make sure you’re building one that you’re proud of!
About the Author
Lauren Marinigh is a Toronto-based online marketing and content development professional, who is completely addicted to traveling, puppies, and GIFs.