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How easy is it to find your online presence? 

In today’s competitive market, you must show up in the search engines if you want people to find you. And, if you don’t have a great site that makes it easy for your customers to navigate, you may be like that tree in the forest… the one no one heard fall because no one was there.

Before we dive into online presence, it’s important to note that having a sound strategy is the basis of your marketing foundation, so your strategy should be in place before you start executing any part of your online presence plan.

The ABCs of an Online Presence

Creating a web presence that really shows off your business is not difficult…but it does take some time. While overall, big results may take anywhere from six months to several years, the good news is you can start taking small steps today!

A truly great website is both attractive and easy to navigate. Think of it as a central hub for the entirety of an online presence. If you don’t have a website or need to improve the one you have, make that your first project before you attempt to work on the other facets of your online presence. Don’t put this off! In fact, research shows that 75 percent of web users don’t consider a business credible unless they have a strong website.

While there are a lot of things you can do yourself, such as making sure your social profiles are complete (and link back to your website), engaging regularly on social platforms, and including your website, social sites and links to work samples within your email signature, it’s a good idea to hire a professional to create your website. Using a professional to build a website is the digital equivalent of hiring a construction expert to build your new storefront. It just makes sense.

Once your marketing strategy and your website are in place, you can start working on some quick and low-cost execution that should pay off down the road.

Create an Email Program & Build Your List

Email is one of the best ways to improve your online presence. It’s an incredible tool that puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to client communication, and Hubspot lists it as the number one program to focus on among a long list of ways to improve your online presence.

With email, you’re in control of connecting with your audience and you don’t have to worry about other organization’s algorithms (Google, Instagram and Facebook, we’re looking at you). And better yet, people on your list voluntarily signed up to be there…so you know they want to hear from you!  So, use that information wisely.

Before you even create your first email, start curating an email list. This is the secret to developing a  thriving, ever-growing list of subscribers who can become leads, advocates and customers.

There are lots of ways to start building that list right now. You can:

  1. Create an email sign-up invitation that pops up when people visit your website.
  2. Create content that requires people to sign up with their name and email. You can then post this to your social media accounts or create a Facebook or Google search ad to promote the content.
  3. Use social media to simply let people know about your email program and to outline the  benefits they’ll receive for signing up.

Keep in mind that an email marketing program should complement your overall marketing strategy. You can create a series of promotions to drive sales, raise your brand awareness, or generate leads, and there are a number of free and easy-to-use email programs to help you do this. Some good ones to look into are HubSpot Free Email Marketing Tool, Campaign Monitor or Mailchimp. 

Many of these email programs have attractive templates to help you create a look and feel that represents your business and your brand. From there, all you need to do is start creating your emails and a schedule for when you plan to send them out.

Pro-tip: Don’t just send out one or two emails and then leave your email strategy to collect dust. As consumers, we’re exposed to countless amounts of content on a daily basis and often move on quickly if they either forget why they signed up in the first place, or  don’t find your content useful to them. Remember, if list members unsubscribe, you can’t send them another email unless they choose to sign up again… so retention is key! 

Finally, if you want to learn more about how to create a great email program, check out this free Beginners Guide to Email Marketing.

Perform an SEO Audit

Understanding SEO (search engine optimization) is an important key to making sure your website is found by those who are searching for the products and services your business offers.

So, set aside a few minutes today to run a quick audit with the free version of Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest. After a few minutes, you’ll get a list of any potential problems found on your site along with a ranking which outlines the difficulty of fixing them and the impact to your SEO.

Even if you find SEO confusing or mysterious, the suggestions from Ubersuggest will highlight the existing barriers preventing your website from being picked up by search engines. 

If you want to learn more about SEO, the Moz Beginners Guide to SEO is free and is full of useful information and tips about how to make your site more visible in the search engines.

Boost Your Local Search Performance

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you may be surprised how many businesses fail to include the basic information which could not only drive more traffic to their website… but could even bring more people through the front door. Review your website and make sure these the following are included in a prominent position:

  • Company name and location (city, state)
  • A brief description of your products or services
  • Contact information, including phone number, email address, street address 
  • Operating hours

Once you have checked your website, your next job is to ensure you have a Google My Business (GMB) profile. If you don’t, set one up immediately. And even if you do have one, take some time to review if all the information is correct. 

In terms of getting found on Google as a local business, GMB could be one of the most important tools you have. All of the basic information about your company in GMB shows up in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), which is what you see when you type a query into Google. 

Once you have created your GMB account, ask past and current customers to leave a positive review for you. No matter what type of review you are getting, it’s important to respond to each and every one so Google knows you care about your customers.

Since you’ll probably have a little more time today to work on local SEO, check out your free Moz Local Listing Score to find out where your business is—and is not—listed for potential customers to find.

At Tomato Fish, we believe that having a great online presence is one of the four pillars of a strong marketing foundation. But before you can begin to work on any of those pillars, you need to gauge the strength of your current marketing foundation.

Curious about where your marketing stands? The first thing you can do is to take our quick and free quiz which will instantly score your strength within each of the four marketing pillars. 

If you’d like to know a little more, we’re happy to schedule a free call with you to get you started on your journey with all the right tools.

Tomato Fish Is An Indianapolis Consulting Company Focused On Helping Small And Midsize Businesses Make Good Strategic Planning Decisions. If You Need Help Building A Solid Marketing Foundation For Your Business, Schedule A Free 30 Min Consultation.