Whether your business is about providing products or services, whether you deliver it to end users or other businesses, in today’s world it has become essential to have an online presence for any business. And, if you want to double your benefits by expanding your offline business online then just having the presence isn’t going to work for you, you need to become better than your competitors online.
Though internet provides a whole new world of opportunities the competition is inevitable. However, if you build a solid online presence by completing all the essential steps then even with the competition, you’ll be able to stand out of the crowd and expand your business online.
Today, I am providing top 10 key points which you should consider to build a solid online presence. Whether you are a newcomer or stable online business, following these points will only help you to boost your business online.
However, before you start with the factors to create a strong web presence of your business, I recommend you to first check yourself against important entrepreneurship factors provided by Feras Antoon because when you are in command to bring online presence for your company, your attitude, perspective and level of thinking will give direction to your company’s web presence.
Now, if you’ve read the article, we are good to go. Let’s see what are the major factors responsible for building a strong online presence of a company.
The website is the stepping stone towards building your company’s online presence. Having a website is a MUST! To create a website manually, you need to:
- Register a domain name: Keep it relevant to your brand’s name. And make sure to register it on a gTLD domain extension such as .COM, .ORG and .NET if your company deals internationally. If it’s scope is limited to a state or country, you can use country-specific domain extensions such as .IN, .CO.UK. .CN, etc. You can use sites like Godaddy.com, Namecheap.com, etc.
- Buy web hosting: Web hosting provides space & bandwidth to put content (data) on the website and serve it to visitors (users) coming through the Internet. In the beginning, you can buy cheap shared web hosting from any popular web hosting company such as Hostgator, Bluehost, Bigrock, etc.
- Develop a website: You can use website development tools like Blogger.com, WordPress, Magento, Drupal, Wix.com, etc. to provide a framework for creating a fully working website with required content in the desired manner.
If doing all of the above things are too complicated for you then the best way is to contact any web agency, share your website’s idea with its developers and they will handle all of the above things while maintaining the site and providing complimentary after sale & support services.
2. Business Email
You might be OK with using Gmail as your primary email address to contact with people but when you represent a brand and want to increase its credibility both among end users and other businesses, then it’s better to use email@example.com email address rather than firstname.lastname@example.org. It looks more professional and trustworthy.
But, if you have just too many contacts on your GMAIL already which makes it impossible to shift them to your new branded email address manually then you can at least use GMAIL automation tool which can help you send mass email easily, perform mail merge and auto-followup to sent emails and hence, making it easily managable for you.
3. HTTPS Security
If your website handles sensitive information, perform transactions, provide downloads, manage user accounts then it’s highly recommended to obtain a HTTPS certificate for your website. HTTPS add encryption to your website which keeps yours and your customer’s information secure. From years different internet organization and security companies are teaching everyone importance of HTTPS and internet users now understand its significance. While HTTPS certification can be obtained in a very small recurring fee, the security & trust it provides your website is incomparable.
4. Google Business Listing
Once you’ve created a website then the next important thing is to add your website and company’s details to Google Business Listing. While searching for a brand, have you noticed that google show the brand’s details such as its full name, address, phone number, location in Google Map, working hours, reviews, etc. in a special box on the right side? That’s Google business listing.
Google doesn’t show business listing for every brand. Only those brands who have verified their business with Google enjoy this privilege. This, of course, provides a brand elevated exposure, increase credibility & trust among users. And, the best thing about Google Business Listing is that it’s FREE! So, follow the below link to add your business to Google Business Listing:
5. Testimonials & Reviews
People are not going to believe you automatically even if you provide a high-quality service or represent the same perfectly through your website. It’s important for them to know testimonials of customers who have already purchased your product/services. Whenever you buy something different and costly online, you also check for customers review and ratings, right? It’s the same with your customers too who are coming to your website.
So, take testimonials from your past customers and feature them on your website. Their comments about your service will help a lot in boosting the confidence of first-time users which are coming to your site.
6. Chat & Support Desk
Even if you’ve provided every detail, answered every frequently asked question through your FAQ page, people always have some questions which hold them from buying your service. So, if you provide an online chat box on your website from where interested users can ask questions & doubt they have in mind, then it will clear their doubts and they might buy the product right away.
Keeping online chat system can keep your employees busy or you might need to appoint a separate employee to handle chats. So, if you don’t want to do this then you can add Support desk where people can drop their questions & inquiries with their email and you can reply it in your comfortable time.
7. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Any type of business you have, there are a lot of competitors online who are in the same field. If your business is about “car repair” then not only your website appears when someone searches “car repair” on Google. There are many websites and their search results might be appearing at the top pages while your website is ranking 5th position in Google’s 10th page where no one goes.
So, you need to increase your ranking in Google search results and for this, SEO is important. Know Google SEO Trends here and search about SEO tips online. You’ll surely find some incredible tips to boost your search ranking.
8. Social Media
A website is not enough. When millions of users are available on social networks, your company too need to be on social networks to interact with them. Social networking sites provide a whole different exposure. Here, people directly interact with brands, understand them, their importance and build healthy, long-lasting relationship with them. And, time to time recommend other about the brand too, hence, sending you your essential customers for free. So, choose the social network which is ideal for your brand and interact with your fans & followers. Your social media presence will create a level of trust that’ll be unbeatable.
9. Ads & Promotions
While trying your manual efforts it’s great to put some of your amounts in ads & promotion to get a quick boost in exposure. You can either promote your brand or any specific product or service by putting its ads on Facebook (through Facebook Ad), Google or its partner sites (using Google Adwords) or any other ad agency to serve ads to your targeted user base. In this way, even if you weren’t able to get them from Google search, you can catch them now and get their attention.
Sponsorship is even better approach if you’re looking for paid exposure among targeted users. You can approach big websites, media channels, social influencers, vloggers, etc. to collaborate with them in order to promote your service by the means of their reviews, contests, video tutorials, etc. It is a highly efficient way that always works if you choose the promoter who a strong influencer for your targeted customers. The method leaves a long-lasting impression in users’ mind.
So, these are the top 10 essential tips to build a strong online presence of your brand. Make sure to add them to your to-do checklist and implementing carefully in your business. I am sure, these tips will give your brand a solid web presence.