Oftentimes the beginning of the customer journey begins when they have a specific problem they need help solving. From needing to replace a roof, finding an attorney or scheduling their annual eye exam, people will look online for assistance. Your business needs to have a strong brand presence online if you hope to attract their interest, because they’ll read your reviews, learn about your business, and compare yours vs others in the area before ever filling out a form or picking up the phone to call you.
When we say online presence, it’s a term used to describe how easy it is for a potential customer to find your brand, products, services, or business online. Without an online presence, your target customer segments will find your competition before they get a chance to see what you offer. You’ll also find yourself struggling to maintain visibility online in a crowded marketplace.
In this article we’ll talk about why having an online presence is important for your brand, what different components make up your online presence, go over ways to improve your online presence, and tell you how Surefire Local has all the tools in a single platform to help you meet your brand and business goals.
Why Is It Important to Have an Online Presence?
Your online presence refers to how quickly you can be found on the internet. Therefore, without a strong online presence, your brand can be lost among your competitors serving the same local markets.
An online presence helps you build your brand’s reputation and get your message in front of a wider audience, more than you possibly could with just word-of-mouth referrals. Even if a customer isn’t looking for your exact solution today, a strong online presence can help them be aware of your business for future needs.
An online presence will also increase brand awareness and provide additional visibility into the areas you serve, the products and services you provide, and the key audiences you want to target. All of this works together to influence the purchase decision your customers will end up making.
What is an Online Presence Made Up Of?
An online presence is made up of a few different types of components that work together to create a strong brand image and reputation online. These different information sets include:
- Brand Data: Brand data includes your business name, logo, phone number(s), street address, years in business, awards, website URL, and email address. These data sets help establish exactly what your brand is to your prospects, customers, and leads.
- Citations: Citations refer to things like your website, reviews sites, business directories, maps, and social media profiles. These are all areas of your online presence that can serve as a reference point and are verified either by your brand or by previous customers.
- Content: Your online content includes digital ads, blog posts, photos, videos, social media posts, reviews, and Google posts. This helps to add more substance to your brand reputation as well as help you improve your SEO and search engine results page (SERP) rankings.
7 Ways to Grow Your Online Presence and How Surefire Local’s Marketing Software Can Help
Now that you understand why having a strong online presence is important for your business and brand, let’s take a look at different ways in which you can grow your online presence. We’ll also take a look at how Surefire Local’s marketing software can directly help you improve your online presence.
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing is simply the marketing tactics you use to create, distribute, and monitor your content efforts online. One of the best ways to ensure that your content displays high on SERPs is to ensure that your content is high-quality and conversational to readers. By focusing on relevancy and understanding who your customer is, you can create stronger connections and have your content rank higher.
The Surefire Local platform provides an all-in-one marketing experience and allows you to manage all aspects of your content marketing process in a single tool. With Surefire Local, you can avoid switching between tools and instead streamline your content marketing process.
Think about the last time you found a new business you thought would be a great fit, then went to look at the reviews only to be shocked by the poor performance. Or, conversely, when you were uncertain about how well a brand could help, only to see a large number of positive reviews. Reviews help influence our decision making, since we trust the opinions of others when making a purchase decision.
Garnering reviews is an important factor that needs to be taken into consideration to improve your online presence. Surefire Local has tools to help you reach out to customers and ask for their feedback, as well as automate and follow up with requests.
3. Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business)
While there are a variety of internet browsers, Google is king for a reason. Most consumers use Google to search, and therefore it tracks that maintaining your brand’s Google Business Profile (formerly called Google My Business) helps improve your online presence. Your Google Business Profile is what generates when people search on the browser or in Google Maps.
Surefire Local helps you manage your Google Business Profile without needing to go into Google to access your information. With the Surefire Local platform, you can add photos, update information, and provide check-ins to manage your Google Business Profile from any device.
4. Business Listing
While your Google Business Profile is one example of a business listing, in order to have a strong online presence you need to have many different listings on different sites, not just browsers. Different industry organizations, local groups, social media platforms, and other online areas require a business listing.
With Surefire Local, you can manage over 80 different business listings in one place. This is very helpful to ensure your online presence has a wide reach without you needing 80 different usernames, passwords, and security codes. You can upload information and share it across all of your differing business listings at the same time, cutting down on time-consuming one-by-one updates that slow down marketing teams and lead to frustration.
5. Website Analytics
Your website is the top lead generation tool you have. That means that regular maintenance and updates are key to ensuring that search algorithms find you relevant and customers continue to enjoy their experience with your brand as they move through the pipeline to make a purchase decision.
Knowing your website analytics is key to understanding if your customers are getting the best experience, or if they are bouncing from your pages. Surefire Local provides a single location in which you can manage and go through your analytics information.
6. Social Media
Social media is one of the biggest ways in which you can improve your brand presence online. A strong social media presence helps to spread your brand reputation across many different platforms and get your message in front of a much wider audience than you can with other forms of digital marketing. Sharing helpful information, replying and engaging with customers, and being quick to jump on trends all help you improve your online presence.
With Surefire Local at your side, you can quickly send out and schedule social media posts and look at your different engagement metrics without needing to login and search through your different profiles on each platform.
7. Google / Microsoft / Facebook Ads
Advertising online is another way in which you can improve your online presence. By paying for ads on Google, Microsoft, or Facebook advertising platforms, you can get your brand name, message, and products and services in front of an audience who otherwise might not have known about your brand. You can also quickly garner new leads and increase your top-of-funnel numbers.
The all-in-one Surefire Local marketing platform allows you to manage your advertising campaigns on one tool and with any device. You can then adapt and change your campaigns, manage your bidding and budget, find the best keywords, and monitor your conversions simply and with ease.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform Demo
If you want to learn more about how to grow your online presence and how Surefire Local’s marketing platform can help you, be sure to attend a platform demo. We’ll spend time going through the many different tools included in the Surefire Local platform and demonstrate how they can help you grow an online presence, as well as look at how Surefire Local can help you meet many other marketing goals.
Get started today by signing up for a demo, and learn all about the ways Surefire Local can improve your online presence and help your business grow.