By now, you probably know you need to have an online presence. But, what exactly does that mean? It wasn’t too long ago that simply setting up a website online was enough to give you an online presence; all you needed was a decent homepage and some nice-to-look-at images. This is no longer the case. That’s not to say that a website isn’t important—of course it is. However, there are a lot of other things to take into account when you’re trying to optimize your search visibility score. Let’s dive into this topic a little deeper.
Your Online Presence
Think of your website as your home base, or maybe your digital business card. It’s where you want to send people so they can learn more about the products and services you offer, but you need to do something to attract them and draw them in. Your website is the place that’s going to need your initial (and constant) attention, but so are the other elements that are involved with building an online presence. The first key to branding is ensuring that your audience can recognize you as soon as they come onto your site. This means you need to have a logo that’s placed prominently at the top of the page, as well as images and content that are representative of your company’s personality and products.
What Is Online Presence, Anyway?
Besides that ever-important website, you need to be involved with several other aspects of the internet, which are both a part of branding, as well as marketing. Here’s a quick rundown of some aspects that need your attention in order to maximize your search visibility score.
- Search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is basically the way you befriend the websites. In other words, when you optimize for the search engines (or have SEO-focused content), it becomes easier for the web crawlers to recognize what you do, who your audience is, and what types of products and services you offer. A lot of this comes down to incorporating proper keywords and phrases into your web pages and other content pieces. These keywords need to match what people are searching for so the search engines know who to send your way when people are searching for things online. SEO is a vital component when it comes to increasing your online presence because it helps you be seen.
- Blogging. Not only is blogging a great way to talk about what you’re doing and who you are, but it’s an easy way to slide in awesome SEO (see our point above). Existing and potential customers alike look for authenticity and industry leaders when they’re doing their research, and blogging enables you to showcase your skills and knowledge. Beyond this, blogging frequently shows the search engines that your brand is active (and actively engaged with its audience), which can help boost your results on the search engine results pages (SERPs). You don’t have to spend weeks at the library to produce well-researched blogs, but it is important to include relevant facts and statistics, as well as the citations from which they came, when relevant. This helps boost your brand’s credibility to your readers—not to mention that good linking practices can also be SERP-boosters in the long run.
- Social media marketing (SMM). Your audience is on social platforms these days, which means you need to be, too. You can increase your visibility by engaging with people via social media outlets. Don’t just put up posts and forget about them, though; listen to what people are saying and interact with their comments. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to create accounts on every social media platform (there are a lot more than you might realize!); instead, pick one to three sites that make the most sense for your business. It’s pretty common to start with Facebook, followed by maybe Instagram, LinkedIn and/or Twitter. Don’t be afraid to share others’ posts, as they might return the favor for you someday. Social media is an excellent way to grab the attention of people who might not otherwise have known your business exists.
- Web analytics. When it comes down to it, you can’t be successful with these endeavors if you’re not actively setting metrics and monitoring the results of your efforts. Google Analytics is a great tool that’s free and relatively easy to use. Once installed, Google Analytics can deliver detailed statistics about the people who are visiting your website. It can track basic demographics of your audience, which pages are most popular, how long people are viewing particular parts of your site, and which search engine they used to find you.
- Email lists. One of the top ways to bolster your online presence is to curate an email list of prospective and existing customers. This will enable you to engage with your audience as frequently as needed while providing personalized content that will make people more interested in your brand.
Your Online Presence: Trends and Statistics
Okay, so now you know a little more about what an online presence is, but is it really that important? Absolutely! HubSpot recently compiled an enormous amount of super helpful statistics revolving around all things online. Here are a few we found interesting related to the topic of increasing a search visibility score:
- Companies spend 46% of their budgets on content creation. This means developing their sites’ pages, curating blogs, and creating videos to get their consumers excited about their brands.
- 94% of marketers use social media for content distribution, showcasing the importance of ensuring that your online presence includes having your own space in the social sphere.
- As of the first quarter of 2020, there are 2.6 billion monthly active Facebook users. In other words, this is a place where your brand definitely needs to be visible.
- Around 80% of marketers have reported an increase in email engagement in the past year. This means email marketing is just as important as ever—if not maybe more so.
5-Minute Visibility Check to Find Your Online Presence Grade
Your search visibility score is the percentage of clicks you get from people, based on your organic rankings. That’s another way of saying it’s a score that lets you know how many people are really seeing your brand. Here’s a quick list of things you can do to check out how you’re doing with your audience.
1. Search for Your Business Online
If you can’t find yourself, nobody else will, either. Searching for your own business should be the first thing you do as part of your check-up. Pay attention to:
- Local competitors’ sites and search results
- Whether or not your site is showing up
- Meta titles and meta descriptions that should be on your site
- Which of your listings show up
- Whether your social media sites show up or not
- Any videos from YouTube you may have posted
- Anything weird that’s associated with your brand that should not show up
2. Check Your Local Listings
Make sure your Google My Business information is up to date and accurate. This includes verifying your business name, address, website, phone number, and hours of operation. Make sure you also have relevant pictures displaying, as those can help searchers make their final purchasing decisions.
3. Check Your Social Pages
This is another place where you’ll want to make sure all the information that’s being displayed is correct. While you’re there, be sure to check for any engagement that may have occurred from your followers and respond to any comments people might have left.
This quick audit will give you a snapshot of how your business looks to others. If everything looks good, you’re ready to move on to more in-depth strategies. If something looks off, this is the time to make the appropriate fixes.
How Can You Increase Your Search Visibility Score?
When it comes to SEO and befriending the search engines, there’s a lot you can do to improve your online visibility.
- Link to authoritative content using good keywords as anchor text
- Improve your meta tags
- Ensure your site is mobile-friendly
- Target long-tail keywords
- Create new content on an ongoing, regular basis
- Engage with people on social media
- Internally link between pages
Use Surefire Local to Boost Your Search Visibility Score
We invite you to request a demo of our platform so you can see for yourself the difference Surefire Local can make to your online presence. Let us show you how we can make this whole process easier because we leverage A.I. insights to optimize your campaigns so they become more efficient at attracting prospective customers. We also put automation to work, making everything more efficient. We can’t wait to hear from you!