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Online Essentials That Every Successful Business Needs   no comments

Jan 17, 2017 @ 9:32am Small Business

Online Essentials

No matter what your business offers, building an online presence is an essential part of becoming a global brand. Any business owner can put up a website with little trouble. However, you need a lot more than a simple HTML page to make an impact on the crowded stage of the Internet. Engaging content, elegant designs and a willingness to embrace the latest changes in technology and social networking can help your business website stand out.

 

Fresh Content

Your website’s content can have a major impact on your audience and your search engine ranking. Evergreen content, which refers to content that is almost always relevant regardless of when a visitor views it, can continue to serve your website well for years. Time-sensitive content, such as a special event guide from three years ago, will not rank highly with search engines after the event has passed. Take the time needed to go through your website’s content, retiring old content and updating pages that are still useful.

 

Strong Presence on Social Media

Social media networks are not going away anytime soon. Finding your own voice on social media is a great way to gain a wide audience of customers. Some businesses choose to do the bare minimum with social media, such as tweeting the occasional new product or posting on Facebook every other month. This approach may not win you too many followers, however. If you want to take an active approach instead, start by interacting directly with your customers. If someone tweets a question about a product that you make or sell, respond as soon as you can. Every time you post a new blog entry, share it on Facebook.

 

Fast Website with a Responsive Design

Desktop computers were once the primary method of browsing the Internet. Today, people can view the web through a long list of devices, including video game consoles, smartphones and tablets. If your website only has a desktop design, customers using other methods to browse may have significant trouble reading or interacting with your website. A responsive design offers an ideal solution; the design cleverly adjusts to best fit the screen of the user, no matter how big or small.

 

Multiple Methods of Contact

Your customers have their own preferences for how they like to get in touch with companies. Customers who are versatile with smartphones and social media may prefer to contact you through Twitter. Other customers may want to stick with email or use a form on your website. Make sure your website is equipped with a simple page detailing all of the methods of contact available. A live chat feature is another great way to connect with your customers and quickly solve minor issues; if this method of contact makes sense for your business, be sure to include it.

 

A Blog with Regular Updates

Blogs are powerful tools that let you connect with customers, offer useful information and build your search engine ranking. Even if you don’t consider yourself an expert writer, you can still make a meaningful impact through your blog. Write about topics that are closely related to your business and offer something of value to your readers. If you sell gym equipment through your website, for example, your blog should include articles about eating healthy and new exercises to try. It’s not a bad idea to post blogs that address timely issues, but you should focus on writing blog entries that will generate search traffic throughout the year.

 

A Comprehensive Branding Strategy

Developing a brand for your online presence is a good way to build recognition for your company. Start by unifying all of your online profiles, including your social media accounts. Each profile should use the same imagery so that your audience can instantly recognize your company whenever you post. Your branding should reflect your website through either the use of logos or color scheme. If possible, use the same username across all of your profiles, and opt for a username that is simple and memorable. Once you’ve built your brand, you can work on boosting your brand’s reputation through positive reviews and good customer outreach.

 

Marketing Plan

There are many ways to market your company online, including some that won’t cost you a dime. Dutifully building your brand through tweets and Facebook shares will net you some customers, but it may take some time to see the full benefit of your labors. Targeted advertising can help you generate customers more quickly. You can use a number of methods to achieve this, including soliciting bloggers to post about your company and paying for banner advertising on popular websites. You can also produce videos and other multimedia content about your company’s products and services to improve your online presence and build customer loyalty.

 

Improve Your Search Engine Rankings

A good search engine ranking will help you become the popular choice when customers are searching for your product or service. Optimizing for search engines can be done through a variety of means, including building organic links with other companies or individuals. For example, you could ask bloggers to become brand ambassadors for you in order to get your links on their websites. Fresh content can also be a big boost for your ranking; updating your blog regularly can help with this. Keeping your social media profiles updated with frequent links to your fresh content can also help. If you produce videos, make sure that your video posts link back to your website as well.

 

The strength of your company’s website and online presence can help drive your success. A winning online strategy helps your company to live where your customers are. Putting time and money into developing a quality online brand will generate long-term returns on your investment and help your company to thrive in today’s competitive economy.

 

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Written by David Maurer on January 17th, 2017

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