Business development 8 October 2018

How to build an online presence for your small business in 5 steps

build online presence
In 2018, online presence means brand awareness
From when we sit at the bus stop in the morning to when we settle down for an evening in front of the TV, we are surrounded by brands vying for our attention. This has become increasingly prevalent in the digital age as social media provides yet another avenue for brands to target us.

With that in mind, it’s more important than ever for small business owners to take note and throw weight behind developing their online presence.

it’s common knowledge that online presence means brand awareness. Nowadays, the way you present your brand online is similar to meeting a customer for the first time your homepage acts as a first impression.

Your website and social media profiles offer valuable opportunities to impress and capture the attention of potential customers. They are often a test of credibility for many technologically-savvy shoppers, who would rather connect with businesses online first before making a purchasing decision.

These days, the first port of call when looking for information about a product or a service is to “Google it”, meaning online presence is crucial if you want to make your business a success.

So, how can you become a major player in this digital age? Here are five ways to effectively maximise your online presence:

  1. Branding
No matter how big or small your company is, branding matters. From the word go, a clear and consistent branding strategy should be developed and implemented. According to the founder of The NY Brand Lb, Mary Van de Wiel, without a brand you ultimately lack an identity, a presence and a purpose. You should think about your tone of voice and your values, as well as your visual aesthetic when creating your branding strategy. Not particularly creative? Then maybe you should find a graphic designer who can help you pinpoint what your business is about in a visually appealing way.

  1. Website design and development
In this digital age, businesses can no longer rely solely on traditional means of marketing creating and more importantly maintaining a website is essential for every business. Here you can shout about your products or services, portfolio of work and even offer expert insight and company news via a blog.

However, simply having a website doesnt quite cut it your site needs to be functional as well as user-friendly. It will also need to be optimised for mobile, fast to load and search engine friendly, and this is where a professional with experience in website design and development may come in handy. Once you find the right web developer, it’s time to start thinking about optimising your website.

  1. Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) is all about making your website more visible to users on search engines just like the aforementioned Google! A search engine’s job is to take the keywords typed in by the user and find websites with the most relevant content using that information.

So, how can you make sure you’re at the top of that list? Knowing your audience, regularly updating your website content and using keyword phrases are all essential to SEO, but the list doesnt stop there. Search engines will also rank websites based on site structure, page loading speeds, social signals and the quantity/quality of backlinks. SEO can be a complicated process and you may benefit from the help of an SEO professional.

  1. Social media