It is said that 97% of consumers today head online to learn more about local businesses. It’s likely an even bigger percentage when consumers want to find out more about bigger brands. Whatever your industry and however big or small your brand may be, online visibility is no longer a ‘nice to have’ – it’s an absolute must.
The definition of an online presence or brand visibility is ever-changing. With more mediums than ever, brands need to drill down to where their target demographics are active. An online presence doesn’t just mean where your brand is producing content. It’s also about how easy it is for people to engage with you.
If you feel that you’ve neglected your business’ online presence for too long, we’ve put together seven effective techniques to enhance your visibility, turning prospects into customers and customers into your valued brand advocates.
Social media channels are one of the most effective ways to amplify your brand online. Sprout Social, a leading platform for managing social posts, once said that 91% of consumers that interact with a brand on social media will ultimately visit their website. First and foremost, it’s important to choose the right social media platforms for your business. If your products and services are highly visual, you may benefit most from an Instagram account. If you are a B2B company, LinkedIn is an effective channel for connecting with other like-minded business owners. Facebook is also very useful for building trust and engagement, with Facebook Messenger increasingly used by brands as an agile customer support channel. Twitter is also useful for sharing content and industry expertise to build your brand’s integrity.
An intuitive, mobile-friendly website
At the very core of a brand’s online visibility is its website. The user experience and compatibility of your website’s design can have a major say in your brand’s visibility in the major search engines. If a large percentage of your target demographic are likely to use Google’s mobile search engine, it’s essential that your website is fully optimised for mobile use. What do we mean by this? Your website should be fully responsive. It should be agile and provide a slick user experience, regardless of screen size. The design should give mobile users the same outcomes as desktop users, even if landing pages have to be distilled somewhat. Although Google has made it clear that websites not optimised for mobile won’t be penalised with minimal visibility in its desktop-based search engine, it’s a useful move to futureproof your website. Try Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to ascertain how well your website performs on all devices.
Optimise your landing pages for relevant organic search terms
Almost a fifth (18%) of small businesses have no plans to invest in organic search marketing techniques such as content creation and link building. Organic search engine optimisation (SEO) is one of the most cost-effective ways to grow your brand’s online presence. Every landing page on your website should be optimised for the most relevant search terms. By using Google’s free Keyword Planner, it’s possible to get a feel for the average monthly searches of relevant search terms and the overall competition within the search engine for these terms. The key to effective content optimisation for SEO is to find the ‘sweet spot’ between keyword volume and competition. Choose search terms that have steady average monthly searches without high levels of competition to avoid having to compete with established brands in your field.
Sponsorships with industry influencers
Building and maintaining your brand’s online visibility doesn’t have to be a one-person task. In fact, you can build relationships with other people online to leverage their visibility and credibility and gain exposure. Social media is now rife with influencers across all kinds of industries. Influencers are those deemed as the ‘experts’ – the know-it-alls of their niche. By partnering with these influencers, it’s possible to expand your reach to relevant audiences. Consider sponsoring an influencer’s YouTube video or podcast, or perhaps even offering a competition or promotion to an influencer’s followers or subscribers. It’s also possible to leverage the subscriber base of industry influencers and spoon-feed them with new thought leadership content to share on your behalf. This is a win-win for both parties – the influencer’s social handle is active and your brand is getting heightened exposure.
Incentives and promotions to gain a competitive edge
A very quick way to gain the attention of your target demographic is to provide highly competitive incentives or promotions that give your business a step up on its competitors. By doing so, you also show great customer service as you allow consumers to get a feel for your products before purchasing or signing up for them. In the eCommerce industry, brands may look to launch a free product giveaway or an additional half-price product with every purchase. In the iGaming industry, which is equally as competitive as the eCommerce scene, you’ll also find real money online casinos offering a wide array of promotions like free spins and no deposit bonuses.
Targeted outreach to demonstrate your expertise
Aside from partnering with social media influencers in your niche, there are bound to be industry websites and media outlets that accept unique content from external sources. Outreach is another clever facet of an organic SEO strategy geared to growing your brand’s visibility. Find relevant websites with good authority in the major search engines. Write a thought-provoking article about a talking point in your industry or how your goods or services provide a solution to a common problem. Some of these websites will not only give your article airtime, but they will also enable you to input an external link directly to your website. This encourages readers to go directly to your website, whilst increasing your site’s backlink profile – the more high-quality, genuine links pointing to your website the better in the eyes of Google.
Encourage user-generated content and reviews
Sometimes your brand doesn’t have to say a single word to facilitate a conversion. Brands with a growing customer base can leverage the power of consumers by encouraging them to submit genuine reviews of your goods or service(s). Any brand looking to improve its visibility in Google should have a Google My Business profile. It contains all the essential information about your business, including its address, opening hours, website address and its average review rating. This rating has become a ranking factor in Google’s localised search results. In checkout emails to customers, it’s a good idea to point them to your Google My Business page to enter a review of their experience of your brand. This user-generated content brings an additional layer of authenticity to your business. There are many other directories where consumers can review you too – Yelp, Facebook, Bing and Foursquare are just a few more to get you started.
Online visibility is essential in today’s world of commerce. The seven facets we’ve discussed above can each help your brand to earn trust, increase engagements and hone your buyer journey.