In order to succeed at inbound marketing, your business needs a highly visible web presence. One of the biggest challenges for most small businesses is to create an optimized web presence so that search, social and content marketing strategies are effective.
Search engine optimization is the process of driving visitors to your website to raise visibility and helps it to appear high in the search engine results. However, SEO on it’s own is no longer enough. Your digital footprint is bigger than just your website and includes your social media profiles, directory listings and other web properties that present your business to your target market.
Web presence optimization extends search engine optimization to all of your web properties to create better visibility, awareness, and recognition for your brand. By optimizing content across your entire web presence, including your website and social media profiles, you present a more unified, consistent image for your brand no matter where someone finds your business online.
4 Steps to Building an Optimized Web Presence
Conduct a Web Presence Audit
Start by assessing your business’s visibility with a simple search for your business name and your name. Just because you may not have created social media profiles or directory entries for your business doesn’t mean that you don’t have a presence.
- What is your first impression?
- Is your brand consistent across all web properties?
- Were there any surprises? (i.e. negative reviews you didn’t know about)
- Where does your web presence need strengthening?
- Would you hire your company based on what you found?
To maintaining a healthy online presence, conduct a regular audit of your business and stay aware of how your business appears in the search results.
Delve into Keyword Research
Since 94% of B2B buyers and 60% of consumers start their buying process with a search, understanding how people search for your products and services is an important aspect of creating a powerful web presence.
- Do you know what problem are they trying to solve?
- What questions are they asking?
- What words are they using to search for the solution?
- Do people use different terms on social networks than in search engines?
Once you intimately understand how your customers are searching, you can incorporate these words and phrases into your content. This will help your content rank higher and be more visible when people are searching using these keywords phrases.
Create a Responsive WordPress Website
Your website is the hub of your online presence and central to all your marketing efforts. It’s the one property you totally control, therefore it needs to create an amazing first impression. Your website is where you send people from your social media outposts to learn more about you and provide them with valuable content. Is your:
- Website built on WordPress to make it easy to add content?
- Content easy to find and share on social networks?
- Website optimized so your audience can find you when they are searching for a solution to their problem?
- Website mobile-friendly?
Be more visible in the organic search engine results. Ensure your website provides a quality user experience no matter what device people are using.
WordPress is the best content management system for small businesses because it is powerful, flexible and makes content production simple. A mobile responsive website built on WordPress enables you to easily keep it up to date and relevant to your target audience.
Develop a Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing focuses on creating and distributing valuable content to attract and retain your target audience. Rather than selling your products and services, you educate your audience through inspiring and relevant storytelling.
- What content does your audience want or need?
- How does your audience want that content delivered (video, podcast, blog, ebook, infographic)?
- How often will you deliver content?
- What resources will you use to develop the content?
- How will you distribute this content so it will be found?
Content marketing is important to all businesses if you want to be found. Great content properly optimized will help you gain the visibility you need to stay ahead of your competition.
Improve Your Visibility with Web Presence Optimization
Increasing your online visibility takes work. But since the cost of acquiring a qualified lead through inbound marketing is more than 60% less than through outbound tactics, small businesses can’t ignore building a strong web presence. Knowing what your customers need, delivering that content in the format they want it and helping them solve a problem makes your business their first choice when seeking products and services.
How visible is your business online?
Debra Murphy is a marketing coach and consultant helping small businesses navigate the complex maze of online marketing. Experienced across all traditional marketing channels, Debra specializes in inbound marketing, a combination of search, social media and content marketing, to help small businesses effectively utilize this new media to gain visibility and generate inbound leads. Debra regularly writes about small business marketing on her Masterful Marketing blog.