An important, but much-neglected part of running an internet business is your online presence. If you asked many business owners what their online presence consists of, though, they might mumble something about ‘websites and social media’. While this is, in essence, correct, it doesn’t go far enough; and if you are like them, and have a slightly woolly attitude to this area, it can mean you are leaving money on the table.
Of course, part of the reason for this might be that your technical abilities aren’t top of your list of strengths. However, this doesn’t have to be a drawback, as improving your online presence can be more about applying common sense than going out and getting a Master’s degree in computer science.
To help with this, here are some areas you should pay attention to, and while they indeed might broadly have something to do with your ‘website and social media’, focusing on these can help bring in more sales and ultimately increase your bottom line.
Sell across more platforms
The first and most simple way of increasing your online presence is for your product or service to be seen in more places. This will take very little effort other than the registration process for each of the platforms involved, and deciding which is the best place to start.
Your company may have a range of physical products to sell, in which case the obvious places to start with are Amazon and eBay. While many people think it is a case of either/or, you can easily sell on both. As the process of getting set up can be longer with Amazon, it might be better to get the ball rolling there before putting your products on eBay. If your product could be considered more bespoke or artistic, then Etsy will have your target market among its regular visitors, so should not be neglected.
Selling on these platforms can be simple, as long as you remember to spend time getting the listing right. The five bullet points and description format used by Amazon is liable to also bear fruit on the other platforms as well, along with as many relevant images as possible. These don’t just have to be of the product but can include infographics about how it works or the benefits of use.
If you offer a service, you could try being one of the 800,000 people listing on Fiverr, which might mean you are working for very little profit at the start. But, by using this platform wisely (like only offering a ‘front end’ service here), you can get long term customers paying for regular full priced services.
Invest in SEO
Many people don’t know much about SEO, but one of the most important things you need to take on board is that you should not really try and do it yourself. SEO stands for search engine optimization and is the practice of helping content on your site (including product listings) appear higher in Google (and other search engine results) for searches with relevant search terms.
This practice can involve targeting keywords and reaching out for backlinks, among other techniques best left to the experts. This is because you could try and do this yourself, and waste time and effort struggling to do what they could for you in far less time. Hiring a specialist agency can also allow you to concentrate on what you are good at, which can only be better for your business.
When the subject of SEO is raised, your first thought might be to consider searching worldwide. As somebody new to all of this, you might instead be better off engaging somebody who can answer your inevitable questions without too many hold-ups. For this purpose, you could find somebody in the same time zone as you or even look more locally than that. If, for instance, you lived in Santa Monica, you might want to investigate the options for digital marketing Calabasas has to offer, or one in Chicago if you are located there.
Increase your exposure on social media
If your business’s social media presence is a poorly maintained page on Facebook, you can also do much for your online presence there. For a start, posting regularly and linking back to the relevant page on your website sends traffic your way which could end up in a sale. This is especially true if your social media output has done most of the work for you by building a relationship with that potential customer first.
To maximize this, you need to find which platforms are used by your target market, whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or, if you have a younger audience, Tik Tok. The same content once created can be used across all of these platforms, with some minor tweaks. A five-minute video on Facebook might turn into two Instagram posts and ten separate items in Tik Tok (possibly labeled 1-10 so people follow to watch them all).
The bottom line here is that the content needs to be valuable to whoever is exposed to it, and not just repeated efforts to sell your product or service. You need to give your prospective customer useful information that solves a problem or answers a question; as well as give them an insight into how you do things. This way, they also can get an idea of where you stand on issues like the environment and equality. This, apart from allowing the customer to know you and your company better, can also be a good business move, as people tend to buy from companies whose ideals align with their own.
To wrap everything up
Building your online presence can be tough, especially if you don’t know what it entails. You could spend time and money embarking on a voyage of trial and error that brings little in the way of results, if you don’t follow a simple strategy. A good first step is one that shouldn’t take more technical know-how than you already possess, and that is to put your product or service on more platforms than just your website.
Next, you can start upping your game on social media, by creating more posts about what you do and going into more depth about how you do it. This might be one to outsource to those with the right skills, and SEO is definitely an area best left to the professionals. This can have you found ‘organically’ for relevant searches, bringing more traffic to your door, and cutting down on your advertising budget in the long run.