Create a strong online presence and position your brand for long-term success.
Without effective brand awareness, your business will get buried by the competition. Especially if you're a small company or just starting out. If you're not familiar with online marketing and branding, here's a base-level guide on how to make your business stand out online and drive traffic and sales to your site.
Your brand is first recognized by its logo. Without a strong logo that speaks to what your business stands for, your customers aren't going to fully engage with your business.
When you think about some of the most successful companies in the world such as Amazon, Google, or Facebook, the first thing that probably comes to mind is their logo. A logo is a powerful marketing and branding tool that distinguishes your brand from the competition.
We've seen too many logos that are cluttered and unclear. Your logo should have a clear message and should relate to your customers. Keep the logo simple and clean. Choose one or two colors that represent your brand. The most successful logos are often the simplest. A logo is not your brand, but it is the most visible component of it.
Your website needs to be visually appealing and easy to navigate. If you don't have important information that engages your viewers on your homepage, they’re not going to stick around for long.
Most users leave a website within 10 to 20 seconds if they are not engaged. That means you have less than 10 seconds to sell the value of your business through your website. Strategically placing offers, pictures and product information that's easy to read and understand quickly can keep your viewers on your site.
Web users have little time to take in all the information that's on your site. Using lists and bold headings that summarize your information can get your point across to your viewers quickly.
Interestingly enough, the longer someone stays on a page, the less likely they are to leave (all users eventually leave your webpage, but this study by the Nielsen Norman Group shows a linear regression based on the length of time someone is on your page).
If you aren't using social media for your business, you're missing out on a big opportunity to increase awareness of your brand. Social media gives you direct access to your customers and allows you to engage with them in meaningful dialogue.
Increasing your activity on your social media accounts means more engagement with your customer base. Over 22 percent of the world’s population uses Facebook - if your business is not on Facebook, you’re missing out on customers on a potentially global scale. Each social media platform appeals to a different demographic. Figure out which one works best for your business.
Online reputation management
Online reputation management is exactly as it sounds. Your brand has an online reputation, and, sometimes, customers can have a negative impact on that reputation. We've all seen posts from disgruntled customers complaining about companies or services. Taking the time to understand how reviews work (and managing that process) can help you control how your business and brand is seen online.
Investing in a reputation management system can help you stay on top of the way your brand is seen online. If there are negative reviews or misinformation about your business, you can quickly address the problem.
One of the best ways to fix your online reputation is by actively engaging with your customers on social media, especially if they are leaving negative reviews and comments.
Publicly reaching out to them to rectify an issue not only fixes the problem for that individual customer, it also builds awareness around your brand. 90 percent of internet users read online reviews before visiting a business. Online reputation management is incredibly important for increasing brand awareness and succeeding online.
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Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a strategy used to increase the ranking of your website on major search engines, most notably . Being on the first page of Google dramatically increases your click-through rate, with the top spot on a Google search page taking around 33 percent of all clicks.
You may have heard that 90 percent of web traffic originates through search engines. While that was once true, today it hovers around 50 percent. Even at 50 percent, that's billions of searches every single day.
Creating high-quality content that fosters engagement on your site is the simplest way to increase your search engine ranking, which, in turn, means more visitors to your site.
Return on investment
While this all sounds great, it's important to understand that most of these methods involve a cost if you want them to be successful. Reputation management systems and social media ads cost money. Building and hosting your website costs money. Hiring writers and SEO experts costs money.
Done right, these tactics work to bring in more money than you spend and help create a strong online presence for your brand and position your business for long-term success.