Businesses are always looking for ways to stay in the minds of their clients and target market. Many of us forget that our website or online presence is a living and breathing organism. Meaning that it needs to stay fresh and have new content in order to keep people coming back and to stay afloat in the market. However, from the standpoint of the busy business professional, sometimes updating anything online falls to the bottom of the list (if it makes it there at all). The following are 5 easy ways to build your brand online:
1. Use social media to your advantage: Everyone pushes Facebook and Twitter for ways to immerse yourself in social media. If these outlets are not for you, that’s okay. Many businesses are now using LinkedIn to create professional and meaningful business connections. There are several professional groups that you can join (ones that are relevant to your industry or relevant to your target market). You can sign up to receive notifications of the different discussions occurring within the group, or you can log in once a week to browse through what’s going on. Providing relevant comments and feedback (be genuine, no self promoting) is a great way to earn the attention and respect of your groups.
2. Update your site regularly: You want people to come back to your website, but if there is nothing new there, what’s the catch? This is exactly why several businesses are getting into blogging, because it allows them to provide new/relevant content without having to always update their website. This will also allow you to establish yourself as a leader in the industry, building trust and credentials. Trust us, your future prospects will take notice. If you’re commenting on industry blogs or posting your own articles on relevant topics, it will drive interested parties back to your website. Blogging can seem overwhelming because it’s something that needs to be updated consistently. But you can keep it under wraps by setting up a schedule that fits into your lifestyle and sticking to it. You can also keep it up by providing relevant feedback to industry events verses coming up with completely new content.
3. Submit your ideas/reviews to other sites/blogs: The more you put yourself out there the better. If you already have a professional opinion or advice on a particular topic, why not submit it to an industry blog or online magazine? Generally speaking, many of our clients see a boost in traffic to their website when they are featured on another site that links back to them. When readers find value in what you have to say, they generally want to find out more about you online. If you can lead them somewhere where they found out more about you and could sign up for your newsletter, even better.
4. Google Analytics is your friend: Seriously, why aren’t you doing this? Google Analytics is FREE and it’s easy for a web developer to insert it into the coding of your site. Within a few weeks you have hard core data about who is accessing your website. You know where your traffic is coming from, in terms of geographic location, as well as how people are getting to your site (through Google, Twitter, Facebook; what search terms are being used, etc). Knowing is half the battle. As you review the data, you’ll start to generate ideas about what your next steps are. It may be running an ad-words campaign based on how people are currently finding your site, or it may be expanding your reach to a new geographical location based on the number of visitors you get to your site from a certain area.
5. Interact with your customers: Super easy to do, but often overlooked. If you have your online social media accounts, make sure your clients/customers know about them. Include the icons in a highly visible area on your website. If you have an email signature consider adding the links to one or two of them in there, or at the very least saying “Find us on (insert social media option here).” Encourage your customers to find you online and to write you there too. Then stay on top of responding and interacting.