Creating a Strong Online Presence for Marketing Success

  • Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • Creating a Strong Online Presence for Marketing Success

It is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is from Lucy Godwin – Enjoy!  

Online Presence

According to Google, 97% of consumers use the web to search for local businesses – and if the vast majority of your potential customers are online, you should be, too. Having a strong online presence is a crucial component of your marketing strategy, no matter what size your business is or what industry it belongs to.

An online presence is important for outbound marketing because it reinforces your brand and what you offer to your target market. Once you’ve communicated with your audience, you’ll need to have a web presence that helps portray why your product or service is so great – because that’s the next stop for the majority of your potential customers.

It’s also vital for inbound marketing because quality online content will help attract customers even if they haven’t heard of your brand.

So here are three of the first things you need to look at when building your online marketing efforts.

1. Your website

All businesses, no matter how small, should have a website. It can be extremely basic, but it should contain the fundamental information customers – both existing and potential – need. For example, one frustration I encounter far too often is restaurants that don’t have a website with a current menu, opening hours, location and contact information. I know I’m not alone in that if I can’t find these details, I’m less likely to visit the restaurant – but there’s no reason a business should lose potential customers over something that’s so easy to remedy and costs very little.

A basic website is pretty easy to set up using an application like WordPress. WordPress is a free blogging tool and content management system that gives users the option to pay a little more for the premium version. If it’s relevant to your business, you can even add an online shop – after all, in 2013, 70 percent of consumers preferred to do their retail shopping online.

If you’re not sure where to start, there’s a great guide to WordPress for small businesses on Social Media today. It’s easy to understand and runs through the factors you need to consider and the steps you need to take when setting up your small business website.

If you’re starting from scratch and not sure what your website should include, survey your existing customers. Whether you send out an email asking for their input or mention it casually while making their coffee, it’s the best way to get the insight you need – people love to be involved and share their opinions.

2. Search engine optimization

Once you have a website, it’s vital that it can actually be found by search engines. After all, 89 percent of consumers use search engines to research a product, service or business before making a decision. To take advantage of this, you need to make sure to look at search engine optimization (SEO) for your website.

In case you’re not completely sure what SEO means, how it works, or why it’s important, here’s a quick rundown:

  • What: The purpose of SEO is to make it easy for search engines to find your website and list it in their ‘organic’ (as opposed to ‘paid’) results.
  • Why: People tend to trust search engines, so websites that appear high in results pages are more likely to receive traffic.
  • How: Using search-engine friendly methods to improve your website.
  • Who: Everyone – anyone who has information that people want to find on the internet should be using SEO techniques.
  • When: All the time – SEO is an ongoing process. It’s important to monitor the information on your website and make sure it’s current and correct. Search engines also love new content, which is why starting a blog can do wonders for your SEO.
  • Where: Major search engines include Google, Yahoo and Bing. They connect people all over the world to the content they desire, from products to services to information.

The Beginner’s Guide to SEO by Moz and Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide both give a fantastic overview of the basics and will help you optimize your website.

3. Social media

Social media is an important part of your online presence that improves your chances of generating additional revenue and building customer loyalty. It allows customers, potential customers and other interested parties to engage easily via a channel that plays an important role in their everyday lives.

Although not every social media channel will be relevant to each business, it’s definitely worth looking into your options. For example, Facebook and Twitter will serve a purpose for almost any business – it’s a great place to post news, tips, photos and videos and ask and answer questions.

In addition to Facebook and Twitter, you might find Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, FourSquare helpful. Make sure to research available channels and find out if they will work for you. Instagram, for example, is a photo-sharing network, so it works wonderfully for businesses selling ‘beautiful’ products such as jewelry, food or housewares. It’s important to consider your target demographic – Instagram has around 130–150 million users, over two-thirds of which are women between the ages of 18 and 35. With Instagram, you’ll also need to keep a smartphone handy to properly access your account and engage with your audience.

Once you’ve decided which social media channels to use, get a clear idea of the kind of content you can share. The more compelling and engaging your material is, the more likely your followers will like, comment and share your posts. Engagement is key to promoting your brand – not only will it make you more appealing to existing customers, the more positive social activity that goes on, the higher the chance is that their friends will be exposed to your brand and intrigued by what you have to offer.

When they do this, they’re engaging with your brand and their networks (friends, family, colleagues) are seeing that engagement and may be prompted to check you out for their own needs.


lucy-godwinAuthor bio: Lucy Godwin lives in Wellington, New Zealand and is an outreach writer at Xero accounting software. Her role exposes her to the small business, startup and entrepreneur community, and she blogs for them about everything from marketing to cloud computing to finance. Connect with her on Twitter @LucyJaneGodwin.


Lucy Godwin

You may also like

  A weekly round-up straight to your inbox

Join the thousands of business owners, marketers, and consultants who have benefitted from this weekly email for over 20 years!

  1. Hi Lucy. Great article, and sound advice for novices. If I can add one more thing. Always remember that people buy from people they trust. When you’re building your online presence, my strong preference is to always take a somewhat personal approach. This is especially the case for small businesses. The people and stories behind a small business are often the biggest advantage SMBs have over big faceless corporations who may offer better prices. My two cents

    1. Hi Jason

      Thanks for reading! You’re absolutely right – building trust is extremely important and I agree that a personal touch is a fantastic way of establishing that relationship – with both existing and would-be customers. A business’ website is the perfect place to share meaningful stories of your business, your employees and even your customers. What’s more, this will help with the transition from a just a name to a recognizable brand.



  2. Lucy
    Nice thoughts. I wanted to echo the importance of a website, it is indeed crucial, and a responsive one at that, which doubles as an app effectively. Also, a website should always be the hub of social media, I cringe when I see people use their Facebook page more than their wesbite. Users retain the most control over their own website.

    1. Hi Brad

      Thanks for the feedback! I absolutely agree about mobile responsive websites. I’m one of the many millions of people who do a lot of mobile browsing and it’s extremely frustrating trying to navigate an unresponsive site. And you’re right about the Facebook issue – social media pages should supplement, not replace websites!

      Although I do think it’s fantastic to have ether, I also believe it’s ideal to have both an app and a mobile responsive website – this article makes a great case



      1. Yup, that’s true, some sites should have both, you’re right. Or certainly a stand a lone app like a game might need a site seperately.

  3. Hi Lucy,

    Nice article. I certainly agree that using interactive marketing tools such as the ones you have talked about, promises a higher marketing ROI than traditional methods and I personally believe that businesses should exhaust all their options in this area before spending big on other more expensive alternatives. However what are your thoughts on content marketing with regards to the above? For instance what special considerations should one give to a target market that is so diverse (multilingual market) while implementing the tools above? I am especially having difficulty of coming up with a better way of incorporating Spanish language into my mostly English Facebook page and website when I know for a fact that some of my customers only speak Spanish language

    1. Hi Ralph

      Great question! There are several approaches that businesses can take to address multilingual, diverse markets. One is to consult with a marketing agency that specialises in multilingual social media. They will be able to support you to figure out what the best tactic is for your specific audience/s.

      Others hire a multilingual moderator who can address more than one audience – for example, they can include a translated version of a message within a post, or pose and answer questions in Spanish. There’s an interesting interview with a multilingual social media guru on Social Media Today:

      Businesses who don’t have the resources to hire an agency or multilingual moderator can take things into their own hands – iMedia Connection has some good tips for getting started:

      I hope that’s helpful!



  4. Great article for online business! yes website, SEO and social media networking are good way to promote the product of business. well written article by you. Thank you so much for sharing article.

  5. Agree with Jason Dea, Everything would be quite useless if not really active online because response to their needs was poor that hot leads may turn into nothing. Social Media is a simple way to double the number of customers/leads in compared to usual process. However as what my mentor said before “Social Media is only for short term, Post and Activities may gone for a day or weeks with out us knowing, So we must invest even with a Simple SEO so that business pages or websites may easily appear on the front page of Search engine in research made by prospect.

  6. Nice post here! It is very important to establish your website including its web design, theme and attractive headline for your blog. The best SEO also plays a very important role and of course being active with the social media will create a strong online presence. At Internet Marketing Experts Traralgon we understand that as a business owner or manager you know that an online presence is vital. Visit our website at

Comments are closed.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}