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Why You Must Create a Total Online Presence Right Now

Your website is the hub of your online presence and is clearly a must in this digital world. However, it’s only one piece of the marketing puzzle. It won’t return the results you need unless you optimize and integrate a what I’ve long been referring to as a total online presence.

Below are the remaining pieces you need to create this presence, but note, it’s isn’t enough to simply have them. They need integration that allows each to support and amplify another.

Marketing activated website

Sure, I’ve already mentioned the need for a website, but the term website has lost much of its meaning when we think about what it really does. We need a new term and I’ve taken to using Marketing Activated Website to describe what we need today. (Hat tip to Justin Sturgis of Systemadik for sharing this term.) A marketing activated website turns your website from a digital brochure to a fully-functioning platform that can do a lot of your work for you. A marketing activated website can help you:

  • Get found
  • Build trust
  • Educate
  • Inform
  • Nurture
  • Convert

Can you see why it’s so important? To make sure you’re building a website that will actually convert leads, keep the following in mind throughout the design and development process:

  • On-page SEO to increase your rank in search engine results pages and help you get found online
  • A promise to your audience – Visitors want to feel assured that when they visit your website, they’ll get the answers they are looking for.
  • A simple user experience – Make it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for.
  • Engaging content to boost conversion
  • Calls to Action (CTAs) to drive visitors towards the next step you want them to take
  • Visual branding to engage your audience
  • Mobile optimization – Google is now penalizing sites that are not mobile-optimized.
  • Trust elements – Using testimonials on your website lets visitors see the value you’ve provided in the past.
  • Personality – Humanize your brand to help establish an emotional connection between you and your audience.

Content with editorial approach

To get your audience’s attention, you need to create valuable content for them that is educational, informative and addresses the problems and symptoms they’re experiencing. There needs to be a strategy behind each piece of content you produce. You need to know:

  • Who the content is for
  • Why you’re creating it
  • What it will say
  • Where it will live
  • How it will be promoted
  • How to measure the success of the content to improve results over time

Create an editorial calendar to help you stick to your strategy and themes throughout the year.

Social media

Does anybody ever take a step back and think about the true meaning of social media? Social media can be defined as the use of technology combined with social interaction to create or co-create value. “Value” is the keyword here. With your social media efforts, you need to create value for your audience.

Taking full advantage of social media requires understanding and adopting a specific social media strategy. In my opinion, the best way to look at social media is to view it as a way to open up access points. These points can then be leveraged to create content, connection, and community. Done well, these points will improve lead generation and increase conversion.

Consider developing a systematic approach to streamline your social media efforts. To check out how I approach social media, read this blog post.

Online networking

I believe an online network is invaluable to a total online presence. You want to attract long-term, trust-building relationships because the more likely people are to trust you, the more likely they’ll be to buy from you. By connecting with others online and providing value to them, you’ll increase the odds of your content being shared, and in turn, increase the chances of people landing on your website and converting into customers.

Email marketing

In recent years, there have been questions around whether or not the days of email marketing are behind. Well, I’m here to tell you that email marketing is still alive and well. I’ve always been an advocate for this tool, especially throughout the rise of social media.

When sent to a targeted and segmented audience, email marketing is great for building trust, doing research, announcing new products, educating customers, selling products and services and expanding awareness of your web presence beyond your website.

Search engine optimization

One might argue that I saved the best for last. If you don’t know my background, I’m kind of into SEO. In a nutshell, if you want to grow your business, you can’t ignore Google. If your website doesn’t show up on the first page of search engine results pages, you’re missing out on business opportunities because potential customers may not even know you exist. SEO can be complex and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be if you can focus on:

  • Producing keyword-rich and educational content
  • Optimize on-page elements
  • Draw links naturally from other sites

Without the components above, your online presence is incomplete. They all work together to get your business in front of the right people at the right time, so having each piece of the puzzle is critical.

And of course, integration is the critical element. It’s not enough to simply have each of these elements. They need to support each other.

  • Your social media efforts should be looked at as email list building and link building efforts.
  • Your content should be thought of as a way to capture leads and make your advertising more effective
  • Your content is the only reason you get to talk about SEO, but your website is the host for both

Are you currently implementing each of these tactics in your business? Which of them do you struggle with the most? I’d like to know!

Here’s an idea for you – let us conduct a full Total Online Presence Audit and give you a valuable assessment of your website, content, SEO, social and even competitive landscape along with suggestions for improvement and recommendations for how to get the most from your efforts – Click here to learn about our Total Online Presence Audit.

4 Quick Fixes to Polish Your Online Presence

You want to go to dinner, but your regular pizza place is packed. You turn to Google. You want to order flowers for your mom for Mother’s day. You turn to Google. You have a new candidate coming in to interview this afternoon. You turn to Google. You heard someone say that they recommend an auto mechanic. You turn to Google. Every day, people are turning to Google to find things that they need, be it a product or service.

Have you ever Googled yourself? Or your business?

If not, you should stop for a second and go check yourself out. What you see is essentially your online presence, your virtual resume. This is what people see when they are looking for your product or service, you or your business.

Yes, you might think that your Facebook page and website show the epitome of what you are, but do they show up when you are Googled? If not, it’s not lending as much as you thought to your online presence.

What will show up when you are Googled are the networks that you are the most active on, if they are public. For example, this is what it looks like when I Google myself:

kala google

We’ve got my Twitter and my LinkedIn at the top, followed by images. There are also things on here like past jobs and blog posts that I have written.

What does it say when you Google yourself or your business?

Now, how do you get this Google search to be a little more of what you want people to see? Here are some quick tips to polish your online presence:

  1. Consistent profile picture – My “Google myself” example is the perfect example of what not to do with your profile pictures. To present a polished and consistent front, it’s important that all of your public social profiles (from Pinterest and Instagram to LinkedIn and G+) to your author pic on the blog should be consistent. A nice, professional photo of your face, sized correctly, has proven to enhance interactions and connections. People love putting a face to a name, and this is your chance to do that.
  2. To stick with the theme of consistency, if you’re a business – ensure that your logo, company name, and website are consistent across all your platforms. There is nothing more confusing than having different versions of your company name or logo on various sites.
  3. For your business to show up in Google, make sure you register with Google My Business, and that this information (hours, contact info, etc.) is consistent with the information found on your website.
  4. Next, what do your profiles, blogs, and websites say about you or your business when someone does find them and click through? Ensure that your voice is consistent, your contact info is easily accessible, and that visitors know what you and your company are about when they get there.
  5. Content, Content, Content – The more content produced across your various platforms, the more Google is going to pull your website, social media, or blog up to the top. Google loves fresh information. My Twitter and LinkedIn are at the top of my Google search because a) my Facebook has privacy settings and b) I update them both a ton. At Duct Tape, we produce a ton of content. When you search “Duct Tape Marketing” you gain access to all of our sites and platforms, and even a link to Amazon to purchase the Duct Tape Marketing book. Pretty good, right? 

duct tape google

 

If you’re active online, your online presence can be overwhelming. There are online ads, SEO efforts, massive websites and dozens of social media platforms, but what do people see when they search you? These quick things to check should help your audience start turning more of the results you’d like them to see when they look you up.

IMG_2750Kala Linck is the Community and Content Manager at Duct Tape Marketing. You can find her blogging her travels, praying for summer or tweeting about marketing, coffee and cats @tadasunshine.