How Can Small Businesses Create a Strong Digital Presence?

23/09/2019

In the modern age, small businesses need to create a strong digital presence in order to be successful. All of your current and future customers are interacting with brands online through their phones and computers every day.

In order to capitalise on this, you need to make sure you have a clear digital marketing strategy. Here’s our guide on how to make your business stand out online.

Create a simple, easy-to-navigate website

Your website is the foundation of your online presence. Whether customers are making an enquiry, shopping your products or visiting out of curiosity, your website is the main thoroughfare for all of your online traffic. As such, your site needs to be as welcoming and straightforward as possible.

One of the main goals for your website should be to reduce the bounce rate, which is a term to describe how frequently visitors view just one page before leaving the site. A significant number of people will leave your website if it isn’t easy to find what they’re searching for, and others will be put off by a visually noisy or vague homepage.

Your website should be simple in terms of design and user experience. You can still make your website look good, but your flashy graphics and features shouldn’t distract the user from what they’re trying to find. All fonts should be easy to read, all menus should be easy to navigate, and the content of each page should be clearly defined to make the user experience as simple as possible.

Build your brand on social media

Social media is one of the main sources of communication and content for many people. Most of your customers will be active on social media to some degree, even if it’s just for casual browsing. By building your brand on social media, you can connect with your customers outside of your traditional interactions.

A follow or a like on social media is much less committal for people than handing over an email address to a mailing list. Most people will choose to connect with brands and companies over Facebook, Instagram, Twitter without a second thought. Your content will then appear seamlessly alongside your audience’s other interests and personal connections, making conversions much more likely.

There’s no specific set of rules for a social media strategy, as your methods can vary depending on the results you want, but being active in some capacity on social media is essential. You may choose to reach out to customers directly with competitions or polls, you may want to advertise your products, or you may just want to share content that you find interesting or noteworthy to spark a discussion.

Write a blog

Properly utilising a blog means more than just sharing personal stories. Whilst blogs can be a good way to show and celebrate the real people behind your business, blogs are also a great way to show that you are in touch with industry updates and wider issues.

Regular blog posting will let Google know that your website is regularly updated, a factor that it takes into consideration when determining your search engine ranking. You also may be able to touch upon a topic in one of your blogs that could appear in the Google Answer Box or featured snippet, which will result in a lot more traffic to your site.

Blog content should always be relevant to your business, but you may be surprised at how wide that area is. Your blogs don’t have to be about things you have personally done but could be your professional take on a recent development within your industry, or a wider social issue you feel is in keeping with your brand identity or ethos. If people visit your website for the quality content of your blogs, it won’t be long until they become interested in your products and services too.

Use SEO and paid advertising to gain traffic

Getting traffic to your website is key to developing a strong online presence. There’s no point having a fantastic product or service, or a brilliant, insightful website if no one sees it. SEO and paid advertising services are key ways to get your brand on the map.

When looking for a product or service, most people will choose a website from the first page of search results. This is why appearing on page one of the Google SERP is so coveted by businesses. In order to get onto that first page, you need to make sure your website is SEO-ready. Many SEO strategies include keyword optimisation, video usage, and increasing your site’s page load time, but an effective SEO strategy encompasses more than just one component.

You will also need to create a strong network of links, appearing on as many other high-quality websites as possible. This works to establish your website’s authority in the eyes of Google and also gives you exposure to the audiences of the websites on which your URL appears.

Online, the size of your business doesn’t matter. If you utilise a good digital marketing strategy, your website will stand out among even your biggest competitors. Effective use of social media, blogs and SEO techniques, combined with a simple, stylish website designed for user experience will ensure you have a strong digital presence.

This blog was written by Joe Van Bergen from The Click Hub, a digital marketing agency in London and Exeter.

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