Your online presence can drive traffic to your site — or convince customers to go somewhere else.
But what is online presence? Put simply. your online presence is the combination of everything your business is doing online. This includes your website and its content, your social media posts, email interactions and interactions with your customers.
There are two broad types of online presence: Presence you create and presence you earn. Created presence refers to any content you make and manage such as blog pieces, product pages and social media posts. Earned presence refers to what people are saying about your business and how they interact with your brand. Are they visiting your site? Responding to your social posts? Converting into customers?
Making your business a success requires both owned and earned presence — but given the constantly evolving nature of digital assets, it’s worth conducting an online presence audit to see where your presence is having a positive impact, where it’s falling short and what needs to change.
Auditing Your Online Presence
Effective audits rely on data. The more information you can collect about how different aspects of your online presence are performing, the better equipped you are to take effective action. Here, five components are critical.
First up is site analysis. This is an evaluation of key website metrics that help determine how engaged (or not) users are with your website and content.
Common metrics include the total number of visitors per day/week/month, the total number of new visitors during that same period, the amount of time on average that users spend on your site and the “bounce rate” — the number of users that land on your site and leave without interacting.
It’s also worth considering both total website traffic and the source of that traffic, such as direct, paid, organic and social. Direct traffic refers to users who come directly to your site by typing your URL into their browser search bar or having it saved as a bookmark. Paid traffic comes from advertisements, while organic traffic can come from referrals or user searches, and social traffic pulls in visitors via your social posts.
Other analysis metrics include the effectiveness of your search engine optimization (SEO): Are you ranking for the right keywords and creating organic impressions? Here, tools like the Google Search Console can help. And don’t forget backlinks — links back to your site on other sites that can help drive traffic. To effectively analyze backlinks, you’ll need an additional tool such as Moz or Semrush.
How are you connecting with potential customers across both traditional and digital channels, and are these efforts driving traffic to your site? By assessing the impact of your digital ads, blog posts, newsletters, emails and other marketing campaigns, you can understand where these efforts are working and where they need to change.
Social Media Followers/Engagement
Done well, social media is a powerful way to increase online presence. In practice, effective social media efforts require a combination of follower numbers and engagement. For example, if you have 10,000 followers but only 10 visit your site per day, your engagement strategy needs to change. If you have just 100 followers and 10 visits each day, your engagement efforts are working, but you need a better approach to capturing attention online.
What are prospective customers saying about your brand and website online? Reviews — both positive and negative — offer insight into user perceptions of your online presence, which allow you to take targeted action. For example, if reviews repeatedly note that your site is hard to navigate, improvements to site design could prove profitable.
Google Business Profile
Your Google Business Profile (GBP) is free to create and shows up in organic search results. As a result, it’s worth regularly reviewing your GBP to ensure it’s accurate and up to date.
Ways to Improve Your Online Presence
Once you’ve conducted a web presence audit and identified what’s working, it’s time to address what isn’t. Not sure how to increase your online presence? Here are 16 ways you can improve both reach and impact.
1. Set Goals and Budget
Before diving in and making changes, it’s worth setting your goals and budget. This helps focus your efforts on measurable, achievable results while still managing costs. For example, you might want to improve paid search traffic and decide to invest in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. By setting a budget beforehand, you don’t have to worry about overspending.
2. Produce Content
Next is producing compelling content. This includes everything from blog posts on your website to social media posts and marketing campaigns. Regardless of where you focus your efforts, the goal is the same: Increasing customer engagement.
3. Show Up Where Your Audience Is
Growing your business means finding and understanding your target market. This means putting in the time to pinpoint the market segments most likely to buy your product along with what they expect from your site and how much they’re willing to spend.
It also means identifying where they engage with content. For example, if your target market includes a large proportion of Gen Z customers, you may want to consider sponsored ads on a social platform such as TikTok. If your audience is more technical and traditional, an online social forum that fosters in-depth discussion may be your best bet.
4. Build Up Your Social Media Accounts
Social media matters. Consider that Facebook and YouTube both have more than 2 billion active users per month, and TikTok now has 1 billion. More followers on your accounts mean more engagement and the potential for more purchases. Best bet? Start with a social media assessment: Which of your accounts gets the highest engagement? The lowest? What are other brands doing that work?
Using this data, you can build up social media to help capture your target market.
5. Actively Engage With Your Audience
It’s not enough to talk to your audience — you also need to listen. This means creating avenues for active engagement, such as directly responding to direct messages (DMs) and asking for (and implementing) customer feedback.
6. Add a Face (or Faces) to Your Brand
Customers want to do business with brands that have a human side. In practice, this means creating a “face” for your brand that’s personable, approachable and familiar. Start with a custom-branded domain and a domain name that’s catchy and easy to remember. Then, build out your brand across multiple platforms using a consistent tone of voice (funny, professional, caring, etc.) and where possible connect a face to your content — someone from your business that customers can relate to and understand.
7. Invest in SEO
Better SEO rankings for relevant keywords naturally increase both site visibility and traffic. But achieving this goal requires time and effort to understand where your rank is currently and how you can improve. Here, you’ve got two options for success: Put in the time yourself to learn the ropes of SEO or hire an SEO service to help achieve your goals.
8. Regularly Update Your Business Google Business Profile
As noted above, your GBP is free and appears with any Google search results. This means it’s critical to regularly review and update your GBP with relevant information such as changes to your operating hours, website domain or contact information.
9. Try or Expand Online Advertising
If you’re not using online advertising, you should start. If you are using online ads but they’re not having the desired impact, consider a targeted expansion. Options here include paid search ads that display your site before organic results, PPC ads on popular websites or social media platforms, or partnerships with social media influencers.
10. Create/Build Up Your Email List
Email remains a reliable way to connect with customers and drive sales. To create or build up your email list, make sure to offer a signup option on your website for regular newsletters about new products or promotions. This helps build your list and lets you know who’s interested in your products.
11. Research Competitors
Look at what your competitors are doing right — and wrong — to help inform your approach. For example, if you’re losing customers to a competitor, investigate why. Is their website coming up before yours in search results? Are they getting more mentions on social media? Once you understand where they’re seeing success, you can build a strategy to match.
12. Analyze Your Performance
It’s also important to analyze your own performance. This includes both the performance of your website in terms of speed, reliability and ease of navigation, along with the performance of your social media and paid advertisements.
13. Incentivize Client Reviews
Positive reviews can help grow your brand, but savvy consumers can spot fake or paid-for reviews. As a result, it’s worth incentivizing client reviews by providing the best product and experience possible, in turn encouraging customers to speak out on your behalf.
14. Consider Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing grew to $16.4 billion in 2022 thanks to the impact of short-form video content and the relationship that social creators foster with their fans. Finding and partnering with an influencer that has followers from your target audience can help boost your brand.
15. Redesign Your Website
If your site isn’t delivering the traffic and engagement you want, consider a redesign. Tools such as Wix can help you quickly create a new design from scratch, or jumpstart your new site with hundreds of website design templates
16. Add a Business Email
A business email provides a single point of contact for prospective customers and makes it easier for your brand to ensure consistent response times and content. Business email solutions from Name.com — such as Titan email — can help you get started.
Improve Your Online Presence with Name.com
The better your online presence, the better your chances of capturing user interest and converting new customers. Ready to make the most of your online presence? Get started with Name.com today. Search for your new domain.