How to Improve Your Online Presence
According to a Senior Strategist at Google, high-quality content and link building are the two most important signals used by Google to rank your website for search. Brands who have a positive online presence consistently create helpful content and tend to have excellent search results/rankings. Having a positive online presence can help your brand increase it’s online reach, boost customer loyalty, become a trusted resource in your industry, and attract new customers. So, we asked 5 experts to share the best ways brands can improve their digital footprint.
1. Create a tier 1 branding network
V. Michael Santoro, Vaetas, LLC, @VAETASvideos
Your tier 1 branding network connects your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube) with Web 2.0 properties, like a blog, WordPress.com, or Blogger. Once the accounts are set up, add links to your website and all the social accounts on each property where applicable. This allows visitors to access your social accounts from one location. The last step is to connect the accounts together using IFTTT which allows the content to be automatically shared on the network. This technique also has SEO value.
2. Ask customers to give an honest review of your products or services
Lauren Hilinski, Shred Nations, @Shred_Nations
The single most powerful way to improve a brand's online presence is to get honest, positive reviews. Google sees reviews as a strong and accurate indicator of a brand's quality and loves showing them off.
Google is starting to target spammy reviews and penalize sites that make use of them, so the best way (it may be difficult and slow-going) to improve your digital footprint is to ask your customers (possibly via email marketing) to give an honest review of your company's products/services. If you offer high quality products/services, you will organically get great reviews and your online presence will improve dramatically.
3. Optimize content for voice searches
Steve Pritchard, giffgaff
Something that a lot of brands are yet to do and should be next on digital marketers’ to-do lists is to begin optimizing their digital content for voice searches. Voice search is likely to continue to soar in the coming years as it improves in reliability and accessibility. However, we search with our voice differently than how we search through a keyboard, using different keywords in the process. Therefore, as voice search increases, brands will have to work to optimize their content so that it will rank in results pages for voice searches as well as for traditional searches.
4. Develop a presence across social channels
Michael Wagner, Markon Brands
The best way to expand your online presence is to invest time in developing a presence across the digital landscape: on social media platforms, listings websites (Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc.), on blogging channels (Medium), and of course, on your own website. This is time and labor intensive work for someone in your organization to take on, but developing a strategy, even with a low-publishing frequency, will gradually build a strong digital footprint. If the content about your brand is consistent across platforms this will go a long way in boost your signal with search engines. The activity across the web will signal recency and relevancy, and the consistent information about your brand (name, location, URL, description of services, etc.) will signal authority. This will help your brand appear in relevant searches - particularly local searches.
5. Answer the questions of your users as an expert
Cristian Rennella, ElMejorTrato.com
We receive more than 50 queries per day on different aspects of our service, but the vast majority are general questions where the answer will not only help that user, but hundreds or thousands of people who have the same question.
With every customer question, respond in a special way. Dedicate time and effort to give your customers the perfect answer. Send your response to the customer then publish the answer on your website as a blog post.
Then, Google and other search engines index this content and new potential customers can find your answer in the search results. Since the answer was valuable, and included useful information, these new customers see your brand as a reference and begin to see (and eventually buy) your products or services.