As technology continues to evolve, more and more transactions are taking place online. Nowadays, it’s almost essential that a business develop and foster an online presence for their brand. This is not only for the sake of immediate profits via online commerce but also for establishing a strong presence in a niche market.

The more web-savvy individuals have already long been investing to build an online presence. They’ve even come up with multiple ways to improve it through various tools and means. But how does this help the less web-savvy individuals in their quest to build an online brand?

For the thousands upon thousands of individual businesses out there in need of guidance on this very subject, we’ve provided you a great place to start.

How To Build and Improve Upon An Online Presence

Not only do you need to know how to build an online presence but also how to improve upon an already established one. This is key to maintaining eyes on your brand and continuing to foster both trust in your product and continued overall growth.

It all begins with a strategy.

Develop A Strategy, Set Some Goals

Start by writing down both your short and long-term goals. A great method for keeping track of the goals you set is by applying the SMART method. This means taking your goals and making them:

Specific – Keep it focused and on-point. Know exactly what you want to achieve.

Measurable – Come up with a way of measuring how this goal is achieved by plotting points along the path to success. Take your larger goals and attempt to break them down into smaller, more easily achievable goals in the short-term.

Attainable – Is the goal even possible? Put a plan of execution into action.

Relevant – The goal must be related to the overarching theme for your business. If this goal does not help to achieve in building an online presence, what purpose does it serve?

Time-bound – Think of a deadline of accomplishment and stick to it. Time sensitivity can be crucial to progress. Don’t set an impossible time-frame to reach your endgame for something that requires a lengthier time investment.

Only once your goals have been set and you’ve come up with a plan of action can you begin to put the pieces of your brand together.

Select a Platform, Build Your Brand

The right platform for your business will depend on your established goals. 

Do you need a business website with unlimited freedom? WordPress provides the freedom of creativity and an assortment of tools for success. There are also plenty of other websites out there for the less tech-savvy that can help get you on your way.

Is social engagement at the heart of your business? Do away with the need for a website and create a Facebook page for your business instead. You’ll be able to keep up to date posts while actively engaging with your followers.

Is your brand tied to commerce? Use Shopify to open up a business online.

After deciding on a platform, content will be your next obstacle. Make it easier for your audience to get to know the brand by presenting a clear message on what your business is about. Adding contact information directly onto the platform and other meaningful content will open your brand up to audience engagement.

Engagement, Grow An Audience

Having content is great but unless it stands out it will likely be swallowed up in a sea of similar articles. This is where the art of creative and engaging SEO-tailored posts, articles, and blogs comes into play.

The application of stellar SEO techniques can make the difference of your stuff being on page one or page ten. The closer your articles are to number one, the more eyes you’ll have on them. This in turn creates a larger audience for which to engage. The whole purpose of an online presence is for others to take notice and SEO is an important arrow in your quiver when it comes to just that.

Most people are not SEO experts. Thankfully, there are plenty of online tools, both free and not so free, that can help. Tools like Moz and BuzzSumo can be expensive but will provide invaluable SEO aid toward building an online presence.

Another way to increase your audience is to participate in forum chatter on niche-related websites. Making intelligent contributions is a sure fire way to get people to listen to what you have to say and develop a following. 

Build rapport with your audience as well as other well-known brands with similar leanings. Create connections to advance growth and become recognized as an important voice in your niche. Overall, be social and engaging.

Optimization, Patience, & Consistency

Seeing as search engine algorithms are in an eternal state of flux, keeping your articles optimized and up-to-date is essential to maintaining interest online. The same can be said for the platform you’ve built your brand upon.

Make sure that the content you’re putting out is creating value for your brand. A fluff piece here and there is fine, but you’ll want to stay on point in order to reach your goals. You’ll also want to continue to update your goals.

Maintaining an online presence is a continuous battle. The rules may change but consistency is key. Ensure that your current audience can always look forward to coming back to you while also creating something new to attract additional viewers.

If you’re just starting out, patience will be one of your greatest strengths. Don’t expect to become an overnight success. Nothing you put out on the web will be perfect, so don’t linger. If the content you have isn’t pulling in the numbers you’ve hoped, change up the game and experiment a little. The Google Ads Keyword Planner can help you discover keywords to focus on. But always stay consistent.

Stay Focused, Keep Track

It’s easy to get sidetracked and attempt to promote something new or worse, utilize far too many platforms. Yes, multiple ways to engage with your audience can be a good thing, except for when your audience has grown too large to keep up with. Now you’re being pulled from one platform to the next in an attempt to keep your followers happy.

Focus on a single tool for the job until you feel you can begin to branch out. Jumping the gun will only result in you watching what you’ve built crumble before your eyes. Being everywhere online can destroy your business long before you’ve built it up for the simple “crime” of being inactive towards your audience.

Once a brand has been established, you’ll likely want to know how to improve an online presence and if all the hard work is even paying off. To this we say “Keep track.” Track everything, from the newest follower to the latest ‘like’ on a comment. Does your presence continue to grow? Are there things your audience prefers that might require a change in strategy?

Staying informed on your progress as opposed to just simply “following the process” will keep you steadfast on the road to success.

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