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    How to build your online presence

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    Have you ever looked for something online and come across one site time and time again, no matter how you alter your search terms? That’s online presence. Permeation, dominating the corner — whatever you want to call it. If you were walking down the street it would be the sky dancer balloon above the car dealership, impossible to ignore.  In the wide world of the internet, having a strong presence is key no matter what your business is. Here are some ways to increase that presence and boost digital awareness for your business.

    Start local

    Even if you are a local, one-off business, it should come as no surprise that these days, up to 97% of consumers search for businesses online. That means consumers want to know your business has a digital footprint before deciding to choose to visit. They want to know who you are, what you do, and what others think.

    Figure out where that audience is. Are they on Twitter? Instagram? Wherever they are, put your efforts into those platforms. If you’re a physical business, refer your living, breathing audience to those platforms as well so that your actual customers are contributing to that online presence.

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    Email list 

    Email lists are as important now as physical address books were a decade or two ago. Sending out regular emails allows you to connect with potential and current customers and direct them to your site. This in turn translates to a stronger online audience.

    How do you get people on that list? Many content management systems offer tools to help you get started. This can involve form builders and popups to collect email leads. Newsletter tools can help make the process more intuitive and automated, saving you time and translating leads into online engagement.

    Online advertising

    Have you ever googled a business or product, only to accidentally click on the first result that pops up? This is nearly guaranteed to be an ad, where the company has paid to hit that coveted top spot for the relevant keyword searches. Your best bet with online advertising is what to promote. After all, your goal is to build awareness and reach those who are unaware of your business. So think about whether you want to draw in people with a catchy offer or drum up emails for your catchy newsletter, and then think about which platform is most likely to bring in the audience you’re looking for.

    Related: Small business marketing ideas

    There’s a number of other factors to consider when getting into this field, so definitely do some research and put in the time. Simply paying for an ad and hoping it’ll stick will likely just be a waste of money for you. But utilized properly, online advertising can be a valuable tool.

    Building your online presence takes time. Much like you didn’t get all your Facebook friends in one day, you won’t see overnight results. Be consistent, be patient, and make sure to track results wherever possible. Keep a tab on what works for you and what doesn’t, so that you don’t end up in a rut or making the same mistake twice.

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    Originally published January 20, 2020, updated August 25, 2023

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