As digital marketing evolves in strides, online visibility is crucial to any business's survival and success. Buyers increasingly use the internet to look up local businesses, shop online, and engage with brands they know. Traditional marketing and word of mouth won't suffice anymore, and the ongoing pandemic all but ended in-person events as well. Still, the digital space is hyper-competitive, and having audiences find you is no easy task. To help you on this quest, let us explore some key ways to improve the visibility of your business online.
#1 Create, refine, and promote your website
Starting with the basics, a well-performing website will spearhead any business's online visibility efforts. It's the primary way for audiences to find you and for search engines to notice you.
First and foremost, you may start with creating a business website if you don't have one. Many businesses still don't, with smaller local ones relying solely on Google My Business (GMB). While that's useful on its own, it won't suffice; you really do need a website.
To get started with this step, you might consider such website builders as:
- WordPress. The largest Content Management System (CMS) today, WordPress powers 40% of the internet while remaining affordable and user-friendly.
- Wix. The biggest website builder in the world, Wix offers excellent designs and remarkable ease-of-use.
- SquareSpace. Another prominent website builder, SquareSpace's templates and blogging capabilities also deserve due praise.
But this is only the beginning of this journey; a beautiful website alone won't please either search engines or audiences.
Optimize and personalize it
Next, you may begin to refine your website to ensure its efficiency and improve the visibility of your business online. First, you may optimize it through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices, and then you may personalize it for your visitors.
As regards the former, SEO is a bit too vast to cover here, so for a deeper dive into this subject, you may consult our article series on SEO. Still, you may start with such simple practices as content clustering and work your way to technical stuff like:
- HTML and XML sitemaps
- Internal links and a robust robots.txt
Next, you may strive to offer your visitors a custom experience through website personalization. You may do so through third-party data collection software, which will allow you to tailor your website to different audiences. Personalization options here include:
- Call to Action (CTA) buttons
- Product recommendations
- Landing pages and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Of course, simply allowing your visitors to sign up for newsletters will serve as an excellent foundation for later personalization.
Promote it, and mind local SEO
Finally, even the best-tuned websites need ample promotion to raise brand awareness and improve the visibility of your business online. Here too, we may delve into two distinct factors; promotion and local SEO.
For promotion, consider such practices as:
- Email marketing and newsletters
- Social media profiles and activity
- Pay Per Click (PPC) and other forms of paid marketing
Of course, not all such practices will suit your strategies and budget, but all promotion will yield notable benefits.
Second, whether you focus on local audiences or not, consider local SEO as well. This will both serve to let local audiences find you and to promote your website further. The basic process is simple:
- Sign up to Google My Business; it's easy and free
- Add essential business information to your profile
- Promote your main website on it, as well as relevant business activities and events
For additional reach, you may also treat your GMB profile as a social media platform. In fact, you may even cross-post content across platforms – as we'll cover next.
#2 Expand to social media
On that subject, it's highly advisable to expand your promotional and marketing activities to social media. They won't directly enhance your SEO, as Google's John Mueller has said, but they still offer substantial benefits.
Find your audiences and engage
First, remember that vast user bases don't always translate into engaged audiences. Facebook's user base of 2 billion people is impressive, for example, but your audiences might not be there.
For this step, consult your customer analytics, and then carefully examine each platform's user base. Demographics alone are an excellent first indicator on which platform will best improve the visibility of your business online. Next, consider each platform's focus; can your business's offerings shine brighter on text-based Twitter or on visual-heavy Instagram?
Once you do settle on your ideal first platform, remember to engage with your audiences. Promote your website there, by all means, but remember to earn their attention through fun content and outreach as well. Respond to comments, address negative reviews, and get involved in conversations on your industry.
Branch out and cross-post
Once you've settled into your first platform and as your business grows, you may then consider branching out to more. Over time you may acquire more in-house talent that lets you do so; have you hired a new designer? Their infographics may fuel an Instagram profile. Perhaps video-savvy content marketers? Then maybe you can consider starting a YouTube channel.
Of course, your time is not infinite, and social media marketing takes effort. Thankfully, if you pick your platforms wisely, you may cross-post platform-appropriate content. A YouTube video might work well on TikTok, just as a great picture will work on both Pinterest and Facebook. And, of course, much of such content can also fuel your GMB profile.
Leverage influencer marketing
Finally, as regards social media, you may very well consider influencer marketing to improve the visibility of your business online. Influencer marketing serves as a very effective way to humanize brands and expand your website's reach.
Should you have doubts, influencer marketing statistics may convince you. Among others, consider the following:
- “The [influencer marketing] market grew from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $9.7 billion in 2020. In 2021, it soared to $13.8 billion, indicating steady growth. This year, the market is projected to expand to a whopping $15 billion industry.”
- “In 2022, brands are expected to increase their budgets for influencer marketing. […]93% of marketers have used influencer marketing in their campaigns, and it's now considered as a key advertising strategy.”
- “Consumers prefer influencer-generated over brand-produced content. 60% of marketers shared that influencer-generated content performs better and drives more engagement compared to branded posts.”
So, if your budget allows it, we strongly suggest exploring this potent form of marketing. If you do, micro-influencers within your industry may actually work best, as the above statistics show – while remaining affordable.
#3 Build authority and enhance your reach
Finally, with your fundamentals in order, you may now consider off-page activities to further improve the visibility of your business online. Helping earn search engines' SEO favor and audiences' trust alike, this final step should ensure your website thrives.
Contribute to other sites
Chances are you're already blogging, as it's a rightful mainstay of content marketing. What's more, it also helps tremendously with SEO, which in turn boosts your website's visibility.
If you are, at this stage, you may consider contributing similar blog content to other websites. Digital marketing aside, doing so will help forge professional relationships with others in your industry. Marketing-wise, too, it will let you promote your website farther – and often earn you backlinks too.
Backlinks, then, are links from other sites that point to yours. In brief, those produce traffic from engaged audiences and, if they're Follow ones, also boost your website's authoritativeness in the eyes of search engines. That said, backlinks too are a vast topic, so for a deeper dive we'd recommend consulting our aforelinked SEO guide.
To begin acquiring backlinks, you may start with Brian Dean's skyscraper technique. In simple terms, it spans three steps:
- Find websites that host valuable content on your industry
- Write better, more information-rich content
- Reach out and ask them to host your content
Other link-building techniques include the guestographic method, where you may offer contextual infographics, and the aforementioned guest blog contributions. Still, well-written content also gets backlinks organically – just remember to promote your website through it!
Engage in local events and network
Finally, local engagement and traditional networking can also improve the visibility of your business online. Thankfully, at this stage, you should have already set healthy foundations for both.
For local events, local regulations permitting, you may leverage your GMB profile and link-building outreach to expand your presence. If you've been particularly active with your promotional activities, online and offline alike, you may also begin building a professional network that further elevates your online presence. Consider the simple example of sponsoring a local event; you may then promote it on GMB and social media. In turn, you may get a mention or backlink from relevant sites or directories you've worked with before and build further trust with local audiences; a win for all parties involved.
In summary, there are ample ways to improve the visibility of your business online. Of course, many will depend on your business and industry, budget and in-house talent, and other factors. However, you may start simple, with a fine-tuned SEO-friendly website, a robust social media presence, and strategic off-page activities. Over time, and with a careful eye on your efforts' success, you may expand accordingly and let your business thrive.