INDUSTRY NEWS & INSIGHTS
By James Bullis | October 12, 2021
How to Get Found Online Through Strong Professional Profiles
In this digital world, we spend most of our time online carrying out various activities. Our time online can take up more than half a day and even more than the time we spend sleeping. And we exhibit so many personas online: we could be hobbyists for online games, social birds on Facebook, serious professionals on LinkedIn, and average consumers on multiple platforms. That said, it’s vital to create professional profiles that reflect your company’s values, mission, and expertise.
As a professional in your specific field, be it a service-focused, physical or online business, a robust online presence is critical to your brand longevity. And this doesn’t only apply to e-commerce. It centers on every type of business.
And consumers will always conduct an online search when looking for products and services. In fact, research shows over 97% of consumers typically buy a product after conducting online research.
As the Internet grows, so does the importance of a solid online presence. In this post, we explain everything you need to know to build a solid online presence, including how to design professional profiles that boost your visibility. Let’s start with the basics:
What Is the Definition of a Strong Online Presence?
Online presence isn’t having multiple social media accounts and spending your time interacting on those platforms. Online presence is painting the business picture in a more profound way beyond what’s ordinary. It involves the activities you perform on the internet, how much the internet recognizes you based on those activities, and how people perceive and treat your business online.
So while an ordinary online existence puts you on those platforms, a solid online presence gives you the credibility, reputation, and above all, the visibility you need for your business to thrive. Without this, you’ll be lost in that expansive maze that is the cyber world. Now before we get into the details on how you can build this kind of digital presence, let’s consider why.
The Importance of a Strong Online Presence
The more you create strategies to present your business within reach of your target customers, the more you can build your reputation and brand awareness. But a robust online presence comes with several other benefits, including:
- Discovery: A strong online presence lets prospective customers who’ve never heard of you locate you even when they are not looking for you.
- Legitimacy: Consumers rarely make an online purchase before consulting with multiple sources, such as websites, reviews, and professional profiles. If you don’t confirm your legitimacy across these sources, no one will believe in the solutions you provide. Not even search engines will recognize you.
- Conduct unlimited marketing: A robust online presence gives you the freedom to reach out to anyone, anytime, anywhere. The prospective buyer only needs a strong internet connection and device to find you whenever it’s convenient for them.
- Cut down on spending: Most digital marketing platforms provide analytics features to help you know which strategy is effective and which one is not, so you can invest accordingly.
- Increase conversions: On average, a lead can take up to seven interactions before they get to the bottom of the sales funnel. Being a prominent business gives you the advantage of accelerating the conversion process.
- Earn credibility on SERPs: When ranking, Google considers different factors besides your website. It looks at your online credibility and consistency.
- Diversify: Not all online platforms are the same. Some perform better than others. Diversity allows you to keep winning even when other channels are slow.
Increasing Your Online Presence With Professional Profiles & More
Typically, when someone hears about your business, the first thing they’ll do is run to Google to check you out. Logically, this is more convenient than giving you a call or visiting your offices in person. By conducting online research on their own terms, these people can find everything they need to know about your business right at their fingertips and much faster. That explains why 56% won’t give your business a second thought if you have no website, according to a 2017 study. That being the case, here is how you can effectively use your website and professional profiles to establish a strong digital presence.
Create an Attractive, User-Friendly Site
These days, consumers have high expectations and ever-changing preferences such that without an attractive website, you might as well not have one. According to research, over 75% of consumers say they judge a business based on how attractive their website design is. That’s why it’s always advisable to have a professional design your website. This is because DIY hacks only work in theory until you start noticing that no one visits your website because of poor design. A well-designed website must have attractive visuals and a simple navigation process — everything necessary to improve the user experience.
Create SEO-Optimized Content
Research shows that only around 49% of websites invest in SEO. Another 18% of small businesses do not consider targeted SEO efforts such as content creation, linking, and keyword research. SEO is the ultimate ticket to gain visibility on SERPs, which is the backbone of an online presence. It is a slow and meticulous process, yet if done right, the results can be endlessly incredible. Here’s how to incorporate SEO in your business:
- Create top-quality, keyword-targeted content for your business site. Use relevant images and backlinks.
- Ensure all of your websites are optimized for mobile.
- Add schema markups to ensure your site has rich snippets below SERPs. These include ratings and navigation pages.
- Invest in local SEO. Use geo-targeting to attract local customers.
Invest in Highly Researched Blogs
Your site’s primary pages, compromising of the home page, about, contact, pricing, products, and services, etc., do not provide much room for you to work with well-optimized content. The most you can do here is provide the basics about your business. However, you need to give well-researched information to your site visitors to inform their purchasing decisions.
A business blog allows you to incorporate relevant keywords to help your visitors locate you and learn more about your products and services. But it doesn’t stop there. To achieve a strong online presence, you need to focus on what drives more traffic to your site and, ultimately, more conversions. A business blog lets your brand shine as the ultimate solution for your clients’ problems which eventually build your reputation and online presence. When blogging, always consider the following:
- Add target keywords in each post, including the post title, meta tags, and alt text.
- Use SEO-optimized title tags such as H1 and H2s to improve your ranking on the “People also ask” section of Google.
- Add bullets and numbering to help features in Snippets.
- Use social media and email marketing to promote your posts.
Only Work With What You Can Manage
When it comes to online presence, quality often prevails over quantity. Only work with platforms you can manage and especially those used the most by your target audience. Having a couple of professional profiles with consistent engagement is far much better than having several dormant ones. The most popular platforms to consider include:
Focus on Audience, Not Followers
Even if you have over five million followers, it won’t improve your online presence. Instead, it is the other way around: your following increases with a solid online presence. So, when creating content for your professional profiles, focus on high-quality posts that resonate with your audience. More user-generated content will ultimately result in more comments, likes, shares, and mentions. Studies show that social media engagements can boost conversions by 29%. Focus on quality, not quantity.
Invest in SEO for Social Media
We can’t stress this enough. SEO is crucial for your online visibility and not only on your website. Every day, Facebook receives more than 200 billion searches besides hashtags, people, and accounts. That means you need to include relevant and popular keywords in your posts and professional profiles. Ensure these keywords are relevant to your business and compatible with your website. Focus more on location and niche-oriented terms that can lead you to the right audience.
Stay Active and Consistent
We already mentioned this but let us emphasize once more. You need to have active, not dormant, professional profiles to build a solid online presence. So that means being consistent in your social media posts, answering inbox messages, replying to comments, and sharing relevant sources. It’s what creates a difference between an online presence and a profile. Again focus on quality, not quantity. If you can achieve this kind of presence with a single account, so be it. The ultimate goal is to feature prominently in digital cyberspace.
Make the Most of Your Listing Category
Similar to search engine pages, a specific algorithm determines the results of your listings. Therefore, the higher the quality of your listings, the better. Ensure that you make the most of each listing category, such as:
- Business description
- Menus and services offered
- Categories and hours of operation
- Contact info
Finally, ensure that your listing information is similar across all listing platforms. This will help Google determine your credibility and rank you accordingly; otherwise, inaccurate information can hurt your indexing and, ultimately, your ranking.
How to Improve Your Online Visibility With Stronger Professional Profiles: Final Thoughts
As we have seen, there are several ways you can improve your online visibility with a robust digital presence. Let’s summarize them here:
- Build an attractive, user-friendly site.
- Create SEO-optimized content.
- Invest in a highly researched blog.
- Only work with what you can manage.
- Focus on quality, not quantity.
- Invest in SEO for social media.
- Stay active on your professional profiles.
- Make the most of your listing categories.
These strategies and more can help boost your online visibility and let your business feature prominently across most platforms and on SERPs. Most of these strategies are straightforward tips that you can DIY. Otherwise, for a better and practical approach, you can work with web design professionals. In which case, you can talk to us at Ventin Web Solutions for more information and professional assistance on building a solid online presence and reputation.
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