4 Things You Can do TODAY, (for FREE), to Help Lay the Foundation for a Strong Online Presence
The world of digital marketing is ever-changing, and sometimes it’s difficult to figure out where to start. As a marketer who has worked with hundreds of businesses of all types throughout the years, I still find it amazing how many business owners don’t take some of the most basic steps (on top of creating a website) to lay the foundation for a strong online presence. The following 4 things are simple steps you can take and do in-house, TODAY, for FREE, to help establish an online presence, generate traffic and get a better pulse on what your website is producing.
1. Claim Your Listing on Google
We walk into businesses each and every day that simply have not taken the time to claim their listing on Google. This is a very simple process that essentially let’s search engines such as Google know you’re open for business! In order to claim your listing on Google, follow these simple steps:
- Sign into your Google account or create one for free by going here.
- Once signed into your account Go to Google My Business.
- Here you fill out your business information and click Continue. For the purpose of this example, we are using the fictional business “John Smith’s Moving Company”.
- Google will then give you the option to have a postcard sent directly to your location which will include a verification code. This should arrive in 1-2 weeks.
- Once you receive the verification code, log back into your Google My Business account and click “Verify Location”
And then simply in put the code, click “Submit” and just like that you have claimed your listing on Google! Don’t forget to build up your business profile with business descriptions, images and products/services you offer.
2. Manage a Blog
“Content is King” has become a cliché in digital marketing circles, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hold true. Blogging can be an effective way to gain credibility with your audience but it also can help improve your organic rankings. Quality content that creates value for the end user (your customer!) is more likely to get noticed online, rank, and drive targeted website traffic that converts. Also, publishing quality content through a blog is a good way to acquire new backlinks to your website which in turn can help your organic exposure.
Blogging is much easier than many business owners think, and if you have a user-friendly CMS (Content Management System) such as WordPress you can have your blog up and running in minutes. However, it does take discipline time to create content that your users are going to want to consume, and initially you probably won’t get too much traction on your blog but you have to keep at it as it is an important component of your current, and future online presence.
If you simply don’t have the time to create compelling content, publish and share on your social media platforms, you can reach out to FORWARD marketing about our professional blog writing services and how we have helped businesses just like yours.
3. Engage on Social Media
Social media is no longer the future, we’re here right now. If you aren’t growing your networks on social media and engaging with your audience, you’re making a big mistake. Over the last several years social media’s impact on digital marketing has evolved, and there’s reason to believe it’s only going to continue to play a more important role as time moves on. Social signals such as “likes” and “shares” can not only drive targeted traffic to your site, they also could have a positive impact on your website’s organic rankings. Although each search engine has a different ranking algorithm that determines which sites rank where, Bing has recently stated that theirs looks at different social signals, including how many followers a business has, when determining where they show up in search results. Linking to authoritative websites is a key factor in ranking high on search engines. Through social media you can now acquire external links which is a main building block of SEO.
Furthermore, a social media profile that has a strong following, actively engages with its network and has great content can actually rank directly in SERPs. Being able to have your website AND any social media profile page rank organically will help increase the amount of real estate you own on the first page and the likelihood you drive relevant traffic to your site.
Engaging social media is something that every business owner should be doing.
4. Install Google Analytics
Google Analytics puts a world of information about your website traffic, where it’s coming from, how long visitors are staying on your site, at what rate do they bounce out and MUCH more right at your fingertips. Installing Google Analytics will help you gauge what marketing is working, and what isn’t. It’s also super easy to install and we find that there are many businesses we meet with everyday that have never taken the time, or worse yet, their marketing company hasn’t taken the time, to add.
Installing Google Analytics is easy, just follow the below steps.
- Just like when you claimed your listing, make sure you are logged into your Google account. If you need to create one, you can for free by going here.
- Once logged in, go to Google Analytics.
- You should see the below screen, click “Sign Up”
- Then input your business information, for the sake of this example we’ll again be using our fictional business.
- Click on “Get Tracking ID” which will take you to the below page where you can copy and paste the script Google gives you and install it on your site to get Google Analytics set up.
Installing Google Analytics will give you a world of data which will help you determine what is working for you and what isn’t, and put your advertising dollars to better use, and it doesn’t cost a dime.
If you do these 4 things today, you will take a big step in the right direction to a healthy online presence. If you get caught up or have any questions on any of these 4 things, don’t hesitate to contact us by filling out an online form, or call us at (773) 227-3269.