Competition for online eyeballs has never been fiercer. Having to compete against literally thousands upon thousands of companies, some with budgets 100x larger than yours, all with the same goal. 

With this in mind it’s fair to say that setting up and running a successful online business is no easy task but the good news is that you can still succeed, even as a young brand. 

In this guide we’re going to show you exactly how. 

Optimise your website 

Did you know, more than 70% of people research a business online before visiting them in person. This means, you want to make finding your business online as easy as possible and this begins with a fully optimised website. 

We’ve outlined 4 key things you must ensure your website is doing correctly to improve your chances of being found. 

Adhere to your brand guidelines to establish coherence across brand touch points. This is a surefire way to make your business look more professional. 
Make sure your website is mobile responsive 
Ensure your website is built with search engine optimisation (SEO) best practices from the bottom up. 
Make sure your website has fast load times – this is something Google particularly looks out for when ranking your website. 

Optimise your website for SEO

In short, SEO is a digital marketing strategy that seeks to make your website more visible on the likes of Google. 

With SEO, you optimise your site to appear at the top of the search results. 

Earning a top spot in search results is critical because most people (around 75%) stick to the first page of search results, with the first three results earning 75% of traffic. If your company isn’t in the top three, you’ll gain significantly less traffic, leads, and sales.

It’s important to note that SEO can get extremely technical very quickly so it may be best to enlist a SEO expert for this.

Claim your profile on local directories like google 

Even if your company’s operations go outside of your local area, it is best to claim profiles on your local directories like Google my Business (GMB). This is because they help to increase your web presence and boost your SEO efforts. 

Investigate your competitors and their strategies 

It’s okay to take inspiration from your competitors and even companies outside your industry. 

It’s also extremely beneficial to know what your competitors are doing to increase their presence online so you can improve on this for your own business. Simple. 

When it comes to a competitor analysis, you’ll want to research the competitions’:

Search result rankings
Social media
Paid ads
Local directory profiles
Email marketing campaigns

Improve your social media marketing efforts 

By now, I believe most of you have been lectured to enough about the importance of having your business on social media. So below i have simply listed a few ways to increase the eyeballs to your social media content. 

Engage and respond to people online. 

For example, if we take Instagram for example, I think one of the best ways to drive more eyeballs to your business’s Instagram page and hopefully your website too, is by following a very specific hashtag related to your business. 

I.e. If you are a new restaurant opening up in Belfast, make sure to follow #belfast this way you can interact with people in your business area simply by liking or commenting on their posts. This will drive people to your page out of curiosity. 

Another more targeted way to drive traffic to your page is by interacting with people who follow one of your close competitors pages. This is good because these people are clearly already interested in what you have to offer. 

Produce helpful and informative content 

I believe a lot of business owners overlook this. Instead they focus all of their efforts on sell sell sell on social media. Which ultimately is not what social media audiences want at all. Think about how you use social media and this will immediately make sense. 

People on social media want to be either, a. Entertained or b. Educated. 

One way of ensuring you are implementing this strategy is by adopting the 60:30:10 rule 

“The 60/30/10 rule states that 60% of the posts you create should be engaging content that gets people reacting, commenting and sharing, 30% should be shared content, and 10% should be promoting your products & services, sales, events, etc.”

  • 80% of company decision-makers want articles, not ads, to help them make a decision
  • 70% of users prefer getting to know a company through articles versus ads
  • 60% of users credit company-created content for improving their purchase decision

Utilise paid ads

A quick way to improve your web presence is to utilise paid advertising. 

With online ads on places like Google, Facebook, and YouTube, your business can drive brand awareness, website traffic, and revenue fast. The only downside is that it can be costly, and unless you know exactly what you’re doing, it may be hard to see a true ROI.

This is why it may be best to consider hiring an expert, as they will be able to create, set-up, track and monitor your ads on an on-going basis. Not only that, but they will have the know-how to retarget the people who interacted with your ad. All in all, making you (a lot) more money. 

Create a strategy for building a qualified email list

Did you know, email marketing delivers an unmatched return on investment. However, achieving a high level of ROI depends on your approach to compiling a targeted email list. 

A few common tactics that businesses use to build qualified email lists include:

Offering a downloadable guide or ebook

Providing a free tool that requires a user to supply their email

Promoting exclusive offers and discounts to email subscriber

Build Rapport with influencers 

This is a relatively new online marketing technique that is only continuing to grow in importance. 

New businesses can win more eyeballs by building relationships with micro-celebrities. These are people with a 1k-10k (very engaged) following. 

Connecting with influential brands and people allows you to leverage their existing audiences which may be interested in your business. 

A tip here would be to look at useful/related hashtags to your business and the accounts which get a lot of exposure from these. Then look to connect with these influencers and think of ways to engage them in your marketing.

Recognise when you need help and ask for it 

With all this in mind, there are definitely certain things that you should take away from this and implement immediately. 

However, improving your web presence is an ongoing investment of your time, resources, and money. 

Therefore it’s important to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses in each area. 

I.e. Does your business have the staff or time to manage the social media strategy and or SEO strategy. 

Do you have the right talent to optimise your website? 

If not, it may make a lot more business sense to hire an expert. If chosen correctly, your digital marketing expert will pay for themselves as improving your online presence should only mean one thing and one thing only – a hell of a lot more business. 

If you would like to learn more about how you can improve your online presence in a lot more detail. Then make sure to get yourself to MOMENTUM on 22/06/23.

We’re bringing together Northern Ireland’s hottest, sharpest, most creative, and resilient minds in an action-packed evening filled with actionable takeaways.