Is Your Online Presence Better Than The Competition?

By Elin Enrooth

No matter the size or industry of your business, maintaining an effective online presence should be an important part of any marketing strategy. A solid online presence will allow you to connect with customers, build your brand, reach new customers, and outperform the competition.

In order to determine how your digital presence compares to your competitors, consider the following questions.

Is Your Online Presence Better Than The Competition?

Do You Have A Quality Website?

A strong website provides positive user experience (UX). First impressions are crucial and if your website is outdated or hard to navigate, users will often leave.

You have less than 15 seconds to capture someone’s attention on your website. In this time, you must communicate what your site is about, engage the user, and let them know what you want them to do (call-to-action).

However, you need to communicate this information while keeping it simple. Cluttered websites can contribute to negative UX.

Bruno Law is a criminal defense firm in Minneapolis. Pictured below is their former website. As you can see, there are two CTAs on the homepage, “Consultation Request” and “Read More Testimonials.” The lack of negative space is confusing, the user doesn’t know where to look. This is what we consider a cluttered webpage.

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We cleaned up their website by placing a single CTA, “Request Consultation”, in the middle of the page. The use of negative space draws the user's eyes to the CTA and the navigation bar in the top right still includes all of the resources visitors need while on the site.

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To create a quality website, it’s smart to invest in a custom web design that is tailored to your business goals, branding, and services.

Although a custom web design will cost more upfront, it will also give you a competitive edge in the long term. Custom-designed websites are more SEO-friendly because experts are able to ensure browser compatibility, page speed, and quality coding. Search engines like Google and Bing view a cleanly-coded website in a better light than a website built with a template, which can include extra JavaScript and CSS files and poorly-coded third-party extensions.

Are You Investing In SEO?

In order to outperform the competition, you need to have a higher rank in organic search results.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of boosting a website’s organic ranking by catering to search engine crawlers. This consists of building backlinks, developing keyword strategies, writing compelling content, and simplifying your site’s navigation- just to name a few.

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Organic search drives drastically more customers than paid search, so it’s important that you are making the most of your organic ranking.

As you can see in the graph, 92.4% of our online traffic comes from organic search.

If you need help optimizing your site for search, hire a reputable digital agency. Be wary of providers that promise first-page rankings in no time at extremely low prices. Building an authoritative site that will maintain a high position in search results takes time and you won’t always see immediate results.

Do You Have An Engaging Social Strategy?

Social media allows small businesses a bigger platform to reach new customers and directly interact and engage with current customers to connect and build loyalty.

According to Hootsuite, 45% of the total world population uses social networks. This presents a huge opportunity for local businesses that want to reach a larger audience.

There are multiple platforms on which your business can build a presence, but you don’t have to be on all of them. In fact, your business shouldn’t be on a platform just because it exists. Which platforms you incorporate into your strategy will depend on where your target audience is online, how users interact with your brand and your business’s own mission and values.

For example, if your business provides staffing solutions, you should probably have a presence on LinkedIn. If you own a small plumbing company, you should be present on Facebook so that customers can find you, Instagram so that you can share the visual aspects of your brand, and Yelp in order to crowdsource customer reviews and ratings.

As a digital marketing agency, we maintain a presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

LinkedIn allows us to connect with industry leaders, communicate with potential employees and clients, and share our work.

Facebook has become a “must-have” tool for marketing. It houses the widest demographic of users on any platform, allowing most businesses to reach a larger audience. From our own account, we can manage clients’ profiles and advertising campaigns, post job listings and collect reviews.

Instagram gives a face to our agency. It is where we get to share about our employees, company culture, and a few benefits of working here.

Are You Writing Relevant Content?

Writing relevant content will allow your business another method in which to engage with customers. Again, no matter your business or industry, the content will help build brand authority, generate traffic, increase leads, and build natural backlinks. The first step to creating content is to determine your target audience.

After you’ve established who your audience is, you need to dive into what your audience is looking for. Developing an audience persona will give insight into how your audience goes about their daily lives, which is imperative to understanding how to empathize and relate to them. This will allow you to produce content that is helpful, informative, personable, and relevant.

Not only is it important to produce well-written, informative content, but you must also strategize its format and delivery.

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Mobile users account for over half of all online activity. So, you should format your pieces so that they’re easy to read and digest on a mobile device. To optimize for mobile, you should keep paragraphs short, bold the most important points, and ensure your website design is responsive to multiple screen sizes.

A prominent online presence is crucial to the competitive landscape for your business. If your website doesn’t answer your customers’ questions, a competitor’s will.

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