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  • Writer's pictureSophia Brading

5 ways to strengthen your online presence

Thanks to the accelerated eCommerce trends sparked by the global pandemic, businesses of all kinds have found themselves in an overcrowded digital landscape. Against this competitive backdrop, you need to focus on building a strong, sophisticated and high-performing online presence. It takes a concerted effort across all touch points of your marketing funnel to boost visibility and capture your target audience’s attention, but with a clear marketing plan, you can do it successfully. Here are five digital marketing tips to strengthen your online presence now – and well into the future.

1. Focus on UX for better performance

More than 50 percent of global website traffic now comes from mobile devices, and poor navigation features are cited as the main reason for leaving a mobile website. High abandonment rates signal to Google that a site is performing poorly, in turn telling the search engine to prioritize sites with higher engagement. Therefore, ensuring you have an easy-to-navigate, mobile-responsive experience should be top of your mind; not just for usability’s sake, but for discoverability as well. “Google’s algorithm has consistently taken the user experience into account,” the SEO experts at explain. “Thinking in terms of user experience can help with SEO because resultant strategies tend to align with how Google ranks websites.” Be sure your site is user-friendly with these best UX practices:

  • Test mobile performance using Google’s mobile-friendly test platform.

  • Compress images, video and interactive files. It helps the media load quickly and correctly – critical for mobile viewing. Page speed plays a significant role in rankings since Google’s latest algorithm changes, the “Page Experience” update from June 2021.

  • Simplify the navigation menu, so it’s easy to locate and use. Users should be able to access each page with minimal effort and no confusion.

  • Make the design and layout as intuitive as possible. Use the same colors, fonts, font sizes, and button shapes consistently to make navigating your site effortless.

  • Avoid cluttering sites with text. Break up copy into small paragraphs, utilizing headings and subheadings where applicable, and use ample whitespace to improve readability.

  • Ensure content is accessible to all users. For example, include captions in videos for those hard of hearing or users who prefer to watch without sound.

2. Improve your website’s on-page SEO According to Search Engine Journal’s 2021 State of SEO Report, SEO professionals think on-page SEO has the most impact on overall website search results, ranking it higher than organic user behavior (such as bounce rate and time on site) and the depth and accuracy of page content. On-page SEO refers to optimizing the basic elements on a webpage for search engines, such as the meta title and description, headings, internal links, and image alt text, and incorporating relevant keywords and content strategically. Here are some ways to elevate your on-page SEO this year: According to Search Engine Journal’s 2021 State of SEO Report, SEO professionals believe getting on-page SEO right is the most impactful way to achieve high website search results, ranking it higher than organic user behavior (such as bounce rate and time on site) and the depth and accuracy of page content. Here are some tactics to elevate your on-page SEO:

  • Be strategic about your keyword choice. The most effective keywords will align seamlessly with your content topics and your target audience’s search intent. Use longtail keywords with low to medium competition, as these will be more relevant to your specific audience and help them outrank competitors.

  • Perform a competitive audit before creating content. Research the top-ranking content for the primary keyword and craft a strategy to outperform competitors. For instance, if the top-ranking content features five tips, include at least seven, or offer a “complete guide” on the subject.

  • Integrate keywords into the content naturally. As a general rule, use the primary keyword in the content’s first header (H1 tag), at least one of the H2 tags and within the first 150 words of the copy. Then use secondary keywords in the H2 and H3 tags and in the text as much as possible, avoiding keyword stuffing.

  • Optimize for featured snippet rankings. Score prime real estate with Google by tailoring content to answer the featured snippets ranking for your primary keywords.

  • Take the time to craft clickable metadata. Your meta title and meta description should be keyword-optimized, grab readers’ attention and drive clicks.

3. Develop a strong relationship with your email subscribers

As paid advertising and social media marketing grow in popularity it’s easy to forget the importance of a strong email marketing strategy. Even before COVID-19, 61 percent of consumers preferred to hear from businesses and organizations by email rather than through other channels. Since the pandemic, the average email open rate has continued to rise. Indeed, email can be a more effective channel for building relationships and increasing conversion than social networking sites. As the content marketing experts at DreamGrow point out: “Even if you are very active in managing your Facebook page or Twitter, the potential return is much lower than using opt-in email lists.” According to their research, email is at least four times more effective in reaching your audience than Facebook. An email newsletter is a simple way for you to nurture your email list and connect with your audience in one of your preferred mediums. But you shouldn’t skimp on content – make sure it delivers real value and actionable advice. Ask yourself the following five questions from The Paperless Agent to guide the creation of valuable e-newsletter content that will stand out in their subscribers’ inboxes:

  • What does your target audience want or need to hear from you?

  • How can your services or expertise make their lives easier?

  • How can you rethink a generic topic to make it more relevant to your brand?

  • Which timely or seasonal topics make sense right now?

  • How can you appeal to subscribers with local newsletter content?

4. Have you started a blog? Or can you increase your publishing cadence?

While blogging has been around since the early 1990s, it remains a vital strategy for increasing online presence, even during the post-pandemic digital transformation. “Blogging helps boost SEO quality by positioning your website as a relevant answer to your customers’ questions,” the marketing experts at Hubspot explain. “Blog posts that use a variety of on-page SEO tactics can give you more opportunities to rank in search engines and make your site more appealing to visitors.” If you haven’t launched a blog or you’re not fully utilizing this valuable tool, now is the time to get started. To find article ideas that will resonate with your target audience, ask your sales reps for the most frequent questions from prospective clients and survey your existing client base for their top challenges. According to HubSpot, small blogs should publish 3 to 4 times per week, while established blogs should aim to post 4 to 5 times per week to increase organic website traffic. As a bonus, you can easily repurpose blog articles for social media and email newsletter content, helping you grow your presence on multiple online channels in less time.

5. Ensure you maintain an active social media presence

You can’t expect to build a solid online presence without being active on social media.

Research from Sprout Social reveals that:

  • 55 percent of consumers learn about brands on social networks

  • 78 percent will buy from a brand after a positive social media interaction

  • 91 percent of business leaders plan to boost social media marketing efforts in the next three years

Here’s how you can give your social presence a competitive edge:

  • Tap into new features to expand your reach. Any brand can post an image, video, or status update on their main feed, but why stop there when you can stand out by trying other features? Live streams, video reels, and stories are excellent tools to diversify content and increase engagement.

  • Look beyond social media staples like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and find audiences on newer channels like TikTok. Start lead-creating conversations on the ever-popular business networking site, LinkedIn, which accounts for more than 50 percent of all traffic to B2B sites.

  • Utilize social media monitoring to ensure you are not missing out on essential industry conversations. Track keywords, hashtags, and relevant mentions so you’ll be ready to jump in and capitalize on conversations that boost engagement and gain valuable insights for meaningful content.

Build your online presence now Digital marketing is undoubtedly a competitive space, and it will only get more challenging to break through the noise in the post-pandemic era. You need a strong online presence to establish brand awareness, increase content visibility, boost organic traffic and connect with your target audiences. Be sure to include these digital marketing best practices when setting out your marketing plan and let the results speak for themselves.

Colloco Marketing Ryde – Portsmouth Social Media & Websites

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