Online Presence Management (OPM), sometimes called digital or web presence management, is a multidisciplinary process with the goal of bringing traffic to an online brand.
There are several key aspects:
- Web Design and Development
- Content Creation
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Online Advertising
- Social Media Management
- Reputation Management
For an online business to be successful, all of these factors should be taken into consideration. Because the internet is a dynamic place, the exact methods and importance of these factors is constantly evolving.
Web Design and Development
Your website is the centerpiece of your online presence. It should provide clear information on what products or services you offer, as well as an easy way for your customers to purchase these.
Tips for a successful website:
- A responsive, mobile friendly design. The majority of internet traffic is now coming from mobile devices.
- Up to date theme. There are certain design trends that come and go in the online world. An up to date design shows to your audience that care about the quality of your website.
- Easy to use. The user comes first in all online interactions. Design your website to be easy for your target audience to use.
You may have heard the phrase ‘Content is King’, well content still is the name of the game. We live in the attention economy. By creating quality content that gets your users interested and engaged, you draw a larger audience to your business.
Pointers on content creation:
- Contribute value to your audience. No one wants to waste their time reading a poorly written article.
- Provide up to date (fact checked) information. The more timely and relevant the information is, the better it will rank on search engines.
- Be easy to read with a good flow. Most people read at ~8th grade level. But keep your audience in mind when writing.
- It should be shareable. Think to yourself: “Would I share this to an online group?” If not, consider rewriting it or picking a different topic. When a reader shares your work on a social network, it sends a strong signal to others that the content is quality.
Social Media Management
Social media allows you to foster an audience online through the sharing of content. Because of the nature of social networks, larger audiences beget larger audiences. Sharing your business on social media is one of the best ways to fortify and spread your online presence.
Some tips for successful social media management:
- Post consistently. This it one of the key growth factors of a social media account. Regularly put out new content to share with the world. Doing it at least weekly is recommend if you are trying to grow a following. Daily is even better.
- Be responsive to your online community. If someone asks a question or makes a comment, be sure to respond. This displays to the world that you care about your customers.
- Post content that engages your audience. They should be active consumers of your content. Interactive posts such as contests or quizzes are great for this.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization is one of the biggest buzzwords in digital marketing. It is one of the most important, while also being one of the least important aspects. Quality SEO will drive organic traffic to your website from search engines. However, don’t waste your time loading keywords and SEO hacks into your website. The quality of the core offering will always matter more.
SEO is mostly about your ability to be found. The signal to noise ratio on the web is very high, and with an increasing online population, getting worse. SEO is a way to signal to the major search engines that your content is quality, and people want to be looking at it.
- A fast loading, mobile friendly website is a must.
- Each page should be themed around a group of keywords.
- Lots of shares on social media is a strong signal that the webpage is of good quality.
Depending on your industry, paid traffic can be a great way to increase your online presence and get new eyes to see your business. With growing amounts of consumer data, it is easier than ever to target your niche audience. If your ideal customer is a 40 year old mother living in an urban area, you can target that demographic with ease.
It is not recommended to jump into paid advertising until you have your website’s conversion process locked down. A website that does not convert well with organic traffic will likely not convert well with paid advertising.
Some advertising tips:
- A/B test your ads. Make small changes between campaigns and analyze the conversion rate to see what is working the best.
- Be very specific. Target as small an audience as possible. The people you know are interested in your product or service. Showing ads to a wide market only wastes money.
- Create campaigns to target previous customers, as well as those who have visited your site previously. They already are interested in what you have to offer, and are easier to convert than a cold lead.
Every business makes mistakes. But with the internet, it is now more important than ever to address those mistakes. Negative PR has the ability to go viral and spiral out of control (à la the United Airlines passenger removal incident ). To prevent something like this from affecting your business, you must be vigilant and proactive. Actively seek out and remedy issues online. This looks great to potential customers, who could be turned away by a bad review.
Reputation management recommendations:
- Respond to all comments and reviews if possible.
- Use an automated alerting system to let you know when people are talking about your business.
All of these different factors work together to form your total online presence.
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