Though the process of starting an online business is easier than ever, establishing an online presence is not.
The World Wide Web is flooded with options for purchasing the same products and services from different outlets. And while there are plenty of legitimate sites looking to sell their products and services to customers using virtual means, you really have to shine to attract the right online consumers.
Here’s how to ensure your online presence stands out from the crowd.
You probably know this from experience … many online shoppers are still a bit reluctant to make a purchase with you if they’ve yet to become familiar with your brand.
The good news is, there are several ways you can work to further establish your company’s legitimacy by building its online presence.
We’ve got three steps you should consider in the process building a credible online business.
1. Research your industry
In order to create website copy and messaging that establishes your business as a credible resource for information, products, and services, you’ll need to do a little research on the industry your business falls within and its target audience.
Your research should answer questions like:
- Who are my competitors and what are they saying in their copy to establish trust?
- What are some of the biggest reasons our target customers are reluctant to buy?
- Where are our potential customers looking for information (and how will we provide them with answers)?
Once you’re clear on those questions, figure out how you can create and continually publish content on your online channels that promotes your brand as a thought leader through content.
2. Boost your business name and domain
Registering your website as an official business will be a crucial step in establishing credibility. After that, you can build a good reputation and online presence by promoting the content you created during step #1 while researching your industry.
Second to content marketing, consider ways to garner reviews for your business and brand.
This should be a no-brainer, but it’s important to mention as your consumers are unlikely to trust an online presence that has little to no reviews. Just look at these jaw-dropping stats on local search and reviews:
- Businesses with 6-10 reviews are 60% more likely to have a 3+ star rating than businesses with 1-5 reviews
- 44% of consumers say reviews must be written within one month to be relevant
- Businesses who respond to reviews are 68% more likely to increase their rating by 0.5 stars in 6 months
3. Your online presence and channels should mirror IRL
Finally, one of the most important steps to establishing consumer trust is to watch your online actions as the owner of the business. What you do online should match up to what you do IRL (in real life).
Your personal and professional actions now not only affect what others think of you as an individual but also affect what potential consumers think of your company.
- Keep your social media feeds free of personal rants and political banter.
- Try to stay neutral on sensitive topics and stick to posting about positive moments in your life that highlight your professionalism.
- Be sure that your daily online activity is secure (more on that below).
Now that you have access to an entire brand online, your online activity could leave your site vulnerable to online thieves and hackers.
Take standard online precautions each time you get online to make sure you’re not leaving your site vulnerable by putting your login information out on every website you subscribe to or connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi networks with the device you use to access your website’s CMS.
These are the basic first steps site owners should take as they build an online presence for their brand that establishes trust between their site and the consumer.
Although your road to success will likely involve a lot of trial and error as you navigate the rough waters of converting more of your site visitors to customers, covering these basics will help you create a solid foundation for growth.
What other ways have you established your online presence? Let us know in the comments section below!Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community