13 Nov Building An Online Presence in 2024
In today’s fast-paced and interconnected digital landscape, building a robust online presence has become more essential than ever before. As we enter 2024, the online world continues to evolve, offering opportunities for businesses, professionals, and content creators. However, maintaining your online presence is never easy.
To help you make it through the ever-changing digital landscape, here are a few tips to help you as you maintain your online presence in 2024.
What is an online presence?
You may have the tastiest pizza joint in South Africa, but it means nothing if users can’t find you. In today’s digital world, an online presence can be the difference between your business succeeding or failing and is a term used to describe how easily users can find your brand. This is your digital footprint and includes everything from social media to your website. These components work together to help potential customers find you before they even know they need your product or service. In essence, having a strong online presence helps build trust with potential customers before they make a purchase.
Here are a few reasons why having an online presence is vital:
- Creates trust and credibility
- Increased customer engagement
- Helps reach a larger, diverse audience
- Provides a competitive edge
While social media and email marketing are all important factors, there is one component that remains at the top of the list when it comes to cultivating an online presence – Google.
How often have you found yourself typing “best restaurants near me” or “weather tomorrow” into the Google search bar? Our searches aren’t limited to the weather but include finding brands through our related search terms. Typing in “best yoga pants” or “cleaning services Cape Town” will undoubtedly produce several brands that have a solid online presence with carefully targeted keywords.
An increase in competitors or algorithm updates are all factors that can influence the strength or weakness of your online presence. But how do you navigate the rough seas of the ever-evolving internet? A drop in rankings is something that a business or website never wants to see, but this is a possibility when you don’t have a sustainable online presence.
Here are a few tips you can implement to help you create your very own “North Star” when it comes to building your online presence:
Start Building Topical Authority
Topical authority is earned when a website demonstrates expertise on a particular subject. The popular saying, “jack of all trades is a master of none,” is a phrase that comes to mind when talking about topical authority. Offering high-quality and valuable information is another great way to build trust with your audience as they’re more likely to gravitate towards someone who has established themselves as an expert in a particular field. In contrast, someone who is interested in talking about many different topics may not get the desired outcome they hope.
For example, SOMS Digital is a Digital Marketing Agency. So, establishing ourselves as the topical authority on digital marketing is only natural.
Google is big on providing users with valuable and relevant content and is capable of recognising user behaviour and, in turn, rewarding websites that demonstrate their authority and expertise on a particular subject matter. In August 2022, Google released a Helpful Guide emphasising the importance of connecting users to helpful information.
A great way to do this is by building authority around a subject and utilising cluster keywords. Instead of focusing on a broad topic such as “Plants” you may want to narrow that down to focus on cluster keywords such as “Growing Herbal Plants” or “Taking Care of Herbal Plants.” Providing how-to guides, tips, and advice around long-tail keywords with fewer monthly searches can help give your site more authority on a topic, giving you a better chance to rank higher in SERPs for related search queries. It also allows you to rank better against competitors competing for the same keywords, as Google sees you as a trusted source of information. This also has an impact on the buying decisions of consumers, as studies show that 80% of customers use trust as a deciding factor when making a purchase.
The conclusion? Start researching and writing!
Write Content For The Entire Sales Funnel
A common mistake businesses make is disregarding the entire sales funnel when creating content. The sales funnel is a model that describes how customers move from awareness to action, but when creating a content strategy, businesses tend to focus on action rather than creating awareness. However, this need for immediate results can be beneficial in the short-term but detrimental in the long run.
When content is focused on the end of the sales funnel, or converting the user, you are missing out on a large volume of traffic that could convert in the future. In contrast, businesses that have created content for every stage of the sales funnel will be the first thing consumers think about when they eventually do decide to make a purchase.
Let’s say you’re a company that offers personal finance software, you may find yourself creating a blog post around 5 Essential Money Habits You Need to Master in Your 20s. While users reading your post may not be ready to convert right now, writing this post will not only establish yourself as an authority on the topic of finance and finance software, but you’ll be front of mind when they eventually start looking for financial software later down the line.
Refresh Outdated Content
Creating fresh content is key to an effective digital marketing strategy. However, the world keeps spinning and the seasons continue to change, and before you know it, content that was once high-ranking is now outdated. When high-performing pages drop in numbers, it can have an effect on your online visibility. While the obvious choice would be to aggressively start targeting new keywords and churning out content, there is an easier option – refresh your old content.
In fact, research by HubSpot revealed that updating old posts can increase traffic by up to 106%. A great way to tackle and refresh old content is to consider what readers are looking for right now, what are the current trends, what’s ranking well at the moment, and how you can make it unique to your business.
The internet is a competitive place, and the only way to get users to your website is to be found. Off-page optimisation remains an important step as Google still relies on off-page signals like backlinks. This also helps it determine how relevant your content is to the user’s search query. The key is to ensure you’re creating organic backlinks and not ones that feel spammy. While this is easier said than done, the best way is to create valuable content people want to share. Guides and tools are all great examples of this.
The digital landscape is constantly evolving, and businesses, professionals, and content creators must adapt to stay relevant and competitive. The biggest takeaway is that your content needs to show expertise and build trust and authoritativeness through high-quality content creation that resonates with your audience.
When you’re able to do that, you will be able to build a strong online presence that not only captures attention in 2024 but also establishes a lasting impact.