How often do you ask yourself, “How’s my company’s online visibility doing today?” You may think I’m kidding, but if your online presence isn’t something you’re thinking about nearly every day, you’re probably not giving it the attention it deserves. Increasing the online visibility of your business should be routinely top of mind.
There are many reasons why boosting your digital presence is crucial. Improving your online visibility can increase sales, create brand trust and build your reputation among customers and industry partners. All this makes investing the time and resources necessary to increase online visibility something you don’t have to question.
Raising your company’s online profile won’t just occur on its own. You need to be focused on the work it takes to make it happen. Here are four things you should do to increase your online visibility.
1. Envision Your Endgame
Mental rehearsals have been proven to improve performance. Visualizing yourself shooting a basketball and watching it swish through the net will increase your free throw percentage. Why not use the same strategy to increase your online visibility?
The first step will be to define what your “swish” looks like. You need to determine what constitutes success for your brand and set benchmarks and goals. That’s the only way you can know whether your online strategy is a hit or a miss.
Let’s say you want to increase social media engagement with your brand by 25%. Obviously, reaching this goal demands increased visibility, so determine what tactics you can use on all your social channels. These could include making timely responses to comments, posting compelling content, holding a giveaway or enticing users to comment, follow, like and share.
Visualize where you want to end up, and you’ll find developing a digital strategy to get there will more easily fall into place. Make your brand conspicuous by its greater online presence, not its absence.
2. Find Out Where You Stand
To understand what you’ll have to do to achieve your goals means understanding where you are right now. Figuring out where you rank among your competition used to require investing in major market research projects. The digital world makes the calculation much easier.
Use competitor analysis tools to take a close look at how key competitors in your niche are scoring in SEO rankings. Once you determine which ones are coming out on top, take a deep dive into how they’re getting there.
Review their websites, content and social media presence. Explore which keywords are putting them at the top of the search results and how they’re using algorithms to their advantage. Employ Google Analytics to benchmark your brand among your competitors and to reveal how readers are engaging with their websites.
Once you figure out what they seem to be doing right, insert the elements that will translate to your own brand into your strategy. Think of it as viewing your opponent’s game film before updating your playbook. To best the competition, you must know how you’re ranked going in.
3. Plan and Execute Your Strategy
You have visualized where you want to be and whom you’ll need to pass to get there. Now you need to devise and execute a strategy to raise your online visibility. And that will require a team effort.
You should tap your best talent to work on developing this plan. If you don’t have some of the necessary roles in house, look outside to recruit an employee for a needed position or outsource that role. Hire an SEO consultant or content agency to work with you on strategy, implementation and analysis.
These pros can help you determine—and create—the kinds of content you’ll need to engage your audience at every stage of the sales funnel. They’ll advise you on the keywords you should be ranking for and let you know which ones are within your reach. From developing related webs of content to scoring valuable backlinks, implementing the right SEO techniques will gradually increase your online visibility.
Whatever you do, make sure you keep your strategy true to your brand. If you resort to shady SEO tactics merely for the sake of competitive advantage, you risk losing the trust of customers and prospects alike.
A savvy and solid game plan is indispensable in your pursuit to increase your brand’s online visibility. Put the right players on the team from start to finish, and you’ll find yourself celebrating wins.
4. Lower Your Expectations
You read that correctly. In your quest to raise your brand’s online visibility, you need to lower your expectations. That’s because the climb to the top won’t be easy.
As your team develops a strategy, develop realistic timelines and milestones and temper expectations. It’s critical to analyze what’s working and what’s not at every step, adjusting accordingly. Although there are some tactics that may boost visibility quickly, lasting success takes time.
Trial and error is part of any new strategy. To paraphrase Thomas Edison, you’ll discover more things that don’t work than do, but both are equally valuable to the process. In the spirit of anticipating failure, have a Plan B and C for every Plan A. When something in the strategy misses the mark, you’ll be ready to send in a substitute.
Having lofty aspirations for your online visibility is OK. But making sure your goals and expectations are realistic is the only chance you have to achieve them. Think of your strategy to increase your online visibility as a rebuilding period for your brand’s marketing efforts. Give it time.
By envisioning your endgame, doing the needed oppo research and developing and implementing a solid game plan, you can slowly but surely get your business noticed. When you ask yourself how your online visibility is doing on any given day, “We’re working on it” is always a winning answer.