Making your business known and spreading the word about your brand is a crucial part of attracting new customers, no matter which industry you are based in.

In the past, the two primary methods of attracting new customers were via direct marketing or word of mouth.

Today, the availability of the internet has made several further options available to you when it comes to marketing your brand and expanding its reach. Improving your online presence means that you can reach millions of potential new customers around the world, outstretching the majority of traditional advertising strategies and extending the possibilities of word-of-mouth marketing. But many new business owners are at a loss of what to do when it comes to expanding their online presence. Here are the need-to-know basics to get you started.

1. Work With a Professional

If you are really serious about improving your online presence and reach, but don’t have the time, resources or the know-how to do it yourself, it’s well worth investing in professional assistance. Renowned digital marketing agencies such as Digiconomy keep on top of all the latest trends in digital marketing solutions, allowing your business to not only have a large online presence but also be at the cutting edge of new and trending strategies for spreading the word. Digiconomyprovide a free market and site audit, so you can get a detailed professional analysis of your website before you commit to anything. This will allow you to assess the benefits that working with such a company may provide.

2. Get a Website

First things first; if your business doesn’t yet have a website, then it will be almost impossible to build an online presence without one. Yes, you might be able to build a presence using social media alone, but for many customers, this simply isn’t enough. Today’s modern customers expect the brands that they want to buy from to have a website that they can visit to make purchases, or at the very least, get more information about the brand such as location, opening times, and missions, for example. If your business does not have a website, you are missing out on a vital component – customer trust. The good news is that creating your own website no longer requires an extensive amount of money or know-how. You can use an online site building tool to come up with a professional looking site, using a hosted solution.

3. Content is King

Every time you post new content on your business website, you’re improving your online presence. Because of this, it makes sense to have a section of your site that is dedicated to fresh and exciting content for your visitors, such as a business blog. You can use your business blog to introduce new products and services, provide handy tips and advice to customers, or simply tell your story. Just make sure that you are posting new content regularly; this will not only improve your presence online but boost your SEO rating as regular, new content is one of the main components that search engine algorithms look for when ranking a site.

4. Encourage Reviews

Once you’ve got your website off the ground, it’s time to start improving your online presence elsewhere. One of the best ways to do this is to ensure that you are signed up to a number of third-party review sites such as Trustpilot, Yell, and Google Business. Turn on reviews on your Facebook profile and consider industry-specific review sites such as TripAdvisor, for example. Then, encourage your customers to leave reviews – the more the better. You can do this by providing them with a link in an email when they make a purchase or linking to your review site profiles on social media. Remember that not all reviews will be five stars, but this is an opportunity for you to see where your business can be improved and engage further with your customers by giving them a chance to help you make these improvements.

5. Stay Active

Social media is one of the biggest online marketing tools used by businesses today. With millions of users logging into Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram every single day, it makes sense to ensure that your business has a profile that can be found. But one of the biggest mistakes that business owners make when doing this is simply setting social media up and never thinking about it again. Today, being present is not enough – just like your website, you’ll fare far better if you are regularly keeping your social media profiles up to date with fresh content. This could be news articles that you think your followers would find interesting, shares of your own blog posts and content from your website, polls, and quizzes to help you find out more about your customers or links to your latest products and services.

When it comes to running a successful business, you can’t do it without an online presence. Customers expect to be able to find you online, regardless of whether your company makes online sales.