This post is the first in a multi-part series describing how to measure your online presence. You’ll learn how to analyze the visibility your site currently has on the internet, as well as options for improving your overall exposure. Please check back every 1.5 weeks for the next installment in the series.
Developing a good digital presence begins with the appearance and content of your website. Your website is the foundation that supports all of your online marketing approaches. If you don’t have a well-designed, easily navigated site filled with compelling content, it would be pointless to launch marketing campaigns using strategies such as social media or content discovery tools.
Visitors that you do attract will likely just end up bouncing if your site is not engaging. After all, the vast majority of people that visit your site are likely to click away after only 10 to 20 seconds, so you have to provide value immediately. Basically, before trying to get people to your site, you have to make sure that your site is worth getting to.
Branding With Design
An essential element of creating and maintaining a digital presence involves a cohesive website design that promotes branding. The first step towards achieving this goal is to get a unique, visually appealing company logo. The best logos communicate something about the values and identity of your business, while also helping a visitor understand what your company does. Your logo should be used on every page of your site, as well as on any marketing emails, social media accounts, press releases, videos and anything else you create during your marketing efforts. Branding in this way will go a long way towards establishing a cohesive, recognizable online presence.
The overall design of your site should be appropriate for the audience you’re trying to attract. There are many factors involved when choosing the best design: color schemes, images, graphics, fonts, layout, navigation, scrolling banners, ads and much more. Getting the help of a professional designer will make the process easier, but it’s important for you to make sure the design is representative of your company’s identity and, most importantly, that it provides value to potential customers.
Apart from the visual aspects, a design needs to be functional. No company can develop an online presence using a broken or confusing website. Design elements that promote clarity include:
- Self-explanatory navigation
- Practical page hierarchy and flow
- Search function
- Mobile responsiveness
- Uncluttered layout
Branding With Content
Everybody knows that a website needs quality content. Bill Gates’ “Content is King” declaration is perhaps the most referenced quote in the world of internet marketing. So without getting into why content is important, let’s just look at some of the ways content can be used to enhance your digital presence. They include:
Blog Posts – Maintaining a blog is one of the best ways to gain more exposure. In fact, studies have shown that regularly posting to a company blog can increase traffic by as much as 55 percent. Blog posts allow you to build your digital presence by sharing buzzworthy, relevant content through your branded social profiles and other marketing channels, in addition to providing search engine optimization benefits. Most importantly, though, well-written and informative blog posts can be of great value to your site visitors, and consistently delivering that value can help you build a bigger audience for your products or services.
Outreach – Creating and distributing content such as branded newsletters, marketing emails and press releases can get you tons of exposure.
Testimonials – Dedicate a page of your site to displaying quotes from satisfied customers. This will help set your company apart from its competitors.
Multimedia – Content isn’t just text. Things like infographics, images and video have been known to drive tons of traffic due to their simplicity, conciseness and ability to engage. Branding this content with your logo and distributing it to different partners, publishers or social channels can maximize your online presence.
Before and After
Take a look at these before and after screenshots to get an idea of just how important branding through design and content can be. While the first screenshot may seem acceptable to many, the addition of a blog, clear navigation, rotating banners, a sleeker design, client logos, a search function and social media links make this page much more likely to keep visitors interested and present a clear brand identity. It also makes it much more likely to rank higher in search engines and encourage repeat visits to both the site and any social media pages.