Creating a brand for your local online business as part of your local online marketing strategy has become more important as digital technology has become integrated into daily life. According to Google’s Consumer Barometer Report 2015, “there are 3.1 devices connected to the internet per person in Australia”, which means that your business needs to be online, and being online means you need to stand out from the noise that’s out there.
With billions of searches being carried out every day, search is becoming more and more relevant for how people find and digest information. And it’s no different for when people are searching for products and services. The majority of people go to the internet first.
With the world of search marketing becoming more competitive, you need some way of distinguishing yourself. If you’ve ever looked into using the services of a digital marketing agency, or done any research into the world of online marketing, you would have heard the term Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) thrown around time and time again. But as a small business owner you don’t have the time to spend perfecting an SEO Strategy that may or may not rank.
How do you help your local business to stand out online?
Optimising your content for search engines should always be a priority, but ranking for your keywords is not easy. You need something that highlights your business and builds out your brand to be recognised within your industry. This alongside your content optimisation will not only bring more traffic to your site but will also help to boost your sites authority for key search terms.
When your brand is known you aren’t solely reliant on appearing in the top of search results. You will have traffic coming to your site for your brand name rather than just key search terms.
Developing your brand
If your business branding is recognised within your industry then search engines will take this into account when ranking your website in your industry’s particular search results. If you have a well-crafted website with relevant information, the chances that your company will appear within the top search results for targeted keywords is greatly increased.
When branding is done right, customers will begin to know your company’s name when they think of your specific industry. This gives you an added channel that customers will search for your company, giving you extra chances to convert them into a paying client.
Mentions of your brand on other websites will also help to boost your search engine rankings, as awareness of your brand grows – combine with an outreach strategy – links to your website will grow naturally, increasing the likelihood of new customers coming across your products or services. The same can be said about social media shares. These factors all gets thrown into the mix to improve the search ranking of your site.
So how do you create more brand signals to your site?
Develop content that provides value to your customers
Depending on your industry, people will be searching for your services for various reasons. But they will all have something in common. They are looking to solve a problem. Whether that problem is the services of a plumber to fix a leaking pipe or which fabric is best to make a winter coat. You want to provide them exactly what they are looking for and you should do this through the content of your site.
Offer clear and useful information – whether through text, video or images. You want to be seen by customers to be adding some value. You may not convert everyone who comes to your site into a paying customer, but with the right content, you’ll be seen as a company that is out to help customers and not simply seen as one whose sole purpose is to sell to them.
The content on your site will also help search engines to recognise what your company is about, what industry they should categorise you under and how influential you are for your industries related keywords.
You should create content that will stand the test of time. Content that will provide value long after you have uploaded it. That’s not to say that topically content shouldn’t appear too, but you should create several pages that will constantly be relevant and continually searched. This will be the foundation that your site is built on. And with great content that people link to and share, provides social proof that your brand knows what it’s talking about. This will also allow your company to reach an audience that you may not have considered before.
Looking to get your brand out there? Use a Pay Per Click advertisement for targeted keywords within your industry. You’ll be put to the top of the page of search results, helping to put your brand in front of the people looking for your services. This will bolster your brand recognition.
However, this is of no use to you if you don’t direct people to useful content that answers relevant questions, offers some value or helps them to find exactly what they were looking for. That’s the whole reason they were searching for your company right?
Social and Link Building
While you are building your brand, and hopefully trying to get a few of your main pages to rank in search engines, you can be actively promoting your business online through social media and link building. These are great ways to build brand awareness. Social media can be shared through the online community. Even if you have the greatest content in the world, people won’t just happen upon it. You need to share it with key people or websites in your industry. Ask them to link to your website to build some authority around it.
Continue to create useful content that your audience can share. Share content from others in your area. Join key groups and start a conversation. Answer any questions that appear in these groups and set yourself up to be a helpful resource. People will respond to this and you will begin to see more of your own content being shared.
Find key industry sites to what your business does. Reach out to them and ask to write a guest post. These websites will already have established audiences that you can leverage to help promote your brand.
Building links back to your site and being active on social media are great opportunities to gain new traffic and show social proof in your company’s content. Search engines will look favourably on this.
You shouldn’t use just one of the above, each individual aspect, helps the other. The end result is a website that draws in traffic, ranks well, is know not just in your industry’s community but in also in the general community. Which means more traffic will be able to find you and offers more chances to convert that traffic into a sale.