Definition of Online Presence Management
Online Presence Management is the process of dealing with and deliberately controlling or influencing activities that bring about an improved reputation for your organization, brand, or personality on the internet.
Nowadays with the internet options available, there are many possibilities for companies to increase their online reputation and internet presence, and show off to their customers through digital marketing channels.
If we broke it down you will notice there are three key elements as Online, Presence, and Management. Online is making the distinction of this practice related to digital marketing channels and not print nor physical display advertising. Presence is defined as being present in a place or thing; thus in this case it refers to your web presence through a variety of social media channels.
Management is dealing with and deliberately controlling or influencing the outcomes of activities; thus your ability to manage your company’s presence on an array of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., is an example of management within this arena of expertise.
Your Digital Footprint
Each of us leaves a digital footprint, even brands do. Search engines record every time someone uses a search engine for an online search and what they searched for; people are more likely to share personal information online than they are in person, and anyone who has an email address can be tracked through it.
The first digital footprints were made when people began using the internet. Online presence doesn’t only involve large companies and brands, but also includes individuals like freelancers and small business owners (SMBs).
Managing an online presence is important because it helps to keep you in touch with your customers. It involves many different strategies, including social media accounts, content marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), social media marketing, advertising (including pay-per-click campaigns), blogging, reputation management, web design, and development.
Online Presence Management History
In the 1990s, online companies like eBay and Amazon made a unique move: they sold products entirely online without a physical store.
This new business model drew the interest of physical stores who created websites to sell their products in addition to the physical location where their products were sold. The buying experience was entirely new, and clients could look up a store on the web to buy their products.
Then, around the turn of the century (2000), the dot com crash exposed unsound business practices and helped those companies still online to develop more efficient business models.
Social tools proliferated all over the web. Websites like Facebook, Youtube, Myspace, Friendster and allowed users to voice their opinions on anything and everything. Eventually, websites started popping up that focused on allowing users to review products and services.
Right now because of that freedom of speech we can see that a single review made on Yelp has the power to change a restaurant’s profit by 5-10%. Many individuals don’t want to be passively advertised to and they want to interact with those companies actively.
Is Online Presence Management Marketing?
The number of consumers searching the internet for information increases every year.
Smartphones and tablets aid in online searching, and it’s estimated that more than 4 million search queries happen per minute from 2.4 billion global internet users.
In addition, the data held by the internet grows exponentially as well. So if you have a business that needs to be discovered online, it can feel like a small fish in a vast ocean when attempting to get noticed. How can anyone ever find you with all the others out there?
Digital Presence Management (DPM)
Most businesses, especially smaller ones, hire digital presence management companies to help them market their brands online. The process of marketing any brand in an online space is called Digital presence management.
DPM is the process of marketing any brand online and getting traffic. This may include but is not limited to website design and development, social media presence, blogs, SEO, local search results, PPC marketing, and email marketing.
Think of one’s website as a digital storefront for their organization so maximizing its performance and digital presence helps to make it shine and grab the attention of online consumers.
In order to help and boost a company’s online presence, there are a set of tools and together with a good strategy, it will convert the site visitors (target market) into qualified sales contacts or leads.
Why is OPM so Important?
Regardless of the size of your business or the industry that it belongs to, the online presence is crucial for growing your business. Online presence management will help your potential customers to find your business, learn more about it, get in contact with you, and make a bond with your customers so they can trust your business.
Since we explained almost everything that is connected with online presence management, let’s see how can you build one for your business.
How Do You Manage Online Presence?
Set your goals
Before you make any decisions about how you want to build your online presence, it is essential that you set up some goals. What do you want to achieve by creating an online presence?
Creating an effective online presence requires setting clear and measurable goals. You must first determine what you want to achieve with your online presence, who your audience is, where they spend time online and what channels (online or offline channels) they use, and what they should do after they find your brand online.
Once you have established these goals for your business, you should make an action plan that tells yourself and any other stakeholders how each individual goal will be achieved as well as what the key results of those actions should be.
For example, if your overall goal is “I want to generate 700 visits to my website each month” then make a plan that breaks down the steps needed to attract those 700 visits.
Be present and active on social media platforms
Businesses can effectively use social media (social media marketing, social media pages) as a tool for increasing particular brand awareness and growing their customer base.
Currently, there are over 4.33 billion active users on the internet. However, this doesn’t mean that your business should be on every social media platform. In fact, having a presence on too many accounts can be detrimental to your efforts if you can’t keep up with them.
Test out a couple of profiles and regularly post and engage with your audience. Staying consistent with your activities on these channels builds your credibility and instills trust in your followers. Most of the potential customers that are searching for your brand name on the internet will also look at your social media profiles so they can see what is new and how people react to your posts.
Build a website
If you want your online presence to be successful, you’ll have to have a website. Your website should be where all of your social media platforms reference and lead back to.
Building a website nowadays is simple, this process combines web design and there are many free website builders available that offer high-quality templates and user-friendly interfaces for first-time builders.
The templates are highly customizable, allowing users to add their own imagery, change font and color settings, and rearrange sections as desired. When creating just a website, keep in mind that users want solutions to their problems. Be clear about what you are offering and how it benefits them. Keep your messaging concise and straightforward, and keep navigation simple. Include email signup on your contact page so users can join your email list.
Create your Google my business account
You can populate search results with “owned” properties by creating a Google My Business account.
You can also showcase your brand with information, images, videos, and additional information such as offers and discounts. Even if you don’t create a GMB account, Google will create one for you.
Claiming it makes sense because you’re in charge of what your customers interact with rather than leave it in someone else’s hands. A GMB account also gives you visibility in Google Maps, another channel that adds to your online presence and increases brand awareness.
Online directories and listing your business
Ensuring that your business information is up to date and accurately represented in member directory listing online will boost the amount of search result pages generated by Google, Bing, and other search engines when a user searches for your brand.
You will also earn a backlink from these sources (multiple channels) as a result of the manual submission, improving your business’s SEO value and driving referral traffic (engaged customers) to your website.
Manual listing (or for high volume businesses / pay for a company to automatically do it) can be a winning strategy for small businesses. The high authority of popular directories such as Yell, 192.com, Yahoo (etc.), makes it more likely that they will show up higher in search results, improving the visibility of your brand online. Another option is to pay a company to automatically do it.
Regardless of your process ensure you have full NAP consistency across all directories. This is a very important signal for local SEO and can make the difference between customers walking into your store or business or going to a competitor.
Meaning of NAP
- Phone number
Making use of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO (search engine optimization) is key to the success of any business’s online presence, particularly those that rely on search engines such as Google and Bing for traffic.
It’s essential to ensure that your website is optimized for search engines so that you can attract organic traffic, get business connections, and positive reviews, and make a long-term positive presence. This can be achieved through both on-site and off-site efforts. On-site SEO refers to optimizing the content on your website for search engines to generate organic traffic.
Some examples of this on-site content are product descriptions, blog posts, headlines, HTML tags, and images. On-site SEO helps search engines understand your content and how relevant it is to searchers’ queries.
Off-page SEO is the practice of influencing search engine rankings by encouraging other websites to link to your site. Off-page SEO includes activities such as acquiring high-quality links and mentions on other websites (backlinks), incorporating keywords into your non-website assets (such as social media profiles or blogs), and encouraging customers to provide reviews of your products or services.
It is important to know that you don’t have to be an SEO professional to take everything into your own hands.
There are plenty of free resources online such as Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO. If you want to really boost your rankings and maximize your online presence, consider working with a professional SEO agency.
Creating great content
Play to your strengths. Make sure each piece of content you publish is valuable and informative, so it can help your readers or customers make business or personal decisions.
A consistent stream of valuable content will help you develop credibility in your niche, gain your audience’s trust, and give you more opportunities to show up in search engines—all helping you build your online presence.
Sharing shallow, uninspired, or unhelpful content will likely cost you customer loyalty, interest from potential customers, and possibly even your rankings in search engines.
Ask yourself what your audience’s pain points are and what type of content they would find valuable. Then create your content around that. Content can take various forms: blog posts, ebooks, podcasts, video tutorials, infographics, etc. Choose the best channel for each piece of content (i.e., a YouTube channel for a tutorial video) and share it there.
Investing in Digital Public Relations
Public relations in their traditional form always focus on channels such as TV, print media, news media, and the general press. On the other side digital public relations have its focus on different online channels like blogs and websites.
Digital PR campaigns can generate earned media to boost brand awareness and your brand’s visibility in online searches. In addition to earning links to your website and increasing its organic visibility over time, digital PR can also earn you links to your website, increasing its organic visibility over time. However, it takes a certain level of expertise and experience in media liaison work to do this successfully.
Improving and following your results
Track your results and make improvements. If you aren’t measuring your results, how do you know if all of your hard work is paying off?
Monitor your results at least monthly. Depending on your goals and objectives, this could mean tracking the number of shares you’re getting, the number of likes on Facebook posts, or how much organic traffic your website has generated in the past month.
Keeping track of these results will help you decide on whether or not you need to change your strategy and how best to do so.
Because there isn’t any general strategy that can be applied to all businesses you should know that building your online presence can be time-consuming.
You will need a lot of patience until you discover the right strategy that will help you boost your business and appear more on the search pages.
If you don’t have time to deal with all of this you can always ask for professional help and those people will be able to help you, make a good strategy, and ultimately boost your online presence.
Looking for ways to boost your online presence management? Read more on our blog!