At the risk of repeating what everyone else is saying, these are strange times that we’re living in. Whenever the world goes through an upheaval, like we’re seeing now, it’s a good time to reflect on ways you can change and adapt, especially when it comes to your business.
This includes modernizing your marketing strategy.
Never before has your online presence mattered so much. It’s no secret that website traffic and social media following have become more and more important in recent years, but now it’s imperative. People are staying home, which means that if you’re not appearing in web searches, you might as well not exist.
But, don’t worry; even if you’re starting from scratch, it’s not too late to build an amazing web presence. Here’s why you need to focus on your content immediately.
People are shopping and researching online
Even just a few months ago, you could have made the argument that your business did fine catering to sidewalk traffic and other older marketing tactics. Maybe you were in a fantastic location, or you had enough loyal customers who brought their friends that you could rely on word-of-mouth.
For obvious reasons, that doesn’t work as well right now. Many people are opting to shop online, which leaves your business behind if you don’t appear on Google’s front page.
To keep your business running, you need to be able to compete online. To do this, you should be producing quality content that answers your audience’s questions. You have to make sure that when a potential customer types, “Where can I buy [insert your product here],” your business is one of the first things that they see.
When things go back to normal, your online presence will still be important
Even before we were asked to stay home as much as possible, your online presence should have been an important part of your marketing strategy.
A 2018 study showed that 82% of smartphone users research a product online before making a purchase in-store. Today’s consumers like to be informed. Most customers coming into a store have already done some research online and have an idea of the product and brand that they’re going to purchase. If they can’t find your product or service online, then you’re missing out on thousands of customers.
Not only do you need an online presence, but you need to consistently appear on Google’s front page when people search topics related to your industry. The vast majority of Google users never move past the front page, and often, they don’t move beyond the first few results.
A study by Backlinko showed that the first result in Google received about 10 times more organic clicks than the other search results, and the number of clicks was directly related to the page’s ranking. It also showed that results that appeared on the second page were clicked on by less than 1% of Google users. The takeaway? You need to produce content that appears on Google’s front page (ideally as close to the top as possible).
To do that, you can’t just throw up a blog post every month or two rambling about the latest news at your business. You need carefully cultivated content that targets certain keywords and phrases, engages your target audience, and incorporates multiple forms of media across platforms.
Producing your own content allows you to control your narrative
With platforms like Yelp, Facebook, and Google, your business will have a presence online whether or not you maintain a website. The difference is that you won’t control what’s being posting about your business if you rely on these sites.
As a business owner, you know that you can’t make everyone happy. There’s going to be a time when someone gets angry for one reason or another and posts a nasty review. While many platforms allow you to contest these reviews, you still might not be able to tell your side of the story, and you’ll be stuck with a negative narrative.
When you work to build your own online presence, it will speak much louder than one or two nasty reviews. Additionally, you’ll be able to let the soul of your company shine through your content, allowing potential customers to get to know you on a deeper level than they would through reviews, whether good or bad.
Don’t let strangers control your company’s online presence. Take control by telling your own story.
It takes time to build a web presence
The truth is that, even if you start writing content today, you probably won’t see huge results for a few months. You have to take the time to prove to Google and other search engines that your site is reputable, and you must build trust with your target audience. That’s not going to happen for a bit.
Rather than being disheartened by this, it should motivate you to begin building your content now. It’s better that you start posting content today that gets noticed six months from now than waiting until your competition overruns you.
Remember, although content marketing is more important now than it has ever been, it’s nothing new. Your competitors are likely working on their content strategies if they haven’t been already. Don’t fall behind. Work on cultivating your web content today.
While your online content is imperative for your business, it’s not an easy thing to cultivate. Whether you hire someone or you’re tackling it on your own, it will take time to build an audience large enough that you consistently appear at the top of searches. Don’t be discouraged by this fact. Instead, you should be motivated to start building your content so that you’ll have an enviable web presence sooner rather than later.
Serious about strategizing your content for tangible results? Let’s talk about how we can work together to make that happen.
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