If you’ve just started your business or are fairly new to the entrepreneurial world, then building your online presence can be time-consuming and, more often than not, frustrating.

Building your online presence can take time because it doesn’t happen overnight. Your online presence is very important because it’s what allows people to find you, interact with you, and get to know, like, and trust you.

But building your online presence can be less time consuming and less frustrating if you know where to start and what to do.

What is an Online Presence?

An online presence can be defined by how easy it is to find a brand or company online. It's important for building your brand's reputation, increasing brand awareness, and providing visibility to your products or services when users are searching for related keywords.

It helps consumers find your brand before they are aware you exist and it helps them learn about your reputation before making a purchase. Eventually, all of this information will play a role in your customer's purchasing decisions.

In this article, we'll explore 6 effective ways to create a strong online presence.

Effective Ways to Create a Strong Online Presence

1. Create a Website

All businesses, no matter how small, should obtain a website. It can be extremely basic, but it should contain the basic information customers – both existing and potential – need.

A basic website is pretty easy to set up using an application like WordPress. WordPress is a free blogging tool and content management system that gives users the option to pay a little more for the premium version.

Tips for creating a website:

  • If it’s relevant to your business, you can even add an online shop – after all, in 2013, 70 percent of consumers preferred to do their retail shopping online.
  • If you’re starting from scratch and not sure what your website should include, ask your existing customers. Whether you send out an email asking for their input, make them respond to a survey or mention it casually while making their coffee, it’s the best way to get the insight you need – people love to be involved and share their insights.

2. Personify Your Brand

Building an online presence is a lot like building a brand. One strategy many companies use to build a brand is to personify their brand.

Why you should personify your brand:

  • By personifying their brand, companies are able to attract their target demographic while staying genuine to its mission and values.
  • Having a clear brand helps users relate to your company and makes them want to engage with you, whether through a social media comment or by signing up for your email newsletter.

3. Build and Grow an Email List

One of the top ways to build your online presence is to create and grow an email list. An email list will enable you to engage with current and potential customers on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Email marketing continues to dominate because the inbox is the most direct way to organically reach your audience.

How to grow your email list:

  • You can create coveted content that users have to sign-up to receive.
  • You can use a call-to-action (CTA) on your website and social media pages to promote your email newsletter. With a newsletter, you're able to collect leads' emails -- additionally, it shows your leads and customers are interested in your content.

4. Master Search Engine Optimization

You can have the best website in the world, with the most compelling marketing copy, but without effective search engine optimization, all your work towards creating an online presence will be wasted.

There are more than 1 billion websites on the internet. So it does take some hard work and perseverance on your part to make your one website stand out. That’s where SEO comes in.

Why you should master SEO:

  • By regularly posting useful content that has to do with your niche and using keywords specific to the type of business you are in, you can rise in the rankings in the search engines.
  • Through SEO, when people search words and phrases related to your business, your website will be high up on the results page. Keep Google happy, and you’ll see the results!

5. Provide Consistent, Valuable Content

Whether it’s through your website, an online community, or via social media, you should always be looking to provide consistent, valuable content first.

The quality of the post you put out reflects the effort you put in, which naturally attracts more attention, leads, and conversions.

Why you should provide valuable content:

  • This is one of the most important steps to focus on because creating consistent and valuable content will help you gain credibility and authority in your industry or niche and also give people a reason to want to follow you.
  • Your online growth and visibility depend on you having a solid content creation plan.
  • Every one of your social media channels is an opportunity for you to be providing value to your followers.
  • You providing value first is the most important thing when it comes to building your online presence.

6. Be Social and Engaging

More than half the world’s population is online these days. And a huge number of them use social media networks and services like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others.

These platforms have become an essential marketing medium for local and online businesses. So they’ve become a vital part of building an online presence. People want to interact with brands and the companies behind them online and social media is an easy way to do that.

How to be social and engaging:

  • Create a Facebook page for your business and most often during optimal times of the day. You can post about things such as product launches, sales, useful information, etc.
  • It’s important that all your social media efforts to bolster your online presence be coordinated. Make sure what you say in a YouTube video matches what you posted on Twitter.
  • You must also be connecting in between them. For example, your Instagram posts or tweet should link back to your website. You could have Twitter and Facebook posts that link to your newest YouTube video.

7. Start Building Relationships

This next strategy to skyrocket your business’ online presence is related to being active on social media but different enough to justify. Just about every niche or type of product has its online community where people gather to discuss news, trends, new products, and more. There are forums, blogs, Reddit groups, Facebook groups, and other places online where your ideal prospects are congregating, and you could be there with them too.

How to start building a strong relationship with your target audience:

  • You can’t just join a forum and post a link to your website. You start slow. Join a conversation, offer your opinion. Share useful advice. Don’t be pushy, sales-y, or spammy.
  • Over time your reputation will grow. People will come to know you as a trusted source. At that point, you can direct them to your website, your blog, or your Facebook page to get resources.

Conclusion: Strong Online Presence

If you’re able to start building a strong platform, create consistent and valuable content, establish a presence on social media, and build meaningful relationships online, then momentum and odds will be on your side.

Creating an online presence for your brand is very important these days. We couldn’t stress it enough. Doing so requires time, attention, perseverance and, practically, investment. Whatever connection a consumer has with your brand, whether it’s online, via social media or in person, they all need to convey the same message.

In our ever-changing modern world, an online presence will pay dividends for your business. Make intelligent choices in these areas to ensure any touchpoint a customer has with your company is a great and remarkable one.

Building a strong online presence doesn’t happen overnight but the gains in growth for your company that result from starting and developing an online presence will be well worth the time spent.

Written by Rowena Gungon

Rowena is an ambassador at Delesign and represents Delesign online. Outside of work, she likes travelling, reading books, and playing string instruments.