The beauty of living in the digital age is that we have unlimited access to information right at our fingertips. Google and other search engines have made it easy to learn just about anything one desires with the click of a mouse.
Today there are more than 4 billion searches per day are made by individuals who are actively looking for solutions, services, and products online and with the advancement of accessing the internet using smartphones, this number is rapidly expanding. Some of the searches are people who are searching for the services that you offer. This means if your brand is visible online, people can access information about your offerings in a heartbeat, and get in touch to do business with you. And this can be very lucrative for your growth strategy, especially if your competitors are still stuck in the last decade and have not taken advantage of the new digital error. So with that in mind, do you know what would populate in the first page of that search result?
What populates on the first page of Google can be detrimental to your brand. If your potential clients, or possible investors, Googled your business name, what would they find? You or your competitor? Correct information or misleading ones? Good reviews or damaging ones?
These are vital considerations that no brand can ignore, regardless of its nature, size or location.
Why should you invest in boosting your company’s online visibility?
Lately, we have been carrying out over 1000 searches on various Ghanaian key influential individuals and organisations to assess their online visibility, and so far the results of our simple test have been very disappointing. So many governmental institutions, trade associations, hospitals, schools, and businesses both large and small are either non-existing online or the information on them is so outdated that it has become irrelevant. Often the information on these websites was more than 6-7 years old with no up to date contact info. One can only wonder how often these organisations miss out on the opportunity to engage with right clients, potential partners or lucrative investors?
One convincing fact beyond a doubt is that investing in increasing your company’s online visibility is essential to the success of your business. Google and social media platforms like Linkedin and Facebook are where customers go to when they’re seeking information. In fact, today your online visibility is more important than any of the traditional forms of branding and it is becoming more important each day. Our customers have become extremely time sensitive and technologically savvy and typically rely on a company’s online presence to evaluate their credibility and decide whether they would do business with them or not.
Your competitors both locally and globally are already investing fair amount on their visibility online. Building your online presence to increase the findability of your company’s contact info like it’s website, products, trading hours, etc… will help you stay ahead of competitors within your industry both locally and globally.
Equally, if your information online becomes irrelevant or outdated a significant amount of the visitor traffic that reaches your website will bounce back to the search results to find a better information source. Your Bounce rate will impact your future findability severely due to how Google’s algorithm works. High traffic bounce signals to Google that your information is irrelevant to the visitors and it will stop it from showing your content. As a result, over time fewer and fewer people will see your website and eventually your website will become a lonely shop on a desert island, which gets no visitors.
Bottom line lack of visitor means no visibility and no findability and that will lead to missed opportunities.
Strategies for continuous brand visibility
So the first step in doing an Online Visibility Management (OVM) is to investigate your brand and the keywords that are used for searches relating to what you do on Google. Then you have to honestly ask yourself if you are comfortable with the visibility of your brand online?
It is important to search your brand name from time to time to see what kind of information is lurking around that are currently linked to your brand. You must review this information and ascertain whether they’re serving your business or hurting it.
If the first thing that appears in Google’s search results of your brand is articles about a lawsuit or negative reviews, or in worst scenario you can’t find any information popping up about your brand, yet your competitors information is populated against your brand name, then it is time to take some corrective actions to improve your overall brand image.
So here I have laid out a few things that all the most visible brands do to get better visibility online.
Publish a branded website
Creating and maintaining an up to date website is one of the most important branding tools for any business. Search engine optimization for optimal performance on google and bing is one of the first things companies should consider to improve the brand’s visibility.
Be consistent with your branding
It is vital to display a consistent brand image across all media channels especially online. For personal brands, your face is the biggest identity that people will get familiar with, recognise and remember. Brand consistency will help you reinforce your brand message too. It is common for a business to use several channels like website, several social networks, blogs, document sharing sites like Slideshare, etc… to reach out to potential customers. Creating a consistent online brand presence is about capturing the attention of the targeted audience and staying at the forefront of their memory, so they can re-call you when they need your services.
Be visible on social media platforms
Visibility on Social Media channels is one the most cost-effective ways to get your brand on top of Google search and enhance the visibility of your brand, improve brand loyalty, recognition, and grow your sales. In addition, social media marketing allows brands to compete with an advantage. It enables businesses to reach worldwide audiences. Do your research to determine which social media channels are used most often by your ideal clients. For personal brand and B2B business, Linkedin is a must have channel. Journalist and key influential people often turn to Twitter, B2C businesses rely more on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, where as artist love Youtube.
Your branded Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Google+ accounts have a strong likelihood of appearing in a prominent position on Google’s search results. This is because they are fully optimised for search engine search performances and can be extremely powerful in aiding your brand visibility, so when you tie your business information into an account, this carries a lot of weight to Google – especially if you have a large following.
Begin content marketing
Creating and sharing high-quality content has become an essential strategy for all successful brands today. Content marketing covers a broad topic; however, we encourage you to focus on creating a type of content, which tend to garner the most attention and the most engagement for your brand. Creating and distributing high-quality content in the format of articles, videos, podcast, images or simple tweets goes a long way in building brand recognition and awareness online.
Existing content usually drives high engagement. People love to share inspirational, sarcastic and funny photos or videos. Join the trend by putting together some current text and quotes that appeal to your crowd and the type of people you want to attract. When your fan shares your content online, others in their network will see who created the image and share it via the original source (you), and if you get enough momentum your content could go viral and or at least by adding a few likes along the way you will gain more brand visibility. Creating and sharing high-quality content has become an essential strategy for all successful brands today.
Optimise your brand for search engines (SEO)
Determine what keywords or phrases your prospects are using to find information about solving the problem your brand solves, and incorporate them into the titles, tags, and text of your webpages. Write articles, blogs, and create videos that answer their curiosity. Make all your content optimised using Internal and external search engine optimization techniques. This will make your brand more visible in search engine results, and will, therefore, build brand awareness. Boost your traffic by posting your articles and engaging content on your social media channels. If you are a local business then you should take advantage of Google local and Google map to get maximum exposure for geo-targeted searches.
Obtain raving reviews
These days, a Google review can shape your business far more than any advertising form. The new era of marketing means that today your brand is defined by those who experience it. No longer you can hide, your customers will either expose your bad service or celebrate its qualities and your buyers are listening. So, it is crucial that you deliver on your promises and leave a trail of happy customers behind. However, the reality is that occasionally things might go outside of the norm and your brand may leave few clients outside of the happy zone. Often brands get too stuck on what to do about the one or two bad reviews.
The most effective way to combat a few negative words and manage your brand’s reputation is to thank the person for taking the time to write to you, owning up to the problems and apologizing, even where possible provide a full refund. Ensure them you have heard their concerns. Promise that you will go the length to address the challenges and let them know what you are going to do to avoid this ever happening again. Remember negative feedbacks are not a personal attack on you and rather an opportunity for you to make your offering better. Often businesses lose clients without even knowing why, so if a client cares enough to share their personal experience than you have to take this opportunity to thank them and do your best to win them back.
Don’t let negative feedback discourage you, rather be determined to continue providing a great experience for each and every client. Load up on the raving reviews by encouraging your happy customers to take the time to write about their experiences.
Finally, I have to admit that no one can successfully manage all of these facets of running a business alone. Delegation of some or all of these tasks to the professionals plays a huge role in how visible and successful you become.
Do you need help with your brand’s visibility?
Winners Solutions is a full-service digital marketing agency, partnering with hundreds of businesses across the globe to help them achieve their revenue goals with perfectly tailored solutions that deliver sustainable growth. Our professional marketers can assist you with your brand visibility and online reputation management.
Contact Us or Call 0508938330 or 0249618776 to speak with a member of our team.