How To Create and Maintain a Strong Online Presence That Stands Out From The Crowd

Large red umbrella held above a sea of black umbrellas

Being online is no longer optional. Corona made sure of that.

(The virus, not the beer.)

Digital marketing was already important for thriving businesses, but now, it’s a mandatory tool for survival.

I want to level with you before we move on: You know that I’m a digital marketer. But, this isn’t a sales pitch to invest in our digital marketing services. Would we love that? Of course, because we love serving our clients! However, that’s not why I’m writing this post: This post is a helping hand with no strings attached. Here’s why:

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed communication between all companies and their customers. That change may not be permanent, but it can — and will — wipe out businesses that struggle to digitally adapt. (Wow, don’t be too cheerful, Ruben.)

I don’t want that to describe your business. I founded 8 Signal to help companies create and maintain a strong online presence. We all know it’s not going to be enough to “just be online.” You have to be visible, searchable, findable.

In this post, I’ll show you how to create and maintain a strong online presence, whether you’re a client of 8 Signal or not!

How to Create and Maintain a Strong Online Presence

First things first (as that’s typically the best place to begin), let’s focus on creating a knock-out website:

Build an Engaging Website

The internet is oversaturated with websites. Basically everyone has the capability to start one, and believe me — they do. They unfortunately do. (For instance, take this redirection website. Just…. why? Actually you know what, that’s pretty hilarious. I take it back.)

All rabbit trails aside, if your website is going to stand out, it must be engaging in four key areas. But, before I show you those, you may be asking why your business needs a website in the first place. A website is an essential tool for survival in the business world, and I’m not just saying that because website design is one of the core services 8 Signal provides. Would I prefer that you hire us to design a custom website? Yes!

78% of consumers conduct product research online, and if your brand doesn’t have an online platform to reach your customers, you’re out of the game before it’s even started. That’s why it’s crucial to have a website for your business, even if it’s a simple starter created with services like SquareSpace.

Now, with my personal bias out in the open, let’s go over those four key areas:

1. Website copy

Writing is tough. If you’re struggling to create and maintain a strong online presence through writing compelling website copy, this helpful article by DigitalMarketer has great tips!

Maintenance Tip: Actively update your website copy at least twice a year. This may sound excessive, but you’d be surprised how much information changes in just six months. If your website contains out-of-date content, your brand looks unprofessional and disorganized. Plus, it undermines the credibility you’re trying to build with your target audience. I would say “Trust me, it’s well worth your time,” but I have a strict policy never to trust anyone who utters these words to me. Soooo… trust but verify.

2. SEO

Did you know that companies who appear on the first page of search results get 92% of the traffic? That’s basically everything! Your business can’t survive splitting 8% of the traffic by being a second-pager©. (That’s a technical marketing term I just created.) Here are resources we recommend for enhancing your website’s SEO:

3. Blog

Why start a blog for your website? Well, if I have to suffer, you do, too. (Just kidding.) Actually, blogging strengthens your online presence in a number of priceless ways:

  • Increases SEO, because you have the chance to use a variety of industry-specific long-tailed keywords. Sidenote: write first for humans, then for the SEO gods (I mean bots).
  • Provides multiple chances to connect with your target audience, because companies with blogs have 97% more website links than companies without blogs.
  • Increases your brand’s credibility and perceived expertise, especially if your blogs cover the traffic-driving ‘Big 5’ blog topics.

Maintenance Tip: I recommend that you revamp your old blog posts before the year is over. Periodically updating posts to be relatable for current needs and correcting outdated information, especially statistics and facts, can boost your traffic by over 111%! Why? Because it keeps your content valuable for your target audience and shows search engines that you make fresh content a priority (which increases your rank in their algorithms). As a recent example, we just updated all our featured images after we rebranded from PixelMark to 8 Signal.

4. Visuals

Beautifully designed computer screens coming out of a MacBook to show the layers of web design.Let’s face it — in order to create and maintain a strong online presence, your website needs to look good. That means that your color scheme, graphics, images, and videos all need to look professional and fit with the feel of your brand. Quality visuals create and maintain a strong online presence in these key ways:

  • Increase legitimacy for your target audience. If you click on a website that just looks bad, you’re less likely to trust the content, much less the individuals behind the screen.
  • Makes your brand recognizable.
  • Increases your SEO. 62% of Gen X and Millennials want to integrate more visual search technology in search engines and social media, so by creating stunning visuals for your website, you’ll be ahead of the SEO curve.

ONLY Use Relevant Social Media Outlets

It’s easy to get overwhelmed while trying to keep up with every social media outlet. But, you can alleviate some stress by letting go of irrelevant social media platforms.

By “irrelevant,” I mean irrelevant to your target audience. So, in order to know what platforms are relevant, you first have to know who you’re selling to. Here at 8 Signal, our strategic marketing approach begins with discovering your target audience so that your resources are funneled toward the most efficient channels.

Professional man in a faded background pressing a specific social media icon.

Here’s a helpful breakdown of the 7 top social media platforms and social search engines for 2020, so you can communicate effectively with your potential clientele.

Develop a Strong Email List

I won’t lie to you, a large percentage of the emails I receive go right in the trash. Why? Because they’re not helpful! Or, if they are, I’d never know from the title.

Here are three steps for developing a strong email list:

  1. Email the right people. This goes back to finding your target audience. I consistently open emails from companies I’m genuinely interested in, because their content aligns with my needs and interests.
  2. Write the right subject line. If you have the right people on your list, they’re subscribed because they want to hear from you. Immediately show them the value your email is bringing, otherwise you’re in the trash.
  3. Provide practical help with your email content. According to a 2019 study, only 37% of personal emails are viewed as being actually helpful. Don’t just email because you think you have to. Email to add value to your customer’s lives.

Before you go

The fact that you’re searching out how to create and maintain a strong online presence is proof that you’re on the right track, and my team and I are here to help you stay on that track. So, if you need help with additional details or questions after reading this post, we’d love to start a conversation that empowers your company to thrive.