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How to Build an Online Presence for Your Startup

August 28, 2017

How to Build an Online Presence for Your Startup

August 28, 2017

In an age where almost everyone uses the Internet, your new company needs an online presence. Having a strong online presence is the key to attracting new customers and improving the customer experience. If you plan and build your online presence well, your brand will become increasingly popular.

What is an online presence?

In short, an online presence is a representation of your brand on the Internet. It is a collection of web content belonging to a business or individual. This content can be found through a web search. The most common mediums for building an online presence are:

  • A website
  • Twitter account
  • Facebook page

How to build an online presence

The first step before building your website is to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is your positioning statement? How does your product or service fill a need?
  • What is your vision? Where do you want your business to be in the future?
  • What is your buyer persona? Based on market research, who are your customers, how do they behave, and what do they want?

Answering these questions will help you develop your branding, so that your online presence can have a unified message for a seamless omnichannel experience.

Tips for designing your website

  • Own your own domain name. If you own it, that means no one else can have it. Ideally it should be the same as your business name.
  • Find out the latest web design trends to ensure your website has a modern, clean look.  At the moment, this means using adequate white space, a clear/clean font, and a simple, attractive design with a few, high-quality images.
  • Make sure the site is user-friendly with a clear navigation menu. Your services and products should be obvious to people who land on your homepage.
  • Choose colors that are not too bright or too dull, so they are pleasing to look at and comfortable on the eyes for a customer who may browse for a long time.
  • Keep font colors, sizes, and styles consistent throughout. Keep to a central theme and adjust colors and sizes to draw attention to the most important items on a page.
  • Include media such as pictures and videos, in conjunction with good content, for maximum conversion rates.
  • Ensure your site loads quickly and is mobile responsive so that customers can browse easily from any device.
  • Make sure to have an effective CTA (call-to-action) that will encourage your potential customers to buy from you. Great examples of CTAs include:
    • Call today to find out more!
    • New customers receive a 20% – contact us today for your discount!

Leveraging testimonials

Ask for reviews from past customers and those who were involved in testing your MVP (minimum viable product). Feature these reviews prominently on your website. Testimonials act as social proof, persuading site visitors that your brand is trustworthy and your product or service is desirable. This is especially important when it comes to launching a new product or service that has not yet gained a reputation online.

With each review, include pictures and social media links to show the reviewee is genuine. Feature reviews prominently on your home page, form pages, and on every product page. Spectoos is one great tool for showcasing testimonials on your website.

Another powerful way to include testimonials is through case studies. Case studies use storytelling to build a personal connection with readers, which will increase trust in your brand. You can share case studies and testimonials through social media for extra exposure.

Implementing online payments

When people visit your site and see your product or service, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to make a purchase. The best way to do this is to implement an integrated online payment system.  Customers should be able to add products to their shopping cart on your site and then check out easily in just a few clicks.

With a good PCI DSS certified payment service provider, such as Direct Pay Online, customer data is secure and your business is protected from fraud. This will improve your reputation and make it more likely for customers to do business with you again, or refer your business to their friends. Another benefit of working with a PSP is that customers can choose their preferred payment type and currency, greatly improving the customer experience and enhancing your online presence.

Write interesting content

Ensure your website has a blog section and write interesting, entertaining and valuable blog posts that position yourself as a thought leader and authority in your industry. Writing your own content makes your brand more authentic. You can choose how you want your brand to come across by using a specific voice – it could professional or casual, personal or scientific – it’s up to you! This voice is part of your brand identity – showing customers what your brand is all about. If people respond to your content, you can reply personally to build a connection.

You can also get influencers to write guest posts, which will attract relevant site visitors and give your brand extra credibility and online exposure.

Building a social media presence

As well as having a website, you can use social media platforms to build an online social media presence. Social media allows you to engage with potential customers and share content easily. Once you’ve created your social media accounts, provide links to them on your website to encourage site visitors to follow you or like your business page. You can also use social media platforms to share links to your website and thereby generate more traffic.

The key to a successful product launch is building a well-designed website, with easy navigation, a simple payment system, and interesting content. By following the above tips, you’ll be sure to grow your business.

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