9 Ways to Improve Your Digital Presence
⏱ Reading Time: 10 minutes
Here’s a challenge: find a business that doesn’t have a digital presence yet.
Most businesses, big or small, can be found online, one way or another. Websites, social media platforms: ‘everywhere’ seems to be the place to be.
But being everywhere doesn’t mean you’re doing it right. Customers decide incredibly quickly if they are interested in your brand, and you can only make a first impression once. So, to make sure you blow them away on every possible channel, here’s a list of nine things you can do to make your business look great online.
1. Evaluate User Experience
Before you start improving anything, let’s analyze the current state of your digital presence. And who better to judge that, than your target audience? Here’s what you should audit.
Our customer service experiences with a company can make or break the relationship with them. If you haven’t done it yet, launch a survey to find out what your customers think of your support to identify points for improvement.
Links that don’t work, shopping carts that get left abandoned, slow loading, or errors on pages. Even though your website looks good it might not be getting you the results you need. Time to research how people are navigating your website and what hurdles they encounter. Dive in deep with usability research and ask relevant user test questions to find out how you can create a responsive website that makes buying your products or services the easiest thing in the world.
Picture 1. Ask for a review
2. Upgrade Your Website or App. Or Both.
We’re told not to judge a book by its cover, but we sure judge a business by its webpage. It takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s only 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website and decide to stay or go back to Google. No time to lose. But even when your website or app looks good, it could be underperforming. Because it’s not just what users see, it’s how they interact with it. Based on the findings from tip #1, you can start rebuilding your digital presence page by page, button by button.
What other things should you keep in mind, apart from design? One crucial aspect is loading speed. The average website visitor expects a page to load within two seconds on desktop, or four on mobile. If the page keeps loading, they’re likely to leave before they even see what you’re offering.
UX and UI
Especially new businesses built their designs and web pages based on their own vision. After all, they didn’t have customers yet to ask what they liked. But if you’re a bit further down the line, it’s time to evaluate your choices and redesign your website or app based on what your users like. If you find out that your users are experiencing issues with your webpages or app that are caused by flawed design, it’s time for a change. This time when designing your website, start with a user-centered design. This revolves around how it will actually be used. That doesn’t mean it can’t look good: you can add great design to a user-friendly interface, but it simply doesn’t work the other way around.
An increasingly large portion of people will never see the desktop version of your website. Unfortunately, when designing a website, many business owners still see this as the starting point. The mobile version then simply becomes a ‘’smaller’’ version of what you’d see on a laptop.
But smartphones are equally, if not more important. Mobile devices generated 50.81 percent of global website traffic in 2020, and that is not even including tablets yet. So, invest just as much in the mobile version of your website, because chances are that that’s what your website visitors will see first.
Don’t forget to measure after the redesign, to see if you interpreted the feedback right!
Picture 2. Adapt to your customers needs
3. Audit Your Content
You’re creating content for search engines, and for real people. That doesn’t mean you have to compromise to keep both happy. After all, SEO revolves around showing exactly what humans want to know. You just need to look at the right data and ask the right questions to create content that will be a hit.
Start with SEO
Looking into data from search engines will already tell you a lot about what your target audience wants to know. What keywords are they using, what questions are they typing into Google, and what content is performing best?
Create a Content Strategy
If you’re planning on writing new content, but don’t know how to find a creative yet useful angle for your articles, you can use tools like Answer The Public. Simply type in a keyword, and you’ll get all kinds of questions people have asked around that. In your content, answer these questions. You don’t need to invent topics: just listen to your target audience. Then plan ahead: if you want to impress people with your content, you need to make sure it’s coming out regularly. Also, make sure they know about new releases. It’s likely that nobody randomly goes to your website to check the Blog section in their free time. Create a calendar and share your new content across your social media channels and in your newsletter to really put it in the spotlight.
Update Your Current Content
If you’ve been keeping up with blogging and creating content, you’ve done a fantastic job so far. But if you want those older pieces to remain effective and relevant, you’ll need to update them regularly.
- Refreshing statistics and data you’ve mentioned with the latest numbers
- Cleaning up content that is either double or underperforming
- Checking what content is doing great and expanding on that
- Optimizing articles and metadata to the latest standards
- Checking if links in articles and on pages are still working
4. Add an FAQ Page
If you were looking for a sign to make an FAQ page, this is it.
Apart from being a great attribute in your SEO strategy, an FAQ page is also a simple tool to help your customers better—and save your customer support team some time. If you find that potential customers often reach out to you with similar questions, consider answering them on your website. Look at customer inquiries and related search engine searches to know what questions to include. The more, the merrier, but make sure to categorize them: you’ll want to make the process easier, not more chaotic.
Make sure people can find them easily, preferably before they reach your contact form. It’ll save your customer service team the busywork of answering simple questions, so they can focus on the bigger inquiries—and your customers can make well-informed decisions much faster.
5. Manage Online Reviews
Your digital presence does not only include what you write about your business. Maybe even more importantly, it’s what others write about it. Time to dive into all the reviews and mentions of your brand, ad respond accordingly. Managing your online reviews to create a great looking online image doesn’t mean you should be trying to get rid of negative reviews. Instead, use them to your benefit: this is the place where you can publicly show that you offer great customer service. Kill them with kindness!
Nobody wants to read negative reviews (especially not business owners), but seeing that a company offers fast and friendly solutions to issues, can help you regain the trust of customers. Don’t try to hide negative reviews or respond aggressively: people know nobody, and no business, is perfect. If you receive positive reviews, also take the time to reply and thank your customers for their words. If you really want to shine through word-of-mouth, don’t forget to simply ask people to write a review and point them in the right direction.
6. Make Your Social Media Channels More Social
Are you posting consistently on LinkedIn and Facebook? Does your Instagram look like an art gallery? Is your Twitter the snappiest and most up-to-date one out there? That’s all great. But chances are, you could leverage the power of social media even more.
A lot of companies set up a content strategy in which they plan when they will be posting what. While that’s great, it doesn’t include another big part of social media management: engaging with your followers. Next time you create a social media plan, book some time every day to respond to comments, engage in conversations under articles, and start meaningful conversations with customers and professionals in your market. This will boost your views and your likability.
Picture 3. Communicate with your customers
7. Double up on Customer Support
Playing hard rarely works. In customer support, it never does. Having a contact form on your website with the promise of getting back to your customer ASAP is the bare minimum. Because in a world where we make decisions in a split-second, we expect business to help us right away. Even from a distance.
Speeding up the processes in your customer support won’t only benefit your customers. They’re happy to get help quicker, yes, but it also moves along their status in the sales funnel. That means you could make more sales, faster. Chatbots can talk, so human customer service agents can walk the walk. Bots can take care of the recurring questions that can be time-consuming—even though they’re simple to answer, chances are there are a lot of them. With a bot doing its thing, your customer support agents can focus on the more difficult requests. Live chat combined with AI is not just for the big boys, and it’s definitely not a futuristic idea. It’s becoming more accessible to businesses by the day. If you set up your bot the right way, it can encapsulate your brand’s voice perfectly. Meaning it won’t just be helpful, but can also bring some entertainment to what is usually a dull process, potentially bringing a smile to your customers face.
8. Unify Your Customers’ Experiences Across All Your Channels
Chances are you’re communicating with customers through different platforms. Now, imagine how frustrating it is to have to explain over the phone what you’ve already typed out in several emails? Frustrated yet? Good. Then you’ll agree that having a CRM is crucial. In a CRM you store all relevant data on customers, so whoever in your organization interacts with them is completely up to speed. This will streamline the process and save everybody time. Moreover, a CRM opens up some great possibilities for targeted marketing, if you also track in what buying stage your customers are.
Picture 4. Enable the Information Flow
9. Plan Ahead
Improving your digital presence is not like spring-cleaning. You’ll have to keep it up and incorporate it in your plans. Keep up with incoming feedback and reviews. Improve your content based on new data. Stay engaged on social media, every day of the year. Being consistent in this will make a big change in your online presence and the way people connect with your brand.
Have You Been Slacking off in One of These Areas?
It’s not too late to turn things around. Truth be told: it’s understandable.
Chances are you’re online and digitally present across a variety of channels. It can be overwhelming to keep up with all of them, but with a steady plan and structured approach, any business can make sure they shine online, all year round.
Small Business Guide to Amazing Customer Support
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