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The key to having an online presence is to integrate yourself within the online community. The way to achieve this is to develop links into and out of your website. Unfortunately, just creating links for the sake of creating links” doesn’t work because quality is much, much more important than quantity. If you get it right, you’ll rank well in search engines; get it wrong and you won’t even make it! Let’s look at some of the best ways to get started.
The first step is to identify who the main influencers in your niche area. Often these will be well-established individuals and businesses online. Because they’ve been around a while they’ll have a good reputation and generate trust – a fact reflected in their higher search engine rankings. These are the people and businesses you need to be associated with to build your own credibility. Don’t be afraid to approach them.
2. Community Involvement
A very good way of developing links is to participate in your local community. For example, you could start a community group related to your niche product or service. Or maybe you could contribute sponsorship to a local student or athlete.
These kind of activities not only get your brand or logo on posters, but they also provide links to your blog through the websites maintained by event organisers.
3. Discounts and Special Promotions
In addition to community involvement you can also promote yourself with the use of discounts and special promotions. You’ll probably want to identify subgroups from your audience and regularly rotate incentives amongst them. One month it might be discounts for students or educators; next time it could be retired people or expecting mothers. If you promote it well, you’ll get referrals to your website from other community groups.
4. Online Directories
Depending on the products and services you offer, you’ll probably want to look at being included in relevant online directories, such as your local business directory. Sometimes this will include print versions which are distributed to community households. Don’t forget to also look at local business awards. These generate a lot of internet traffic amongst members of the public who want to support local businesses so they are an opportunity not to be missed. If you’ve been active in your community with sponsorship you need to be nominated for local awards!
5. Enhanced Content
You can improve the value of your website to people by going above and beyond just your products. Consider developing some premium content. This could include relevant videos, podcasts, or even useful help documents, such as case studies and product reviews.
6. Brand Mentions
For those established enough to be mentioned online already, you’ll want to make sure that anywhere you are mentioned online there is a link directed back to your website. Try tools like brandmentions.com to see if anyone has referenced you online. If you are, approach the host site and ask them to link directly to your product or service’s page.
There are lots of ways to develop your online presence online, some more relevant than others. It’s a great opportunity to be creative. The better the networks you develop, the stronger your online presence will be.