A great online presence is one of the most essential parts of any businesses in this digital era. Unfortunately, most businesses and start-ups fail to realize this and blame the gods for their failures.

It’s a fact, more than 2 billion people access the internet on a daily basis. Websites such as Facebook, Google and YouTube are some of the most visited websites in the world courtesy of their usefulness.

While businesses use the internet for many reasons, marketing is usually the ultimate goal. It is for this reason that a fierce battle is currently taking place to separate the ‘boys’ from the ‘men’. It’s a battle that has made some companies great as they are today. Unfortunately, as a result of this battle, many companies have been forced to go under. The battle am talking about is that of creating and maintaining a good online presence.

As a person with a couple of years of experience in online brand management, I have compiled some of the easiest tips to boost your online presence.

Create a good website

A good website is the foundation for a great online presence. You mess here and trust me you will have a tough online presence. Established businesses and start-ups need to regard their websites as the greatest sales person or marketing executive. This is because it gives the exposure that no single executive can. Picture this, as noted above, on a daily basis, over a billion people visit the internet. This means that your business’ has an equal platform with heavyweights such as Google. Nobody pays to visit Google.

Having said that let me mention some of the tips to ensure that you have a great website. To start with, hire a professional to do it. A good website should go for less than Ksh 10,000 i.e $ 125. Remember your sales executive earns more than that per month so it is not such a big deal to invest in a professional website. Secondly, ensure that your website is well optimized for the search. My experience shows that many people access websites through search and not direct entry. Traditionally, checking if a website is well optimized was a hard task. But today, courtesy of various applications it is very easy to analyse this. An example of these applications is by a company called SEO MOZ.

Be likeable in the social media

Social media is the today’s thing and if you fail to utilize this tool, your competitors will win over you. You can bank on that. This is because in Kenya alone, over 15 million people are registered users of Facebook and Twitter. The social media has overtaken the mass media s the premier source of news. As a matter of fact the traditional media is using the social media to get news. That being said, it is very important for any company to boost its online presence with a good social media image. Simple things such as building a good number of relevant likes to making non boring posts can easily bring a lot positive change to any business.

Remember that content is Key

Away from a cool website another important and easy method to boost your online presence is through content management. I have always insisted that content is absolutely key to the success of any business in the online world. There are a couple of ways to do this. First and most important is to ensure that your website is frequently updated. I recommend that a website be updated not less than 2 times per week. Secondly, participation in the online community is very important. For example, writing posts to high ranking websites such as ezine articles and suite 101 is absolutely important. This will not only increase the traffic to your website but also build credibility to your brand. Last but not least, participating in blogs and forums and making sure you include a link to your website if possible and if necessary.

With that being said, there is one thing that is important to all the content that you send online. Ensure that the content you post is original. To follow my rule on updating the website, I have seen many web masters go in the wrong direction. Instead of updating original content, they copy paste content from other websites. That is wrong and will make you get black listed by Google, Bing and Yahoo. To solve this, it is good to ensure that all content posted is free from plagiarism. This can be done freely using free tools such as Gramarly and duplichecker. Lastly, copyrighting the work is very important and can be achieved within minutes.

Follow up

There is absolutely no need for a company to be online and yet it doesn’t respond to the clientele’s queries. As I mentioned earlier, a website should be a marketing tool. Therefore, failing to respond to a particular query means that a customer is lost. The good thing about this situation is that technology has made it easier for companies to respond to queries. Applications such as Disqus and Vcita have made it very easier to communicate to any company. Other ways to follow up is to keep a close eye at the comments of the posts you make and comments on social media.

With all this in mind, it is important to note that all the successful websites in the world such as Google, FaceBook, and alexa began with a few members just like you. With time, if the above steps are followed, your digital success is just a step closer