Nine Ways to Boost Your Online Presence in 2018

January is a great time to think about what you want to be doing differently to boost your online presence in the New Year so that more clients and customers can find you. Following are nine sure fire ways to do just that.

1 –  Make sure your website has kept up with your business as well as current website design trends. Have you added services or products lately, and are they presented clearly? Is there text on your website that is out of date or no longer relevant? Does your website still look fresh and appealing? A great way to find out is to take a look at your competitors to see how your website stacks up next to theirs. Most people visit at least 3 websites before making a decision to contact a business for more information. If you were searching online and saw your website next to others, would you make that phone call?

Even if your business is referral only, it’s important to put your best foot forward with a relevant, updated website that clearly describes who you are and what you have to offer.

Golden Gate Bridge from Fort Point

2 – If you don’t already have a mobile friendly website, 2018 is definitely the time to do it. Google wants every user to have a “great experience” when doing searches. If your website is not easy to access and use from a smart phone, you can expect to see your visibility in searches slide. Mobile friendly sites work  great on smart phones because their fonts and images shift and adjust so they are easily readable on every type of device. You may already be familiar with the term “responsive” – responsive websites are always mobile friendly.

3 – Invest in Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a cost effective way to get online searchers to find your website when they look for services or products like yours. Unlike online advertising, like Google AdWords, basic Search Engine Optimization is a one-time project that will reap benefits now and for years to come. If you are considering SEO, I invite you to give me a call to learn more about what it can do to boost your online presence.

4 – Implement HTTPS Encryption. To help users browse the web safely, Google wants all websites to be encrypted, even websites that do not collect passwords or credit cards. This started as a ranking factor in 2014 and will become more important over time. Coming soon, visitors will be reminded that your site is not secured by HTTPS. This has the potential to directly affect the credibility of your website.

5 Make sure your business is represented consistently online, so that you aren’t confusing both your potential customers as well as search engines. Using the same business name, phone number, address, face photo, logo and short business description everywhere you appear engenders familiarity and trust: your website, your Google My Business page, LinkedIn, etc. Getting this right can be tedious, but it is definitely worth it. Here is a blog post that explains how to do that: Make sure your business is represented consistently online.

6 – If you don’t yet have a Google My Business page, be sure to create one. Your Google My Business page places you in Google’s “yellow pages” directory, which boosts your local business presence. And, it is absolutely free. According to a recent study, 56% of businesses have not claimed their GMB page. To find out how to claim yours, see this post: How to create a great Google My Business Page.

7 – Start blogging. Blogs showcase your expertise, as well as draw more visitors to your website. Your blog posts can be found by online searchers who are looking for information about what your post covers. For ideas on what to blog about, please see my post on What should I blog about?

8 – Take advantage of the social media sites that are best for your business. Not every social media platform will be right for you, but LinkedIn is a good place to start. You can have both a business profile and personal profile. Then, depending on what you do, consider Facebook, Pinterest, Houzz or other industry sites.

9 – Add videos to your website and post them on YouTube. More and more people are looking to videos for entertainment, practical ideas and products.

I hope you choose just one thing from the above list to do this year and enjoy a nice boost for your business in 2018.

Happy New Year everyone!

Carolyn Kohler is an SEO writer who specializes in helping businesses get found online. Her company is Website Wordsmith, and she is located in the San Francisco Bay Area.