The 6 Online Channels You Should Optimise For Business Growth
Studies show that four out of five consumers (80%) like to learn about a business through the company’s custom content.
Our online presence is the most easily accessible digital shop window we have – people can use our blogs or social channels to peer in our virtual shop window, get to know what we offer, our values and hopefully (if we do our jobs well) grow trust in us.
Money is the exchange of trust
– so we really want to use our online channels to maximise our customers trust in us.
Because our businesses change every day, time passes fast, and we get busy, it’s easy for our online presence to grow stale.
A stagnant shop window, is not that appealing and won’t be serving us as well as a fresh, well designed and put together window.
If you read my article on 5 Free and Easy Ways to Strengthen Your Brand, you'll understand why letting your online content grow stale can be really detrimental to your brand value.
Here’s a checklist of the 6 online channels that I believe we should be taking care to optimise and pay attention to, so that you can check yours, making sure that it is still an accurate representation of your brand identity:
Our websites should be first on our list of priorities because they are really our only exclusively owned online content.
Most of the other online channels are owned by others and we essentially “rent” virtual shop space from them. While important, we are not always in control of future changes.
Therefore, I believe that we should always put the most investment into creating a website which displays all our goods and services well, and ultimately helps us grow our business.
When I review client’s websites, there are usually at least a handful of quick things that they can do to quickly improve their website, so that they get better results.
Here are a few quick wins to look for, to ensure your website reflects your brand identity at its finest:
- What action should your customers take first when they get to your website?
Check your most important call to action is present above the fold on all your most important pages.
- Is it easy and simple for a customer to contact you or book?
Make sure that you use an automated booking calendar so people can immediately choose a time to book you. And/or make sure it's so simple to contact you in another way if that's your preference.
- Do you have reviews showing?
89% of consumers consult reviews before making a buying decision. So, ensure you have high quality social proof showing all through your website (but especially on the cart pages).
- How many clicks do people have to make to find what the information they need or purchase?
Making this pathway as streamlined as possible will really help improve your conversions.
- Is your website written about your product or your customers problem?
A major reason websites don't convert is because the messaging hits the mark. Make sure you're speaking your customers language - What language do THEY use to describe their problem. How can you solve their problem for them?
Technically yes, a blog is part of your website. But, I’ve listed it separately because blogs are such a powerful way to attract new customers, and grow their trust.
Often they are highly under-utilized areas of our website.
Blogging doesn’t have to be super time consuming, but, if you’re clever with your content and keywords, it can be one of the best methods for people finding you organically online.
A few ways that you can optimise your blog are:
- Ensuring it's up to date both visually and language wise, so that it accurately reflects your current brand identity.
- Making sure that you have optimised each blog post to link to relevant freebies, products or offers that are related to the post. So that you can collect email addresses or improve your sales.
Your Social Channels
Once of the places that can get stale fast is our social channel profiles. Usually when reviewing a business's social profiles, I find some simple things they could do to optimise them for better results.
- Updating their bios so that they are all in line with each other, and give a consistent brand identity.
- Adding links in their bios, so that they link through to the most relevant content on their website
- OR updating their links in their bios so that they have up to date and relevant links
- Updating profile images with any new brand images
- Updating key story highlights (on Instagram specifically)
- Updating pinned posts
- Updating offers
- Updating Instagram or Facebook shop fronts so that they feature the most relevant products first.
The main thing to ask yourself is:
- Does my social profile communicate how I can best help my prospective customers?
- Does it make it super easy for them to take action?
- Do I share my brand story and values in featured posts?
- Do I share my key offers in featured posts?
Ensuring these things will help you have better optimised social profiles, so that you can hopefully increase trust, engagement and clicks through to your website.
Google My Business
Google My Business could be considered a social channel, but I’ve listed it separately because it usually gets forgotten off the list.
Google My Business is such an important channel to optimise, and many small businesses don’t utilise this space well (ahem – including me most of the time).
Having a useful Google My Business profile gives you a huge tick with Google. And, having Google’s approval helps us because they’ll then show our website/content to more people.
But most importantly - it just helps people find you more easily.
When it comes to optimising your Google My Business Profile, ensure you have:
- Registered your business
- Have up to date contact details
- Have up to date opening hours
- Encouraged people to leave positive reviews so that you can leave a good impression
- Responded to any negative reviews in a positive way
- Link to your main products, services and lead magnets
So, how are your reviews?
Good places to ensure you have good reviews may include:
- Your website
- Google My Business
It can even be useful to create carousals or stories of your social proof, and save them as story highlights, or pinned posts. Or, just share them regularly on your feed. This way, if people are checking out your profile, they'll immediately see your social proof.
Google / Search Engine Results
We can’t always be in control of what search engines are saying about us and in what order, but we can be aware of what they are saying.
When was the last time you googled your business?
What did it say about you?
What are the search engines saying about your competitors (this can be just as important to be aware of).
If you haven’t googled yours or your competitor’s businesses in a while I suggest spending 5 minutes doing this now.
Just make sure you use an incognito browser so that your own searching behaviour and history doesn’t alter the results.
Once you’ve got your results, it’s time to set some goals about how you WANT to appear to in the searches, and make a plan to help that happen.
That usually requires some SEO work. Often I find that's easier to outsource to someone. Just ensure you choose someone you trust. If you're not sure who to choose, you can ask around for some recommendations.
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About the author:
Kat Soper is the Founder and Head Trainer of The Helpful Academy Online Business School.
Kat is passionate about helping start-ups and small businesses succeed and achieve their business goals so that they can achieve the lifestyle they desire (and deserve).