As a result of the overwhelming shift to online searches, ensuring a company wesbite is visible near the top of the search engines has necessarily become an essential part of a company's marketing strategy.
While getting your website ranked highly should be at the core of your marketing strategy, it's important to ensure you have a good online reputation as well.
There's no point in being the first company on the front page of Google if no trusts your product, or your services don't seem credible.
Here are some top tips for making your business' online presence engage potential customers and generate good word-of-mouth:
1. Client Testimonials
A great way to make your business trustworthy is to get the people who use your services to share their experience of your excellent products, customer service or unique skills.
This can be in the form of quotes added to your website, or, even better, persuade your clients to be interviewed and add videos for maximum credibility.
A quick alternative to adding testimonials to your company's website, is to encourage your favourite clients to add positive reviews on independent sites, for example your Google maps listing, or a local directory like Best of Bristol.
2. Use Social Media, but don't forget that Facebook and Twitter aren't primarily designed for business
Social Media networks, and blogs for that matter, provide the perfect opportunity to add a human side to your company, making your online presence engaging and approachable.
Don't spoil the benefits of this personalised interaction by constantly promoting yourself or your products.
The 80/20 guideline is a useful one to follow, so that you spend 80% of your time on Facebook, Twitter etc. engaging with other users (your business peers and customers) or sharing interesting content, then 20% promoting your brand.
3. Don't let traditional methods of marketing fall off your 'to do' list.
The fact that you have a website and a blog and use Twitter and Facebook doesn't mean you shouldn't still meet with clients or attend networking events in your area.
Your online reputation can be supported by face-to-face interaction - why not convert online networking into real life events in your local area?
Social Media allows us to interact on a global scale, but don't forget about your local community.
This is a subject dear to our hearts at GWS, and we will be following this up with a more detailed 'how to' blog post soon.
If you have any tips for developing an online reputation, examples of how your business has engaged potential customers, cautionary tales or even questions you would like to ask us on the subject, then please get in touch via the comments below.