Getting Started: How to Create an Online Presence

Welcome to our first business guide blog post. SEO Article Heroes is a business that operates in both print and digital marketing. We always like to offer tips and advice to our readers and clients, that’s why we’ve decided to start producing guides and marketing advice for anyone who wants to learn the best marketing methods and what’s the best road to go down.

Future blogs will be focused on specific industries whilst others will be focused on specific digital marketing approaches. This blog post will focus on general advice for small businesses or businesses that are just starting out and give you an idea of the types of digital marketing avenues you can go down and what approaches are best to go down depending on the industry you’re in.

If you feel we’re lacking a guide related to marketing that you would like to see please email us on [email protected]

Evaluating Your Online Presence

Before you start looking at marketing approaches you need to evaluate your situation and see what’s best for you. The worst thing you can do is get so focused on sales and leads that you don’t spend any time contemplating the bigger picture and look for quick fix solutions. All digital marketing approaches are interconnected money spent and if you don’t build a wider marketing strategy it’s likely you’ll just be pouring money down the drain. So you need to first understand where your online presence lies by making a list of everything you currently have related to your business online. This will include your social media pages, websites and any marketing approach you’ve ever taken online. Once you have your list create an excel document or a table within a word document with the categories (e.g Facebook, Website, Twitter) followed by a column with a short description of everything you’ve done so far along with the effect of the work and your next steps. This will keep you on track with your marketing efforts now and will be a massive help later on. See example template below, if you’re using Word feel free to simply copy and paste the table.

Type Work So Far Effect of Work So Far Next Steps
Facebook Set-up page Gained 4 likes Start Posting Content
Website Created Website None So far Create 2 blogs

 

Setting up Social Media

It used to be that the very first thing you need to set-up is a website but nowadays more and more businesses start with a social media page such as Facebook and move into Web Development afterwards that’s why we’re going to start here first. Many of you will already have a logo from your business cards but if you do not now is the time to create one. If you’re a good designer create one yourself if not there are various cheap ways to get logos. Contact us if you need a UK logo designer.

Now you’ve got your logo it’s time to start deciding which social media profiles are the most appropriate for your business. In the future, we will be running guides for individual industry types but now for some basic advice, we’re going to list all the main social media sites and the types of businesses that will benefit the most for each site. From the advice below set-up the accounts most relevant for your business choosing at least 3 networks in total.

Setting Up A Facebook Page

Advantages and suitability

The most popular social media platform absolutely every business should have a Facebook page Businesses that are locally based and drive the vast majority of their business through customers visiting a physical business premises benefit from Facebook’s localised features.

Facebook caters for the B2C market far more than the B2B market, if you operate in B2B market whilst maintaining a presence is important your focus may be better suited to other platforms. Any business that runs regular events such a promoters or event management will benefit highly from its event feature. Businesses such as emerging brands that need to build up a strong following and constant engagement will benefit from building up list of likes.

Suitability: Every business, works better with B2C

How to set-up

1. Sign up: Click on the following link https://www.facebook.com/business and then press the arrow button and click create a page. And then click get started next on the business icon then fill in the details of your business.

2. Upload Pictures: You’ll need to upload a profile picture and a cover photo use your logo for your profile picture and either a picture of your products/services or a great picture of your business in action.

3. Call-to-action: Next you’ll need to edit your call-to-action edit the button at the top of your screen to represent what you want your business does. Making a booking can be good for event based businesses but also service based businesses where booking an enquiry can be helpful. Contact you is generally just for service based businesses and shop with you is e-commerce based. Whilst learn more is really for businesses that aren’t looking to enquire leads with Facebook whilst download your App or Play game is obviously more for App and game based businesses.

4. Edit Details: Finally click the about page then click edit page info and fill in all the details relevant to your business.

Setting Up Twitter Business Account

Advantages

Every business should have a twitter account it’s second only to Facebook, some would argue it’s more powerful than Facebook. Perfect for content marketing campaigns where content can go viral if it is of good quality and reaches the right audience. Any website that utilises a lot of blog and video content should approach this website. A great way of building up a following and rapport with your customer base, as it creates a direct and public root of communication. Is perfect for reaching influencers in your field for the purpose of making connections whom can be utilised for a variety of content marketing campaigns.

Suitability: Every business, great for content marketing

How to set-up

1. Setting Up Go to twitter.com and sign up for an account. Fill it out as normal have your name as your business name.

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2. Filling In Fields Once set up twitter will prompt you to fill in the required fields as with Facebook follow a similar process and add a profile picture

3. Finishing Touches Fill in the information required and that’s all you need to do for now.

Setting Up A Business Instagram Account

Advantages

Great for businesses that are highly visual anything from clothing to food to events based businesses will benefit highly from Instagram. Tends to be far better for the B2C market than the B2B market. In terms of demographics a higher amount of younger people use Instagram and more Women tend to use the platform than men. If this fits into your target demographic place particular focus on this platform.

Suitability: B2C, Food, Clothes, Events, Travel

How to set-up

1. Install: Instagram is mainly Smart Phone based so to do this you will need a smart phone. First download Instgram from the App store and create a basic personal profile if you do not already have one.

2. Create Business Page: Click on the profile icon and then click on settings at the bottom. Next click add business account and create new account and fill in the details.

3. Connect to Facebook Page. Click connect to Facebook Page, you may need to login to Facebook if you are not already logged in and connect to the Facebook page you created in the last step. If you have not created a Facebook Page create one fist and then come back to the page. That’s all you need to do and you’re all set-up.

Setting Up A Business Pinterest Account

Advantages

Another visual and image-focused platform which is great for anyone in the travel, clothing and food-based businesses. The popularity of this platform is cross-generational in a way that Instagram is not. Often considered one of the best visual search engines people will use Pinterest when researching what product is best to buy. If you sell a lot of high ticket items such as wedding dresses Pinterest is particularly useful?

Suitability: Travel, Clothing, Food & anything visual based.

Suitability: B2C, Food, Clothes, Events, Travel

How to set-up

1. Set-up: First click here to set-up your account https://www.pinterest.com/business/create/. Connect to any relevant accounts and make sure you link to your website.

2. Edit Profile: Now edit your profile to include your profile picture. About your profile and your location. Scroll through your account settings and check everything is correct.

3. Claim your Website: If you have absolutely no experience with websites you may find this difficult. You have two options for how to claim your website. The first is Add HTML tag which is what we would recommend. If you’re using WordPress your easiest option is to download a plugin, it you’re using a different CMS they’re often options to insert code directly into the header however we will create a separate post about inserting code into the header without a plugin soon. Login to WordPress on a separate tab and download Insert Headers and Footers. Install it click on settings and then Insert Headers and Footers. Now go back to Pinterest and copy and paste the HTML tag from Pintrest into scripts header and save. And that’s it your Pinterest account is all set up.

Setting Up A LinkedIn Account

Advantages

Linkedin is the best platform for anyone operating in B2B market. It’s great for anyone in recruitment looking for both decision makers and recruits. You can build connections that can open doors for you at a later stage. It’s an easy way to develop a reputation as an expert in your field which can be utilised for driving leads. Finally it’s great for directly reach decision makers whose businesses can be qualified as leads, avoiding any of the fluff that can be associated with other social media platforms.

Suitability: B2B Market.

How to set-up

1.Personal Profile: The first thing you need to do when getting started on Linkedin is setting your own personal profile. Firstly click the following link and sign up. Then either fill in the community and interests as appropriate or skip for later.

2. Edit Profile: Click on your profile and then click the pencil edit button. Now add pictures for the profile picture use a formal headshot of yourself and for the banner choose something that represents your business. Now fill in the summary stating everything that you do. Now click add profile section and fill in the entire background section which is essentially a CV. Then fill in the rest of the sections if and where relevant and hey presto you’ve got a Linkedin profile.

3. Create a Business Page: Click on this link to set-up a business page. Click on the icon that best represents you page and fill in the details relevant to your website. Now add a cover photo that represents what your business does or use a picture taken from your website that represents what you do. Now click the edit button and add in any information that’s missing.

Other Social Media Platforms:

There are plenty of other websites that would be highly suitable for a range of businesses however discussions of businesses suited towards these platforms would warrant a separate guide which we hope to bring out soon for now just focus on the basics.

Setting Up Buffer & Automating Sharing

Now we’ve got our social media platforms set up it’s time to start thinking about creating a Buffer account. There are many social media marketers who will swear against automated sharing but for most amateurs it’s a great tool.

Step By Step

1. Sign Up – Buffer

2. Setting Up Click connect to social networks. From here you can share any content you wish to share, we will however have a separate post for the best ways to share content on Buffer.

Setting Up Google My Business

Google My Business is a great platform for local businesses, essentially Google My Business upon which Google Maps operates on. This platform is obviously extremely important if your customers need to physically reach your business location, as more and more people use Google Maps for directions if you do not have a business on Google Maps then many people will find it hard to visit you.

But that’s not the only reason that you need to set up a Google My Business account there’s also the fact that Google uses Google My Business as a major ranking factor for local SEO. A well optimised Google My Business account with a decent number of reviews will not only bring you to the top of the Google Maps SERPs but also Google’s main SERPs for your local customers regardless if they are searching for locally based services.

Step-By-Step

1. If you haven’t already set up a Google Account, (You may want to do this again even if you have an account used for personal use). Then register your business on Google My Business. Including your business name and address. (You can hide your address if your work from home but this will hinder your Local SEO efforts, if you don’t want people to know where you live your best bet is to get a correspondence address).

2. Select the most accurate business category related to your business, (this will help with improving rankings) When you add your business phone number ensure it is consistent with the one used on your website and online business directories if applicable.

3. Sometimes Google allows multiple options for verifying your business but usually it only allows you to verify by post. Get the card sent to your address and verify with the code once it arrives.

4. Optimise your Google My Business account by including a profile picture of your business (usually a logo) and a cover photo (usually your business in action). And consider adding some more pictures of your business or related to your business. If you don’t have any pictures start taking them, if your business is not visually focused try getting a graphic designer to create a few images for you.

5. Start adding in any features that your business might have (e.g areas covered, features, hours of operation), and ensure to include a short description of your business.

Creating A Website

If you have any budget whatsoever create a website and invest well in your website it will certainly be worth it, though there are ways to create a website yourself if you have the skills and/or the patience to learn.

There are countless ways to set up a website, websites can be created easily through website builders such as Wix, Squarespace, Shopify and many other others. However, our recommendation for setting up a professional website is to use a Content Management System (CMS) rather than a website builder. CMS’s have a lot more features than website builders, which not only give you a lot more freedom to have a better designed website but it also makes it a lot easier to optimise.

There are several CMS’s such as Drupal, Joomla and WordPress. For a small-medium size business our recommendation is always to use WordPress as a Content Management System. With WordPress you have three options, buy a template theme for your website, create the website from scratch or higher a Web Designer. If you’re looking for someone to create the website for you contact us and ask about our Web Design Services and we’ll be able to create a cost-effective website. If you feel that you can set-up a website by yourself subscribe to our blog as we will be bringing out a blog piece on setting up a website through WordPress.

Setting Up Google Analytics & Search Console

Now you have a website it’s time to set up some monitoring tools. Google Analytics is a free tool created by Google which monitors all of your search traffic, it can detail where the traffic is coming from, how long a user has been on your page and can make comparisons over a long period of time. Google Search Console is focused on how well your website is performing through organic search traffic from Google. Setting both of these tools on your website will mean monitoring traffic on your website a lot easier and despite being free they’re some of the best monitoring tools out there.

Step-By-Step Google Analytics

If you followed our advice earlier of using WordPress you’re going to find this a lot easier. But do not despair if you do not have a plugin our step-by-step guide will walk you through the setup regardless

Non-Plugin:

1. By now you should have a Google account from when you setup the Google My Business use this same account to make things easier and head over to Google Analytics and click sign up. And fill in the details related to your business.

2. You’ll now be given a tracking code. Copy and paste this into your website header of your website. Your website should have a header.php file copy this code at the top of this file. Many website builders will have a header function where you can put HTML into locate this if you cannot find the header.php file and copy and paste the code.

Plugin:

1. (As step 1 in non-plugin)

2. Log into WordPress click on the plugin section and search for “Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP)” download and activate.

Step-By-Step Search Console

1. Stay logged into your Google Account and go to Search Console Fill in your website’s domain in the Domain section. . If you get a screen like the one below fill in the form and then click verify later.

2. Click on the main menu icon in the upper left-hand side and click on your property. You should be promoted by the verification below Google Analytics verification and Search Console will automatically verify.

Take a breath! You’ve finally managed to set up your online presence, now you can start thinking about which marketing route to go down. Our next blog piece will break down the various digital marketing options and help you understand which route is best to go down.

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