Establishing an Online Presence Strategy

More than ever before, companies need to focus on their online presence. Today's Internet offers a great many choices for you to become involved in the digital world. But you need to develop a strategy that will guide you in this endeavor. Your goals and objectives should be clear.

Will social media be a component of your online marketing strategy? Are you thinking about it just to gather leads? Do you want to gain broader national or regional exposure? Are you building an online presence to polish your reputation? How much time are you prepared to spend on your online presence? Do you have staff that can help you implement your online marketing strategy? How much are you budgeting for a your online marketing effort?

A strategy can, and should, be tailored to each companies goals, corporate personality, and strengths. Experts say personal blogs, websites, and business social media pages all tend to rank high in search engine results.

Studies have shown that 90% of people doing searches do not go past the first page of search results, and 99% do not go past the second page. Internet marketing firm Optify looked at Google search results from December 2010 and found that the top three search results got 60% of the clicks with an average 37% click-through rate for ranking at the top of the first page. These results show that ranking not only on the first page of Google search results, but close to the top of those results, is valuable.

The most fruitful path to higher search engine placement is with an "inbound" marketing effort using the major social media channels—LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, blogs, and Google. Using these social media tools, you can establish your brand identity and define your online presence by generating high quality content. The more "outlets" you have with high quality content, the more likelihood there is of being found on a search and thus more opportunities for business.