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5 ways to build your brand awareness online

Setting up an ecommerce site is one of the best decisions a business can make, but the work doesn’t end once the website is complete and live. In order to succeed online you need to regularly dedicate time to marketing your business and increasing your brand awareness.

Before the advent of the internet and online shopping, businesses relied on physical premises or mail order catalogues to make sales, and marketing was done via print, radio, or TV advertising. The internet has made everything much easier for businesses to market themselves, but it is also easy for a small business to get lost among the millions of other sites competing for traffic.

Even if you only have a couple of hours a week to dedicate to marketing there are still a number of ways in which you can get noticed online by both search engines and consumers...

 

Blogging

When Google is assessing a website in order to rank it, the quality of the content is a major factor now. Your website could be amazing, but if you never add fresh, relevant content then it will eventually drop off Google’s radar.

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Adding a blog to your website is the simplest way to show the search engines that your website is still active and relevant to what people are searching for. Most ecommerce platforms like OpenCart, Magento, and ekmPowershop support a blog or news page and allow you to schedule posts to go up automatically in the future.

Aim to publish at least one blog post per month, more if you can, in order to keep your site active in Google’s eyes. You don’t always have to post in-depth articles; you can also use your blog to promote new products, tell your customers about special offers, or share case studies of your previous projects – anything that gets you updating your site regularly!

 

Guest blogging

Having a blog attached to your website is great for letting Google know that it’s an active site, but guest blogging on popular blogs is a good way of exposing your brand to larger audiences. Try searching on Google for “write for us” + [related keyword] to find existing blogs in your field of expertise who are accepting guest posts.

Writing blog posts for well established blogs is the perfect way to share your knowledge and expertise on a particular subject with a wider audience. The more guest posts you produce, the more you’ll become an authoritative voice within your industry.

Some blog owners will let you include a link back to your website within the blog post, others won’t, so be sure to check before you submit your blog. A post on a well established, well read blog that contains a link back to your website will increase the authority of your website in Google’s eyes and contribute to a better ranking position.

 

Online directories

Remember when the Yellow Pages used to drop through your letterbox with an almighty thud before being given pride of place near the telephone so that you could always find the number of a plumber when you needed one? How times have changed, and how skinny the Yellow Pages has become. All of the information that we used to glean from print is now available instantly online, but as a business it’s up to you to make sure your information is there to be found.

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There are a number of reputable business directories online, such as Yell, Yalwa, Yelp, and Thomson Local that offer both free and paid listings. It takes just a few minutes to set up an account and create a free listing with most directory sites, so set aside half an hour each week to add your company to several directories and you’ll find that your online presence gradually begins to grow. Look out for industry or location specific sites if you’re trying to appeal to a niche audience in particular.

 

Forums

Hosting an industry-relevant forum on your website lets people know that your business has a certain level of knowledge and professionalism. Present yourself as an authority in your industry by inviting people to discuss relevant topics on your forum, and offer useful advice to them in return.

Having a forum as part of your website will drive traffic to your site, and the activity that it generates will also ensure that you stay on the search engine radar, making it twice as beneficial for you.

 

StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is a sort of search and discovery engine designed to recommend web content to users based on a number of factors. The site allows users to discover, use, and rate different websites, whilst offering an incredibly cost-effective marketing opportunity to businesses.

As with many online social and marketing platforms a business can create a free account and hope for the best, or use Paid Discovery to ensure that their website is directly matched with user interests, meaning that people are exposed to your website when they would have been searching for that type of content anyway. 

Posted Friday, 1st May 2015