Web Design & Marketing Agency

London Calling: Building a Digital Presence in the UK Capital

Whether you are a small retailer on the high street or just running a service industry start-up, your digital footprint may have been a low priority. However, as this year’s events have demonstrated that online marketing is the thing to buy your product or service from these people, you will want them to be aware of being in business and perhaps see some sales accelerate soon. Building a digital presence is about using various online channels (beyond your website) to connect with your customers and attract new ones.

In uncertain economic times, strengthening your business online presence will be vital in helping you understand and meet your customers’ changing needs and preferences.

Many consumers are thinking harder about where they spend their money. Research1 shows that online searches have risen significantly. 2 in 3 online shoppers compare similar products from different retailers before buying, and 30% of consumers browse online before purchasing in a physical store.

Businesses use digital technologies to improve their online touchpoints so that customers wanting to find more about a brand and its associated products can use it to find more information. Relying on a literature review, the study analyses the relationship between digital marketing and the online presence of international businesses in the UK IT sector, assesses the impact that digital marketing has on the online presence of multinational firms in the UK’s IT sector, documents the challenges companies face in implementing digital marketing to increase online presence and identify the strategies the companies can utilize to mitigate the challenges faced while implementing digital marketing to increase online presence.

London is a global hub for business and culture, making it a prime location to establish a solid digital presence. Whichever sector or industry your business operates in, blending online and offline elements to create a hybrid customer experience is crucial. Small companies have learned how to adapt to the digital world; now is the time to build on that.

This blog post will discuss the critical aspects of creating a successful online presence in London. From well-executed SEO strategies to compelling content, we’ll learn everything you need to know to leave your trail behind in London’s digital sphere.

What is meant by Digital Presence?

An online presence can be defined by how easy it is to find your business when searching for relevant keywords online or how many virtual ‘touchpoints’ a customer can interact with when wanting to find out more about your brand, products, and services.

Are you easy to find when consumers search using keywords relevant to your enterprise? Can existing and potential customers discover more about your brand through online platforms and content? Do you stand out from your competitors when consumers browse and compare your products and services? Can your customers communicate with you via multiple channels of their choice?

If you have an effective online presence, you’ll use a range of digital marketing strategy channels to deliver excellent customer experiences. As the number of digital platforms grows, focusing on the outcomes you want to achieve will allow you and your clients to choose. For instance, if you’re a retailer, deepening your online presence might involve blending e-commerce, mobile commerce, and social platforms alongside an actual store experience to create options for customers regarding how they view product catalogs and make purchases at your brand.

With the many economic and social challenges that small businesses face, there is room for purpose-led enterprises to link themselves with customers seeking brands that reflect their values.

Building an online presence and being there for your customers during a challenging time helps reach more people and develop long-lasting relationships with often faithful clients.

How Do You Build Your Strategy for Strong Digital Presence?

The online world presents a wealth of unique opportunities to start a new business, making the whole process easier and cheaper than ever; in May 2015, the number of people online reached a massive 3 billion, proving there’s a vast audience out there primed and ready to find your new business. On the other hand, where to start and how to gain attention can feel like an insidious uphill struggle – but that isn’t always worse once it feels more manageable. Making yourself an online presence can aid in everything from building brand awareness to increasing engagement with your business to generating leads of new customers and more.

So, where to begin?

Know Your Objectives

Setting a plan for growing your online presence is always the best place to start. Here is where you can set out on which social platforms – relevant to your business – you wish to grow; there are a lot to choose from, each with its style, with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest being a few of the biggest. Growing an audience on these platforms can take time and energy but can return dividends if done correctly.

Followers on Instagram will expect rich and well-shot photographs, whereas Facebook tends to favor more videos and memes. Social media can allow your business to keep customers up-to-date and share your content, helping you gain new followers. At this point, list your end goals, from increasing website traffic to improving your conversion rate, as this will shape the content you put out there.

The All-Important Website

Brand development plays a significant role in any robust digital marketing strategy. This doesn’t mean that building an online presence boils down to your website, but it is a critical aspect – think about the latter as the passenger face of your business. Your website is where your potential customers can leave product reviews, live chat with those on your team, discover new products or services, and ultimately make a purchase.

What you want your audience to land on –your website- the best thing is ensuring it’s easy for them to find and looks professional. There are several guides and platforms out there to help you get started. Fiverr is perfect for those looking for affordable freelancers to help them with anything from building their site to product photography and graphic design. Shopify and Wix are great for those wishing to develop the sites, offering many click-and-select templates and app add-ons.

Once you have your site off the ground, the next thing to consider is SEO.

The Importance of SEO

If your website is up and you’ve learned the ropes of social media, you are halfway through achieving that online presence. On the other hand, one crucial instrument to make your name known and attract the attention of an audience you could be interested in is Search Engine Optimisation – SEO.

Chances are, when someone is looking for content related to your business, they will search for it online – more than likely using Google; Google now accounts for 78% of desktop search traffic and 94% of mobile and tablet search traffic. This is why being easily found on search engines for relevant keywords is crucial. There are several ways to help your site boost its search engine results page rankings – with a whole industry dedicated to it. However, there are a few easy ways to help you get started.

Google should naturally find your website on its own, but there are ways to speed this process up and offer more content and information for your potential audience. Setting up with Google My Business is free and lets you tell Google everything from your opening hours to what your business does. You can also let Google and your potential audience know how to contact your business location via email and phone.

Another free tool is Google Search Console, originally known as Google Webmaster Tools. Here, you can register your site with Google and even submit a sitemap of all your website content to help the search engine crawl every page you wish your potential audience to find. You can also monitor the number of visitors your site receives and see which search terms your audience uses and where you rank on the results pages.

Get People Talking

There is no better way to promote the business than word-of-mouth. Studies have shown, on and off again, that people always take business or product recommendations from friends before any adverts. 92% of the respondents claimed they would listen to their friends more than anything else, like an advert. For this reason, it is crucial to get people talking online.

There are a few good ways to go about this, such as encouraging your customers to leave reviews or share their purchases on social media in return for coupon codes or having people share your content and tag their friends in competitions run by your business on your social media.

Make your business stand out from the competition by providing consistent value, excellent customer service, and even enticing packaging, and your customers will naturally wish to give you a glowing review on their own.

Be Patient

As you can see, building your online presence is a hugely important part of growing your business, bringing in massive potential for a new audience, and retaining your current customers. Before starting any campaign, you should consult with professionals. Consultants like Gareth Bull can help you to grow your business and provide professional advice. When starting, just know where you want to be and where to be online and work from there. A large audience is unlikely to show up overnight, so patience is vital, but in time, if you follow these steps, an interested and engaged audience won’t be too far away.

Building Brand Development Authority

You need strong brand development to make your business stand out online. This means having an innovative logo, colors, and a good story about your business. Keep your message the same everywhere, like on your website and social media. Talk with your customers online and share helpful information. Use your brand in all your online ads and promotions. Pay attention to what people say about your brand online and try to partner with other businesses that match your values. Keep track of how well people know and like your brand, and make changes to improve it. Being consistent and accurate to yourself online helps people remember and trust your business.

Build and Maintain Credibility

Consumers are becoming more vigilant about their products and services, making influencers even more critical. The influencer marketing industry has grown more than twice since 2019, with sponsored content being the most widespread strategy.

Not all influencers are celebrities. Many niche influencers specialize in topics relevant to your products and services. For instance, you could invite influencers to create guest content for your platforms, such as a blog or video post, or ask them to promote your product or service on their social media channels. Working with niche influencers could help you build a trusted brand, produce helpful and original content, and reach potential new customers.

Remember, your customers could also be your best influencers. Ask your customers to rate you on Google and social media, and invite them to create user-generated content, for example, a case study about their experience cooperating with you. A workable digital strategy needs to equip itself with the ingredient of reputation management.

Working with niche influencers will also allow you to establish powerful social media communities where you interact with an audience defined by people interested in your brand values.

Final Thoughts

In this blog post, we explored why having a solid online presence is crucial for businesses in London, a global business hub. We discussed the importance of understanding your goals, creating a user-friendly website, and using SEO to be easily found online. Building credibility through customer reviews and engaging with social media influencers was highlighted.

The key takeaway is that patience is essential, and businesses should focus on consistent branding to stand out in the digital world. The post aimed to provide practical insights for businesses, big or small, to succeed in the dynamic digital landscape of the UK capital.

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