If you’re a business owner today, ask yourself these questions: What exactly does word of mouth mean in the digital age? And how does it affect your business? And is building a strong digital presence really necessary for your brand?
Luckily, you don’t have to look for answers all by yourself because this article helps you understand just how vital a robust digital presence is, how it helps you, and how you can build it online.
With that in mind, here’s how you can build a strong digital presence for your business.
What is a digital presence? And why is it so important to business owners?
The answer lies in the first three words of this article: Word. Of. Mouth. It has been and continues to be one of the most significant ways businesses can influence a constantly increasing number of potential buyers.
The 21st century has made its high-speed internet connections easily available to most of the world. This means people worldwide, not just in a county or a town.
And before they even begin speaking about a business, they must first find that business.
Today, this exercise of searching for and deciding on a storefront happens, you guessed it, online. So, in essence, a great digital presence fuels word of mouth for your brand!
For most small businesses, getting online is easier said than done. Building a strong digital presence goes beyond just having a business website. Before you start working on your designs, site maps, marketing strategies, analytics, and so on, you must make sure that every detail in your foundation is not just right but also strong and, if possible, future-proof.
Laying the groundwork for a robust online presence with a .Online domain name
The key to breaking through the clutter of the overcrowded internet space of today is to look for alternative domain extensions to .com, such as .Online, to represent your business’s digital presence and identity.
Let’s take the example of a company offering French language classes. The business has gone through the ABCs and decided that the perfect domain name would be frenchclasses.com. But, as it turns out, that name is unavailable. Either that or because of the extremely strong keywords it uses, it is not a premium domain that costs thousands of dollars.
Fortunately, frenchclasses.online, a relevant and meaningful domain name is available for you. And it’s available to register right away. Moreover, it is an extension that clearly indicates where and how it offers its services.
It also adds another search-intuitive keyword to your domain name: ‘online’. With a .Online extension, your business has already added the keyword to the domain name. By doing this, you have also helped your SEO game and ensured that your business would show up in more search results to more people.
How a .Online domain name can help build a brand’s digital presence
A website and a domain name can bring your business into the limelight and introduce you as a forward thinker. It’s a gateway to showcase your creativity. Choosing a unique domain name pays by attracting dedicated customers. And here are five reasons a .Online domain name can help you build a strong digital presence:
1. Helps you interact with a niche market
Consider the example of Coca-Cola, a brand that boasts many different and popular products. Apart from the primary domain name, coca-colacompany.com, the brand has a dedicated website for each of its products, such as dietcoke.com or minutemaid.com.
These product-specific domain names help customers cut through the fluff and get to the product page they’re truly interested in.
Domain extensions, such as .Online help you add more character to your product’s online presence. If building a separate website isn’t feasible, you could register the domain name and redirect it to the product page on your primary website.
Consider the example of the organic honey business that we discussed above. You could have a domain name such as careforbees.online and redirect it to your website's corporate social responsibility page.
Or you could have a domain name such as honeybites.online that redirects to the honey-made treats page on your website.
This strategy helps you build your overall brand and gives every product a unique online identity.
2. Supports your SEO efforts
One of the key ingredients of a website’s SEO strategy is backlinks.
High-quality and relevant backlinks not only make Google trust your content but also tells users that you’re an expert in your industry.
Websites use multiple different strategies to earn these good-quality backlinks, such as guest posting, publishing ebooks and whitepapers, conducting marketing and consumer studies and detailing its results, and more.
However, most of these websites don’t pay much heed to the anchor text — the specific words or phrases on which a hyperlink is set.
The anchor text is one of the most powerful tactics to make your backlinks look authentic to the search engines, and the way to do it is to ensure that the anchor text matches the words in the hyperlink’s URL.
For example, when the anchor text “care for bees online” gets a backlink to careforbees.online, it helps authenticate the relevance of the page to the content.
This tactic gives the search engine a clear indication that the content and the link it’s pointing to are relevant, strengthening your SEO efforts.
3. Makes your contests and promotions interesting
Most companies use contests and promotions because they’re a good and fun way to engage customers with their products. People may show interest in your product or service if they’re going to get something in return.
Contests and promotions have their own set of strengths and can benefit your business in multiple ways, such as:
- It allows you to raise awareness about your products and services
- It’s a great tool for building your fan base
- It’s a rich source of data for lead generation and research
- It empowers customers to do your marketing for you
- It’s relatively low cost depending on the prize and the setup
- Most businesses engage in contests and promotions; however, domain extensions such as .Online can help you make your contests stand out.
For example, in your social post promoting the contest, instead of sharing a long, clunky, or cryptic URL, you could share something along the lines of winhoney.online.
4. Plays a crucial role in voice search
Is your business ready for what it takes to survive in a voice search world? Search engines are constantly evolving, making their user experience as simple as possible. The introduction of voice search almost eliminated the need to type anything.
Every phone and computer is now equipped with a voice assistant (such as Siri and Google Assistant). The presence of voice-first devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home is now highly common.
A .Online domain name can greatly aid your business in performing well in voice search results.
A domain name that is simple, clear, and incorporates the right keywords can enhance the chances of your website being picked up by the voice search assistant.
Text-based searches are very different from voice searches. When people type their search query, they only type the main keywords leaving the rest on the search engine. However, when they use voice search, they phrase their question as if they were asking another person.
Imagine using a voice search to find places where you can buy honey. A typical voice search would go:
“Siri, find places to buy honey online.”
Here, a domain name such as buyhoney.online has a stronger chance to beat the other competing websites because it has all the important keywords used to conduct the search.
That’s the benefit of having keyword-rich domain names.
Marketing strategies to grow your digital presence
You found a domain extension that not only fits your brand better than .com and elevates your SEO, and you’ve managed to register the domain name at a fantastic price point. Now what?
Now, you go back to the beginning. Word. Of. Mouth. In other words, you create a marketing strategy that keeps this perfect domain name at its heart.
1. Create a website with a store attached to it
You'll need a website if you’re selling goods, offering a service, or increasing your brand footprint with merch. One through which you can sell not only your products but also manage your inventory, track your orders and fulfillment in real-time, collect payments, and promote newer or higher-selling products.
But creating this website isn’t always the easiest thing in the world, especially for those who aren’t tech-savvy. Fortunately, there are options for every budget. You could either choose to DIY it with a Content Management System (CMS), use a website builder, or hire a professional.
2. Create a brand message
Consumers don’t buy into products. It’s your brand they want. It’s not a sugary cola they buy, but a brand that tells them to open happiness. It’s not a pair of shoes but a brand that tells them to go on and just do it. And those are just two of millions of examples of brand stories and messages. Find what differentiates you from the rest. Find what the ethos of your business is. Find what consumers can relate with. Then turn that into a story and run with it!
3. Go where your customers are
Like them or not, social networks are where most people today hang out. It’s also where these people look for, find, and share their thoughts about businesses. And because they’re two-way communication-based, these platforms help you create and add to conversations around your business. Talk about your products, talk about your promos, talk about your services, talk about your contests.
Just remember to talk in a way that will bring value to your target audience. In other words, don’t just create an ad and plaster it all over a bunch of social networks. Create meaningful conversations on relevant platforms using relevant content.
For example, you could talk about your work culture on LinkedIn, showcase your gorgeous products on Instagram, set up a support handle on Twitter, discuss all the fun stuff on Reddit, and so on. When the consumers see you try, they’ll be sure to return the favor!
4. Give more power to your brand advocates
This is the age of the influencer. All it takes is one tweet, one Instagram post, one upvote, or one downvote to change the fortunes of a business and influence millions of people’s views about said business. Aside from paid promotions with these influencers (early previews, first looks, exclusive offers, and so on), you can also keep encouraging positive sentiment for your brand by regularly identifying your biggest, most influential advocates and thanking them for their support. The simple act of grateful acknowledgment can go a long way in creating a brand experience people find worthy of sharing with their peers.
These have been some of the ways in which a strong digital presence is important for your business, what it means, and how you can start building it right away with a .Online domain name. Because, after all, your domain name is your unique identity on the internet. And any business or organization that has a web presence should invest in a good domain name and a professional email address to give their business the edge and a professional look. Using a .Online domain name can help get you the name you want with added benefits.
Moreover, a domain name helps build credibility and increase brand awareness. It reflects how innovative and forward-thinking your business is and how up-to-date you are with all the recent developments in cyberspace.