I don’t have to tell you that having a strong online presence is a must in today’s business world. Whether you’re selling air conditioner repair parts or you have an haute couture fashion line, your target audience needs to be able to find you easily online. In fact, you want to go a step farther than that. You want to be so prevalent that they don’t have to “find” you.

You want to not only show up as one of the first results when they Google products like yours, you want to appear in their social media newsfeeds and on the sites they frequent. You want to have such a strong online presence that people immediately recognize your brand when they see your colors, font, or face. So how can you do that? Just follow a few tips, and you’ll be on your way.

HOW OPTIMIZED ARE YOU?

First of all, you need to make sure that your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) is on point. This used to mean repeating your relevant keywords and phrases as many times as possible in your site so Google and other search engines would “see” you first when people searched for those keywords. Because Google’s always looking out for its users, though, the algorithms for who gets ranked highest in search engine results pages (SERPs) have gotten a lot more complex. And trying to cheat the system comes with consequences.

Basically, you don’t want more than a 1% density rate for your keywords. That means, for every 100 words, your keyword or phrase should only show up once. Sprinkle keywords in whenever you can, but never sacrifice quality for quantity. In addition to your keyword density, make sure that you have pictures and/or video on all of your site’s pages. Pictures and videos get more engagement than text-only pages, and search engines give them priority. Add some back links and internal links wherever they work naturally, and you’ll be doing yourself some favors, too.

Do not try to cheat. Don’t add a bunch of fake back links. Don’t keyword-stuff your content. And don’t try to hire someone to rig your site so it shows up before others in SERPs. Why? Because when Google catches you—and they will catch you—they’ll punish your site and may even take you out of the rankings entirely. You don’t want your site to disappear from Google, so don’t try to increase your SEO unethically.

GET AS SOCIAL AS POSSIBLE

In addition to giving sites higher rankings for pictures, videos, and links, Google’s algorithms also give you higher rankings if you have a lot of activity on social media and YouTube. Creating a YouTube channel, posting to it regularly, and sharing those posts on Facebook and Twitter will not only help you grow your audience and get more engagement on social media, but it’ll also help you get better SERP rankings.

TALK TO THE PRESS

Finally, don’t neglect online news, lifestyle, and industry media. Reach out to the outlets that are relevant to your brand. Send them bios, guest blogs, and press releases. Talk to them about interviews and get them interested in talking to you. When you get featured on their sites, you’ll get links back to your site and your social media pages, and you’ll get even more exposure and engagement.

Follow these three tips, and you’ll be on your way to growing your online presence and building your brand. Remember, though, that having an effective online presence takes maintenance. It’s more like brushing your teeth or going to the gym than getting a flu shot or building a set of drawers. It takes constant maintenance, but the results are always worth it.

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