We all know the saying, “Location, Location, Location,” in reference to the importance of a physical location for a business. A coffee shop on the corner of a busy part of town will outsell its competitor on the side of a rarely traveled county highway.
But location isn’t just important in the physical world. Your digital location is just as, if not more important, than your physical location.
With 87% of people beginning the buying process on digital channels, your online visibility is crucial for your success in doing business today. If you are not located in the busy spots of the digital world, your prospective customers will not find you.
Your Digital Locations
So what are the digital locations? There are five primary online spots that every business needs to have a strategy for.
These are the “busy streets” in the digital world:
1. Search Engines
Search engines like Google are the starting place for most buyers’ research nowadays. Our prospects search to understand their problem, research solutions, and learn about potential vendors.
Your “location” in search engines is your rankings for important keywords. Your location on the search results page will significantly affect your visibility for search users.
The top three results typically get around 50-70% of the clicks on a search query. And if you are not in the top 10 rankings… you might as well be an ice cream shop located at the north pole.
You need a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to ensure that your business ranks well for top keywords.
2. Social Media Platforms
The next location of digital importance is typically your social media presence. Social media is where people make connections, consume content, and engage with potential partners, so your presence here is important.
The social media platform on which you need to be visible varies based on your industry and your target persona. For instance, many B2B service businesses will find that LinkedIn is an important place to implement a social selling strategy. Whereas, B2C brands might need to invest resources in building a Facebook and Instagram audience.
Regardless of the platform, some simple tactics apply:
- Make relevant connections.
- Engage with your audience.
- Create content that educates or entertains.
I’d also add that your company and employees should be active on social media. While your company page is suitable for publishing with your brand’s voice, your employees also play an important role in engaging with your audience on social media.
3. Email Inboxes
One of the most underutilized digital locations I see when working with clients is the email inbox. This is the digital mailbox your prospects check multiple times a day (if not multiple times an hour).
Having an email marketing strategy is an effective way to reach your audience at the tap of a button. You own the list, meaning no social media or search engine algorithm change will affect your visibility.
My go-to strategy is to create an email newsletter. Make the newsletter’s content valuable, educational, and entertaining to keep your audience engaged with your brand regularly.
You should also include a link to subscribe to your newsletter visible across your online presence. Create clear sign-up forms on your website, social media profiles, email signatures, and more.
4. Your Website
Once a prospect makes it into your virtual “storefront,” aka your website, the focus on location, location, location isn’t over yet! Now it’s all about location INSIDE the store.
Think about how your prospect will navigate your content on your website. Is it easy to find the information they are looking for? Do they feel like they are in the right place? Do they know what step to take next?
Make sure your website does the following three things:
- Identify problems and solutions. – Your prospects need to know that you understand the problem they are facing and its impact on their business. You then must present a solution that helps them solve that problem and achieve their desired outcome.
- Provide empathy and authority. – You need website content highlighting your expertise and authority in solving the problem. It’s all about building trust. Tell your story in the context of being an expert guide on their journey to a better future.
- Clear calls to action. – Every location on your website should have calls to action for taking the next step. Include transitional calls to action, like newsletter sign-ups or guide downloads, and direct calls to action, like contact forms or scheduling a calling.
Just as you would pay special attention to how merchandise is laid out in a physical store, your digital storefront must be intentionally designed.
5. Your Actual Physical Location
Then there is your actual physical location… in the digital world. Because where you are physically located plays a surprisingly important role in some aspects of online visibility.
Both search engines and social media sites use your physical location as part of the visibility algorithms. If you fall under a business category that is locally based (which is many industries), your visibility will change based on your physical location.
The best way to address this, outside of moving your business, is to ensure that your online presence is optimized for local marketing. On platforms like Google My Business, social media company pages, and local directory listings (Chamber of Commerce, Associations, etc.), make sure the following items are in place:
- Accurate NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number)
- Website Link
- Business and Service Descriptions
- Customer Reviews
- Pictures of Products or Office
The more you can signal to these search and social media platforms that you are relevant to local users, the more likely you will be promoted as a local result.
Improving Your Online Visibility
The good news is that improving your digital location is possible! The bad news is that it does take time and intentional effort.
In addition to the tips above, I always recommend my clients return to digital selling basics—specifically, the educating and capturing stages of the process.
For educating, it’s about creating content that answers your buyer’s common questions and positions you as an expert they can trust. Your website content, social media posts, and email newsletters are all perfect locations to focus your efforts. Your online visibility should increase as you build out your educational content.
For capturing, it’s essential to set straightforward ways for your audience to convert. This can be transitional calls to action, where you offer some value in return for contact information. But this can often be a direct conversion, such as a contact form, eCommerce purchase, or request for a discovery call.
As you make these changes and move your digital location to the best part of town, you should find an increase in not only your visibility but your overall sales results.