In order for companies to stand out from their competition online, it is important to be established as an industry leader in your field. Becoming an industry leader online is an excellent goal for any brand, as the majority of all business is now conducted online. Even companies whose products and services are not sold online need to use their Internet presence to help market their products and establish a positive reputation.
When consumers are searching online for a company to purchase products or services from, the way a brand portrays expertise and trust in their industry can directly lead to winning new customers.
Here are the top five ways your company can become an online industry leader.
1. Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, should be the backbone of your online strategy. Using proper and up-to-date SEO tactics, that mesh with the search engines’ newest requirements, means that the results for the keywords you choose to employ will rank highly.
The basic idea behind SEO is to help a company become more visible in organic search results. This means that your pages will rank higher and that more customers will find your company.
Today, most customers research brands online before they decide to make a purchase. Having accurate, positive information on your website and blog can help you catch more visitors.
Another aspect of SEO that many companies use is Google’s “featured snippet.” Featured snippets are short excerpts from a website that appear at the top of search results. They focus on providing a definition, basic facts, or frequently asked questions about a product or service.
Featured snippets can offer a major advantage to brands who rank there. In order to do so, it is important to research the most popular terms and keywords searchers are using when looking for your services. Once you establish those terms/keywords/queries, you can tailor your website content to hit those keywords, or answer those questions, and give yourself the best chance to rank highly in the features snippets.
2. Positive Reviews and Review Management
Every business knows the impact that a negative review can have on its bottom line. Negative or fake online reviews can really limit your brands ability to become an industry leader and win customers from your competition. Luckily there are ways to combat them.
Review Management has become a necessary practise for every modern brand to protect their online reputation, and it can be done through multiple strategies.
Contrary to popular belief, negative and fake reviews can be permanently removed from the internet. Reputation Management companies, like Erase.com, specialise in the removal of online content, including complaints and reviews. If your brand is being affected by negative or fake reviews, permanently removing them is the best way to mitigate damages to your online reputation.
Review Response Strategies
Do everything you can to encourage positive reviews. Follow up with online sales to remind your customers to provide a review. If you encounter negative reviews, make sure that you respond to them and try to make it right. Be friendly and diplomatic, and avoid abusing the customer who left the review. This will only make your problem worse.
3. Content Marketing
Another reliable way to become an online industry leader is to fill your website with accurate, useful content. For example, if you are running a clothing company, you may want to tell the story of how your clothes are made in sustainable, fair trade working conditions. Customers appreciate these “behind the scenes” views of their favorite brands.
Content can be published on your website as a blog, or you can find publications where your content can be shared. The better the publication’s reputation is, the more people it will reach. This should drive traffic to your website and induce more people to become customers.
4. Become a Leader in the Media
Becoming published on industry-leading websites is the end goal, but you can start small and work your way up. Niche publications are an excellent place to start. Write editorials, reviews, and useful content related to your brand, but try to make it as non-promotional as possible. Flooding the Internet with too much promotional content can turn customers off and make your brand look desperate. Have your content focus on answering the questions about your industry that customers care about. This will establish yourself as an expert in your field to the reader, without it seeming like a sales pitch.
5. Take Advantage of Social Media
Today, social media is an inescapable part of the online landscape. Many customers use social media to research brands and check on the reputation of a company. Given the major opportunities it brings to connect with customers, social media cannot be ignored by brands who wish to become leaders in their industry. Social media offers the ability to converse with your target audience in an intimate fashion, while establishing relationships and trust with customers.
Social media platforms should also be monitored, as negative comments or posts left unchecked or unaddressed can gain major visibility online.
Building a Strong Online Reputation
These simple principles are a starting point when it comes to learning how to become an industry leader.
Erase.com believes that reputable companies with strong products, services, and online followings deserve to become online industry leaders. It may take time to build such a prominent reputation, but the extra effort is worth it when building a long-lasting future for your company.