Online marketing is now core to practically every business. Whether you’re a local hairdresser, or the mighty Google itself, online presence is essential. But knowing exactly how to get noticed online can be tricky. These are some of the essential ways you can promote your business online.

1. Search engine optimisation

This is probably the most important consideration you have as a business going online. Search engine optimisation (SEO) involves knowing what people search for when they want your services.

Web marketing that gets results is a way of driving your business. Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing use complex ranking rules to determine where your page should appear in a list of results.

The higher on the list, the more clicks you’re likely to get. And the more clicks you get, the more chance you have of converting leads into sales. It takes a while though to get everything right and do better on Google.

Most businesses will claim that they’re using SEO, but they’re only using keywords. What they’re not doing is incorporating the exact search terms customers are using. That means that they’re not going to appear to be a good match to search engines like Google.

Sometimes it can be worth investing a little money in making sure that your website is properly optimized. Ensuring that you’re capturing the traffic from the exact search term means you can climb the ranks more efficiently. More importantly, make sure your content is fresh and dynamic.

2. Share educative content

In a way, this is related to SEO. Search engines love original, bespoke content for websites. That’s because the more content you blog has to offer, the more information search engines will pick up.

A blog not only helps your company get its name out through followers, but is a way to connect with your consumers more directly.

Plus, you may find that other sites link to your blog because they think it’s a good source of information. The number of links from other websites to your website all goes into the calculation search engines use to rank pages. If your blog has a lot of links on a particular topic, you’ll soon find yourself climbing the ranks.

Don’t forget, you can always guest blog on other sites. Pitch yourself as someone who can write guest blog posts for similar, but not competitive, companies. Or get outside writers into post blogs on your behalf. Just make sure it’s interesting!

3. Embrace social media

Ten years ago social media was nothing outside of college campuses. But in the space of a decade, it’s become a part of all our lives. Social media isn’t just a tool to gain exposure—it has now become a necessary time investment for your business to make.

What’s even more remarkable is how essential social media has become for business. For many customers, services like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are their preferred way to engage with us.

You can use social media accounts for all sorts of purposes. You can alert customers to a new blog post. You can update people on developments at your firm or industry. You can use them to advertise new products and events.

The list is endless. Just make sure you give people a reason to follow you online. Perhaps you could host competitions, or give money off vouchers to your Facebook and Twitter followers.

4. Create a listing on Yelp

As the biggest online review site, creating a Yelp listing is definitely worth the effort. It’s free, and gets you in front of the millions of people who use the platform. As of 2016, Yelp.com has 135 million monthly visitors and 95 million reviews. Make the most of it.

5. Answer questions on Quora

Millions of people have questions about every industry. And people are now using Quora for answers to their questions. Find questions related to your industry and answer them without marketing your business. Be human and make it personal. Focus on educating your audience. You will attract target audience in the process.

Know Your Audience

Finally, make sure that whatever channels you use, you’re connecting directly with your customers. Newswire services are an excellent option for getting your message out to the right places.

Founding Editor @Alltopstartups. Contributor at Entrepreneur Magazine. Curator at Postanly (a free weekly newsletter that delivers the most insightful long-form posts from top publishers)

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