5 Ways to Boost Your Online Influence in 2013

20132012 is winding down, and no matter what your marketing efforts were this year, you undoubtedly had some wins and some losses in promoting your business and bringing in leads.

Customer behavior is changing as consumers are doing more online and they’re using mobile devices more and more. They are doing research, looking for reviews and referrals and asking their trusted circle of friends and family before they spend any money.

Here are some proven tactics that will help you boost your online presence by becoming “findable” in multiple ways in the places your customers are looking.

Spruce up your website

Unless your website is brand new or just had a facelift or remodel, consider updating the look of it. Whether we admit it or not, we all still tend to judge a book by its cover. So if your website looks like it’s 1999, even if the information on it is world-class, you’re losing customers. Guaranteed.

Make sure you have a mobile-friendly website

You know all those people you see looking down and tapping their glowing phones? They’re not all texting. They’re shopping. They’re researching. They’re looking for an address, a phone number, a source for a specific product or service nearby. Are they going to find you? It’s not enough to have a website that looks okay on a mobile device, you need a website that is designed to work on a mobile device in a friendly, intuitive, easy-to-use format.

Add content to your website

If you don’t have a blog, 2013 is the time to add a blog to your website. Don’t host it elsewhere or you’ll just be sending traffic to someone else’s website. Host a blog on your website for an easy way to add fresh content on a regular basis. If you already have a blog, make 2013 the year you will beef it up. If you write just one original blog post per week during 2013, you’ll add 52 pages of relevant content that you don’t have today. If each blog post targets a topic that your customers and potential customers are interested in, that’s 52 more opportunities for you to snag their attention in 2013. And it’s 52 more ways to get the search engines interested in your site.

Share your content online

Every time you add new content to your website, be sure to link to it from your Facebook page, with an excerpt. Tweet a link to it. Send a weekly email to your list of prospects that includes links to your recent blog post(s). Offer to write guest blog posts on sites that are related to your industry. Make your online content do multiple duty for you by getting it in front of consumers wherever they spend time.

Reach out to your customers online

Speaking of sharing your content, if you still haven’t taken the plunge and created a Facebook page for your business, then 2013 is definitely the time to do it. Be sure to monitor your page closely and respond to comments and questions quickly. Many businesses are successfully using Facebook and Twitter to handle some aspects of customer relationships. Consumers increasingly use social media to complain, so it’s important to monitor what’s being said about your business and respond to it before it becomes a major PR headache. And the bonus is, the more places your business is active online, the more opportunities you have to drive leads to your door.

Let us know what you think!