Beginner’s Guide to Setting Up an Online Presence for Your Business

Updated on 27 August 2018

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Depending on your sector, promoting and marketing your business online, while very necessary, may not always the core focus of what you do as a business.

And while you may not have the time or money to do everything, there are some basics that are simply non-negotiable.

Below is your guide of where you can start. 

1.  Brand

Obvious, yes, but a strong brand has a constant and recognisable theme and message. Promoting a company or product is difficult; but almost everybody wants to know the story behind the brand. Give people a reason why they should get behind you and support the cause. The more people believe in a brand, the more likely they are to promote it to their peers, and that is gold in the age of social media.

2. A Website

Your website is the destination where many of the marketing channels will direct your clients.

Mike Anderson, founder and CEO of the National Small Business Chamber, has the following advice for all SMEs owners.

“A few key things to action would be: a dedicated domain www.abctrading.co.za, a dedicated email david@abctrading.co.za, a website, a Facebook/ Instagram page and a Linkedin presence. This enhanced image and presence will allow the SME to be able to secure many more customers and grow top line quicker as seasoned businesses. Companies want to do business with those who take their business seriously and who are perceived to be stable and successful.”

3. SEO

“Showing up on the front page of Google can be the deciding factor between a business that’s thriving and one that’s, well, bankrupt,” says digital marketing expert, Neil Patel.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a practice that can help your business show up more prominently in Google’s search results.

“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your online content so that a search engine likes to show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword,” adds Patel.

4. Pay-per-click (PPC)

Essentially, using something called Google Adwords, you pay Google to have your company displayed at the top of relevant search results.

Facebook ads are also a great way for businesses to market themselves.

According to Hubspot, Facebook marketing can “help you get found more easily in search, create a community around your business and promote the content you create.”

5. Email

Building a customer database is still one of the most profitable long-term marketing strategies. Instead of using a vague “Subscribe to my newsletter” you could use something like “Join Our VIP List and Get Notified About Exclusive Deals and One-Time Offers.” This gives potential subscribers an idea of what they will gain in exchange for their emails.

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