7 Easy Ways to Increase Your Online Authority
A few months ago, you had hoped to make it big with your brand’s online authority with a website that’s not only mobile-friendly but also easily accessible for all ages alike. While this was a few months ago, today, your website is harbouring stalkers in the form of website crawlers and chatbots. Enthusiasm and optimism were two of your major attributes that led many companies to do business with you in the first place. However, as soon as you took your business online, you faltered and had your hopes crushed.
While we might agree that the entire backbone of your business is built primarily on your goals, we think that you haven’t put enough time and effort to craft strategies towards achieving them. The era of digital marketing is evolving like a storm would – it’s going places and absorbing energy (read: tactics) to change its form as it progresses. Always remember that you aren’t the only one with an idea of a start-up – there are millions alike who coin a similar idea after years of thinking and launch it within a day with the hope to make it big in a few months.
Your website is still your primary source of revenue, given the fact that it harbours a given number of visitors every month for possible conversions and sales. However, since times are evolving, you need a lot more than a domain to attract a visitor to your website – we’re talking about your brand’s online presence, or more ardently, its online authority amongst competition for consumerism.
Always remember that you aren’t the only one with an idea of a start-up – there are millions alike who coin a similar idea and launch it within a day with the hope to make it big in a few months. Mentioned below are 7 easy ways that will help you to increase your online authority in an interface crowded with competition and consumerism.
1. Create a Professional Website
Your website is the ultimate support to the old adage, ‘First Impressions Matter’, which is why we would like you to focus on three building blocks here – Visuals, Responsive Design and Communication. If your website doesn’t adhere to any of the three mentioned above, then chances are that your visitors wouldn’t look past your page in the first place – doing business with you comes at a hardcore second.
Your website is the foundation and base of your business – 48% of users believe in the credibility of your brand if your website is professional enough and claims to cater to their respective interests. Around 38% of visitors lose interest in a website that has a poor design or layout that doesn’t pique their interest for scrolling through.
Make sure that your website has a layout that’s agreeable with your goals in the first place. For instance, if you’re offering art products or services, then try choosing a wide array or a palette of three to five colours that define your work the moment someone walks into your e-store.
After making sure that the colours chosen are bold and agreeable, pick stock-free images to represent your brand on the front door. You can also display the pictures you’ve taken for the purpose, but make sure their resolution is large enough for visitors to pay attention to them.
– Responsive Design
Around 51% of online traffic is generated by internet users who use their smart devices to browse through mobile digital media as compared to the 42% of people who still have the mentality of baby boomers to cater to a desktop. Despite these numbers, it is no such secret that people still refer to a desktop for making sales.
In lieu of both the circumstances, there is an increasing hype for websites to create a responsive design that is not only user-friendly but easily accessible on portable smart devices. Responsive design of your website will not only help to attract users and significant consumerism towards your website, it will also encourage search engines to rank it higher for more attention.
– Standard Communication
Since users usually have short attention spans, each visitor, on average, has around 15 seconds to stay on a webpage before they bounce towards another landing page on your website. This means that your ultimate goal is to lure the visitor’s attention with compelling copy that is not only concise but also relevant.
For instance, try not to fill your website with irrelevant images that do not support the context of your brand. In addition, try mixing your web copy with infographics to provide maximum details within the shortest time possible. Your web copy should be as compelling as your brand’s identity. It should not cater to fluff and should provide meaning to your brand’s mission, aims and values in a concise yet innovative way.
Example: Walter Cruz
For instance, our personal favourite here is Walter Cruz’s website that shows exactly what clients would achieve if they do business with him. By scrolling through his website, you’d come across his portfolio and a background history highlighting the reasons of his craft. His website has catered to visuals that have managed to deliver the spark along with its design that’s uber-responsive and immensely easy to scroll through and understand.
2. Content Marketing
If your website’s content – blogs, images, podcasts and other sources of information – doesn’t do justice to the interest of your target audience, then there is probably no hope for the success of your brand. You’re creating content in order to attract the attention of your potential customers so that you’d not only generate leads but convert them towards sales as well.
While one solution is to cater to blogs that contain quality content, another is to present e-books and deliver podcasts to users for increased online authority. However, websites that post around 16+ blogs with quality content have greater online visibility, that is, 3.5 times more than those that publish only 1 – 4 monthly blogs.
E-Books have proven their ways of attracting and enticing customers time and again. A published e-book piques interest and establishes waves throughout the industry regarding your authority. Creating and publishing an e-book isn’t at all hard – all you need is content that’s promotional and a platform such as Amazon Kindle, or perhaps your brand’s personal website for its publication.
As compared to hard paperbacks, e-books can divert the user’s attention towards your website’s landing pages, therefore, increasing your online authority and brand visibility in more ways than way. The content in your E-book will be targeting the services your website offers, so make sure you present your E-book to your target audience in a way that is of value to them. If you want to know how you can create an e-book in five simple steps, then click and learn more here.
For instance, upon registering for your website’s newsletter, you can send a link redirecting to a free download of your e-book to your users. Fill that e-book with content that guides your visitors and helps them make a decision related to your brand. Moreover, you can provide a free downloadable link to an e-book to your blog’s readers as a continuation of the content they just read about on your website.
Consider this example by Saleforce below. Salesforce incorporated the use of ‘trust badges’ in order to convince people that their E-book is trustworthy with secure information at hand. Moreover, check out the play conveyed by the usage of the word ‘free’ in the minimal text shown. ‘Free’ will help to convince people that they can simply lend their contact details and avail the entire e-book free of cost. The ‘image’ shown can be of more importance to leads who wish to know what exactly the e-book is leveraging.
3. Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the ultimate route for garnering traffic towards your website by allowing Google to rank it on its search engine for visibility. SEO is basically the cornerstone of your website’s basic online authority. Google’s AI integrated algorithms such as RankBrain are constantly trying to penalize your website with lower rankings on search engines.
This is because they are pretty vigilant of the content displayed on your website and might take any incentive to lash out at your online presence. These incentives range from poor and spam content to references to broken links and irrelevant placement of anchor texts without relation to context.
SEO is a game-changer – approximately 93% of people refer to search engines to learn more about the products or services they require. Similarly, Google takes the opportunity to decipher ranking signals on your website to boost its position on its search engine. In order to contribute to make sure that your website is also amongst the 1.2 trillion searches conducted annually on Google, make sure you pay attention to the following ranking signals for effective SEO.
– Relevance of Content
Pay attention to the quality and relevance of the content on your website. Google requires keywords to learn whether your content is relevant to your context or not. Make sure that you use niche-comparative keywords in your content so that Google ranks your webpages higher than others. The body of your content or blogs should range from 2000 -2500 words at minimum, so that you can spread the keywords naturally without making it appear unnecessary.
In addition, format your content with proper H1 and H2 headings, and meta descriptions – each pertaining to a strong long-tail keyword for users to instantly understand what it’s about. Secondly, optimize your content with proper HTML tags and pay attention to the URL structure and permalinks for SEO. Thirdly, make sure that your webpages are secure with HTTPS instead of HTTP so that you can collect user data for customer retention.
– Link Building
Backlinks are hyperlinks from external web sources that can be embedded within anchor texts of your content in order to promote the credibility and reputation of your website. Initially, Google believed in quantity which is why most websites tended to integrate their content with many hyperlinks to external resources – even if they were irrelevant.
Today, RankBrain is more vigilant, and therefore, prefers quality over quantity. This is why links from high-quality websites are more preferred to boost high ranking on search engines. This tells Google that your website is credible enough to be trusted for business as there are other web sources citing your material as a proof of your longevity.
Example: Etsy and Overstock
From fast loading pages to structured architecture data; from canonical URL specifications to choreographed content strategy – there are plenty of brands that do justice to SEO just so they can become more discoverable. While there are a many to choose from, our personal favourite here is Etsy with its defying content strategy for bringing in maximum organic traffic through SEO.
Etsy’s content strategy is pretty vast – most marketers believe in the variety of its appealing anchor texts that help users navigate towards landing and deep product category pages. Moreover, Etsy’s blog consists of information that has the ability to get viral due to its exhaustive coverage of trends and SEO implementation. Since the content gets updated daily, it has been helpful in acquiring and retaining customers far more easily than other methods.
In addition, consider the example below. It shows Overstock’s application of structured data with the help of schema and rdfa in order to boost organic traffic and e-commerce sales by providing significant and appropriate information about products via search engines.
4. Social Media Marketing
Social media barely existed two decades ago – it was introduced primarily for ‘catching up’ with people you didn’t have contact with or couldn’t meet up with regularly. However, with time, social media has become the most powerful networking tool since businesses and enterprises have now entered the game with their communicative assets.
There are around 3 billion people who use social media for networking purposes worldwide. Given the fact that there is only double the said number of people that actually inhabit the planet, social media can be an immense means of traffic, only if you know how to use it to your means.
– Be Discoverable
Make sure your website is discoverable on social media. Make accounts on social media networking channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn if you wish to reach a large number of people with content related to blogs, images and videos. For instance, Facebook might be an incredible place to start since an average user spends more than 40 minutes on the channel by browsing through aimlessly.
– Create and Promote Share-Worthy Content
Make sure that you create content that is worthy of sticking through the entire piece after the first glance. After you’ve captured their attention, make sure you add plug-ins on your website so that your users can share the content to their networks easily. Make sure that your content is shareable by integrating it with user-friendly links and bait that promotes your click-through rate and ranking.
Missguided is one of the leading names in the fashion and apparel industry. It consists of approximately 3.4 million followers on Instagram, majority of which provide quality to the website through the brand’s overtly high ROI. Missguided provides highly interactive content to its fans and followers (leads, per se) in the hopes to keep them truly engaged.
This content comprises of ‘tutorials’ and marketing campaigns catering to ‘back in stock’ and ‘new in’ categories. Moreover, it also posts irrelevant content such as ‘fun shit’ and client testimonials by categorizing them under ‘Love Island’ snippets on its Instagram for users to find amusement in.
5. E-mail Marketing
While social media marketing is immensely productive for customer acquisition, e-mail marketing is another strategy that helps you retain your leads for high conversion rate. E-mail marketing is therefore, the oldest way of increasing your online authority – it helps to promote your brand in private circles by allowing users to engage within your website through gimmicks, promotions and offers selectively. This is why e-mail marketing is still at the top and can help you to achieve a far greater ROI than any of the channels combined.
– Ask for Contact Information
Once you have your visitor hooked onto your website, make sure you ask them for their contact information by providing them with bait such as a coupon upon registration or subscription. This will help you to generate leads, after which your job will be to nurture them through your enticing e-mails for conversions.
– Offer Personalization
Your leads require you to offer them gimmicks and promotions that no other brand is able to. The only way to go about this is to bombard them with promotional offers about sales, bargains and coupons that are specific to each user. This helps them to believe that your brand cares about the people they do business with.
Personalized e-mails also allow you to understand the time and zone difference so that you know that your lead’s going to read and adhere to the e-mail. Try not to simply sell your brand – each e-mail should comprise of value for the user you’re targeting so that opening your e-mail and going through your offer wouldn’t be a hard choice to make.
Airbnb’s emails are a major example of how personalization through e-mail marketing works. Their e-mails are simple and concise but consist of subtle branding strategies that catch the user’s eye due to their relevance. Moreover, their emails have built trust and relationships through their branding that not only aims to reduce stress in traveling but spans over 25 million in value.
Airbnb uses information from a user’s profile and targets their interests by providing them with locations that they would love to visit. This gives personalization a whole new name, allowing subscribers to scroll through imagery of places that they’re interested in and find completely relevant.
6. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a form of content marketing that allows B2B and B2C companies to collaborate with brands and bloggers for mutual growth and conversions. Influencer marketing debuted its success in 2017, motivating 2018 towards the rise of trends that enticed brands to come forward with their projects for collaboration.
Instagram harbours more than 92% of influencers in 2017 and 82.2% in 2018 as compared to any other social media channel, mainly because of the type of content – videos and images – it promotes. Facebook came at a robust second with around 70.2% of associate influencer marketing, giving rise to the ultimate trend for increased online authority and visibility.
– Use social media networking platforms that other brands in your industry tend to ignore. For instance, if your competition is using YouTube to market its services, then promote yours via LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram (YouTube as well) in order to actively entice your target audience.
– Present your services to an influencer and sign a mutual agreement that helps your brand reach your target audience faster as compared to other sources. People rely on testimonials and reviews – 4 in 10 millennials believe that their influencers understand them better than their friends and family combined. In addition, YouTube is a powerful platform for influencer marketing especially for Gen Z users since it harbours about 70% of teenage subscribers as compared to other platforms.
– Try to work directly with content creators who have an interactive following base. It is not necessary to hire influencers who have thousands of millions of followers. Micro-influencers, those who are just starting out tend to be more interactive with their followers and therefore, produce engaging content as well.
Madewell, a pioneer in women’s clothing launched an influencer marketing campaign at the time of the anniversary of its signature tote bags. They partnered with five leading influencers on Instagram, including Bethany Marie, and provided them with the hashtag #TOTEWELL to preach in their captions on Instagram. With the help of these dedicated influencers and their quality posts citing about the touch, feel, personality and elegance of the tote on Instagram, the campaign reached more than one million consumers.
7. Paid Advertising
While influencer marketing is also a form of paid advertising, we would like you to take the routes less followed so that you cover all bases for increasing your online authority.
– Paid Search Ads
Sure, obtaining organic traffic via Google’s search engines is truly the way to go to increase your brand’s online presence, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you cannot go for paid media to optimize your growth a little bit. Paid search Ads work in the same way that your organic post would on a search engine. In response to a query containing niche-specific keywords, Google will take the liberty to display ads of relevant webpages next to those with higher ranking.
The worth of each is calculated in response to how competitive each keyword is. It can range from $0.01 to around hundreds of dollars as well. You’ll be charged whenever a visitor clicks on your paid ad on the search engine.
Each click-through rate is paid for, allowing you to achieve your traffic for a specific price. Once your budget is drained out, Google will stop displaying your paid media ads until you reinvest. You can also merge PPC with SEO – this will help your brand to reach out more actively, and will therefore; contribute to the growth of your organic traffic as well.
– Paid Social Media Ads
Paid Social Media ads work just the way paid search ads do, but there is a resolution for brands here. Since social media helps you to create buyer personas, brands can now market their paid social media ads in groups that are smaller so that they cover the specifications of each product accordingly. Buyer personas help to bring a lot of traffic towards your online authority since with them, you know more about your target audience and of course, a lot about how you should shape your content marketing strategies.
Consider Dress-Lily, an emerging e-commerce brand that provides apparel solutions for both men and women. However, take a look at this ad that is catering to a specific buyer persona on Facebook with its marketing strategy. This ad is targeting parents with children due to the two images that show both of their target audience wrapped up in fish-tail-blankets. In addition, this ad also features a 50% off discount with a free shipping offer, hereby, offering more value to the customer.
These tactics are perhaps some of the easiest ways for building online authority towards your brand. Each strategy requires thorough planning, processing and marketing which is why it is essential that you hire a digital marketing team or someone qualified to take care of the purpose.