Whether you’ve already started up a business or are planning on doing so, knowing how to stand out online is essential. Aimée Jacobs is Associate Director of Ready10, a company based here at Net.Works., who help online businesses do exactly that. As someone who knows SEO like it’s second nature, we asked Aimée for her top tips when it comes to businesses standing out online.
Google is more like a person than you might realise. It reads and rewards content that it finds interesting and penalises content that it doesn’t find engaging or that breaks the rules. Great content is part one, but if you want to stand out online you must be sure that you are building links. Link building is the process of acquiring links from other websites to your own and these ‘links’ are the current currency when it comes to online performance. Search engines use these links to crawl the web and once they have done so they can extract the content of those pages and add it to their indexes. In this way, they can decide if they feel a page is of sufficient quality to be ranked well for relevant keywords. Research suggests links are the single most important tool for determining how well you rank.
Make sure you are easily identifiable
Make sure you have a distinct name. It might sound obvious but making sure you stand out online is easier if you don’t share the same name as another business. For example, starting a photography company called ‘selfie’ wouldn’t be sensible, as selfie is so overused and so standing out online will be tricky.
Consistency is key
Once you have your niche clear, make sure you communicate your point of difference as clearly and succinctly as you can, ensuring that you have consistency over all communications and consumer facing profiles. Brands online have the opportunity for multiple touch points with customers and potential customers so it is important to make sure everyone in the business is singing from the same song sheet, that all your online profiles and materials all repeat the same mantra and your branding feels the same from tone of voice, colours and logo to the same call to action.
Don’t follow the crowd on social media
There is a temptation when launching a business to set up a profile on every social media platform going, but take stock and ask yourself is this the right platform for my brand? Not every business has a place on Instagram or Snapchat, for example. Make sure the ones that you are using are working hard for you and are appropriate for the business. If you do start one, make sure you put content up that you are proud of and make sure that whoever has access to the profiles is consistent. Also make sure you have enough content to keep a page looking up to date and relevant and don’t underestimate the importance of good endorsements, engagement and customer reviews.
Nothing helps you stand out online like good PR
In recent years, search and PR have become so entwined that they are now the ultimate power couple. At Ready10 we help online-focused businesses navigate their way through a confused comms landscape via great ideas, media relations, content comms, PR-for-SEO and more. What this amounts to is simple: the best PR delivers the best search visibility and the more real, earned, engaging and shareable your communications, the more supercharged your SEO becomes.