Five steps to improve your business online

INCREASING the number of people who visit your website - and keeping them there - is a key priority for anyone wanting to embrace digital marketing.

While entire marketing campaigns take time, consideration and effort, there are simple steps you can take right now which will give your online presence a boost.

Start a forum or message board

Particularly if you are in a niche market, a forum or message board can be a valuable tool for engaging visitors to your website, and ensuring they stay there. It is also a great way to create an online community of potential customers, and give you and your brand greater exposure. Make sure it is properly moderated and keep the conversation active.

Arrange an advertising swap

It can be beneficial to establish relationships with other businesses in your niche, which are compleimentary to your business, rather than a direct competitor, and organise a simple trade of links or banner ads on each other's websites. Explore opportunities to guest blog or provide commentary on sites where your potential customers may be found.

Post frequently

Whether it is your website blog, news, offers or your social media, the more often you post, the more opportunities you have to engage with existing and potential customers. Regular, short, sharp, concise posts are the key to continued engagement.

Establish what your customers are interested in, and provide them with meaningful information.

Focus on what works

Pay close attention to the results your activities are driving, then focus your energy on doing what works for your business. Did a particular post generate a lot of interest? If so, why? It is important you are not just flying blind. Take notice of the successful strategies your competitors are employing, and where you can, adapt those ideas to suit your own business, but always be aware of the results you are achieving and build on those.

Get out there

Don't just contain yourself to your own website or social media presence - seize every opportunity to expand your reach. Join Facebook industry groups, LinkedIn groups and other online associations that will allow you to reach a wider audience. Within these groups there are opportunities for networking and providing your expert commentary to conversations, offering even wider exposure for your business.