How to Build a Digital Web Presence for Your Local Business

02.15.2023 Alyson Phillips4 min

Even if your business maintains a brick-and-mortar presence, your online presence functions as a second storefront for your brand. From your business website to online reviews to digital ads, this digital presence plays a central role in building brand awareness and driving engagement from relevant consumers.

Some parts of this digital presence—such as online reviews—aren’t within the control of your business. But the vast majority of your brand’s web presence is comprised of properties that your business can control and optimize to better support your digital marketing strategy.

In one of our recent webinars, we talked to Jenn Leahy, CEO of the Atlanta-based digital marketing agency Dragon Army, about the importance of developing a digital web presence, along with her tips on how a better web presence can boost the performance of your overall digital marketing strategy.

Read on for some of the highlights—or watch the entire webinar now.

The Key Components of a High-Performing Digital Presence

The first step in building a digital presence prioritizing the discoverability of your brand. As Leahy points out, discoverability is really about driving sales in the digital world. A discoverable web presence is one that makes it easy for potential customers to find your business.

The more discoverable your business is—through search, social media and other digital channels—the more sales opportunities you can generate. Discoverability is a top-of-funnel objective that can be supported through SEO, social media, and paid advertisements—including paid search, social media, and display advertising.

Related to your brand’s discoverability is its online accessibility. Once prospects discover your business online, accessibility refers to the ease of finding what you need—including product information, business hours, location and other key information—on a website, social media profile, organic search results, and other resources.

The less accessible your presence is, the harder it is for prospects to find what they’re looking for. Over time, this leads to lost conversion opportunities and a more frustrating user experience.

Advancing Your Digital Presence Through Better Engagement

Once customers are aware of your brand, the next step is leveraging that visibility to increase user action and investment in your brand.

Unlike discoverability, engagement isn’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all strategy. Successful engagement is achieved by using different messaging and tactics to connect with individual consumers through different pain points and needs. For this reason, digital web engagement needs to take a diversified approach. A successful strategy will lean on the following tactics:

  • Storytelling. Effective storytelling will communicate the benefits of your products and services, rather than the features. From blog posts to ad messaging, storytelling is your tool for articulating how your business can make life easier for your customers.
  • Strategic behavioral targeting. At Dragon Army, Leahy has developed a proprietary strategy called Applied Game Theory (AGT) which incorporates behavioral science concepts into digital engagement strategies. This approach aims to enhance the quality and precision of digital customer engagement by identifying priority audiences, understanding their user journeys, taking time to understand their key motivators, and adapting each brand’s online user experience to be more responsive to those journeys.
  • Minimal web design. Simple, user-friendly websites and web properties improve accessibility and make the customer journey as easy as possible for your prospects. A simpler design is also mobile friendly and cheaper to implement, saving your business both time and money.

Serving All Customers Through Better Inclusivity

One discoverability and engagement are addressed, inclusivity is the final pillar that makes sure your digital web presence is accessible and valuable to all of your customers. While some of the elements of inclusivity may seem small, they can make a world of difference to consumers whose accessibility would be limited without these elements in place.

You can support better website inclusivity through the following:

  • ADA compliance. Removing text from images, increasing the text contrast in visual elements to make it easier to read, and utilizing alt tags and captions for photos and illustrations will make your website fully accessible to the visually impaired.
  • Readability. Large blocks of text and frequent use of jargon and complex vocabulary can make your copy more difficult to read and understand.
  • A user-centric web experience. Make sure web pages are streamlined to align with the customer journey and what customers want to know at any given point in time. Eliminate clutter and make it easy to navigate, follow CTAs and move naturally toward a conversion.

When your digital web presence is aligned with your marketing goals and your customer journey, your business is ultimately able to drive better customer engagement, higher conversion rates, and a more consistent customer experience. Looking for more expert guidance? Watch our full webinar with Jenn Leahy now, or contact Cox Media to see how we can turn these insights into action.

About the Author

Alyson Phillips

Alyson is the Director of Marketing at Cox Media’s corporate offices in Atlanta. With a background in journalism and over a decade of experience in brand marketing, she has a passion for connecting brands to their customers through powerful storytelling. In her role, she’s responsible for amplifying the Cox Media brand in the communities we serve nationwide – whether through advertising, thought leadership, or the customer experience. When she’s not working, she’s chasing around her twin toddlers and spending as much time outdoors as possible.

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