14/04/2017 08:06 BST | Updated 14/04/2017 08:06 BST

Four Essential Steps Towards Getting Your Business Noticed Online

Your business isn't going to run itself, and if you want to be noticed in a competitive space, you must put the work in. For instance, the fancy website that you paid good money to have designed isn't going to be enough on its own to get your business noticed. It's a great first step, but there are other important steps you need take, too. The untapped potential for your business' growth is at your fingertips.

Here are 4 essential steps needed if you want your business to be noticed online:

1. Add a blog to your website

Studies have proven that adding a blog to your website helps your business acquire more customers and improves your ranking on Google. Search engines like Google will reward you for posting a helpful and valuable piece of content such as an informative blog post. Your Google ranking matters if you want your business to get noticed online.

Adding a blog to your website also helps you sell yourself to potential customers. You can explain how your business works through engaging and interesting blog posts, and a blog post is a shareable piece of content, so it's a great marketing tactic.

It's not very difficult to start a blog, and for a small fee you can hire a freelance writer to be responsible for two to four blog posts per week that pertain to your business. It'll pay off, I promise. In a recent article entitled How To Start A Blog: The Untold Guide, author Loraine Couturier explains: "Blogging gives businesses a chance to not only put up fresh content on a regular basis, but also to stay in touch with the readers and build a loyal fan-base, which can eventually be converted into a paying audience." In other words, when a potential customer visits your website, reading an interesting blog post could be the reason they convert into a paying customer.

2. Use your expertise to guest post on well-known publications

If you run an online business, chances are you're a smart individual with some strong skillset and experience. Use that experience to land opportunities to guest post on other websites, blogs and publications. Pitch any publications that have a decent audience of your target market, and explain why they should let you contribute a guest post. In your guest post, you can include a backlink to your website which is another great way to get your business noticed.

Many publications accept contributing writers and would be happy to accept your guest post if it's well-written, educational and original work that hasn't been published elsewhere. For the publication, it's just another quality piece of free content they can post - but for you, it's a chance to drive traffic to your website and perhaps land a new customer or two.

Some publications let their guest post authors feature their own business within a paragraph of their post if it relates to what they're writing. Although it may take some time to pitch guest post ideas to various publications, it will definitely pay off.

3. Use Instagram to promote your business

Instagram is one of the best platforms for promoting a business. It's relatively easy to grow your following simply by interacting with other users, following people who follow your competition, and posting great content. You can put a link to your website in your Instagram bio and post content that relates to your business without being salesy.

You can even hire Instagram influencers who boast a large following to help you spread the word about your business. Most influencers list their e-mail address in their bios and you can e-mail to ask them for their rates.

Twitter and Facebook are great platforms for promoting your business, too, especially Facebook advertising, which brings us to our final tip for getting noticed online.

4. Reach your target market through Facebook advertising

Facebook advertising is one of the most direct ways to reach your target demographic, and with over 1 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the number one platform to spend your advertising revenue. Plus, Facebook's detailed ad targeting allows you, the advertiser, to reach the exact type of people you're looking to reach. You can decide the age, gender, location, profession and interests of who Facebook should show your ad to.

Facebook advertising also lets you spend as much or as little as you'd like per month. You can run a Facebook advertising campaign for only £10 if you want, but Facebook will predict how many people you will reach for that £10 and if it's not a high enough number, you simply adjust your budget until the predicted reach satisfies you.

Now that you're aware of the extra steps needed to grow your online presence, your business will start standing out from the competition.