When you tot it all up, most have made a sizeable investment of both time and money in their website, their social media and their presence in review sites – not to mention online advertising for some.
Sometimes, having established the business online, it’s tempting to think that it’s a case of job done. But changing technology, visitor behaviour and search engine algorithms – as well as unforeseen global events – all challenge the ‘currency’ and effectiveness of that online presence.
Like any key facet of a business, it’s important to have a hygiene regime that periodically reviews how well the business and its key messages are performing online. Here are 8 simple actions to build into that regime.
An 8-point checklist to strengthen your online presence
1. Review your website’s generic pages
… for example the About Us, product/service pages, team pages etc and check they are still current in what they say and how they look. Consider if:
- imagery is still right for the current working/living environment
- there are more recent testimonials to showcase
- you’re describing the business and its offering in line with how it now operates.
2. Test your contact form and any other sign-up mechanisms on the site are still working
… and going to people in the business who can respond quickly to enquiries. Software updates often cause hiccups in forms, or you may have people away or the dedicated person has left the business.
3. Double-check where notifications from your social media accounts are going
… Similarly, check that the notifications coming in from your social media accounts are going to someone who can respond quickly. If people reach out to you on social, you need to show your business is a) listening out and b) responsive.
4. Spot the broken links in your site
… Over time pages you’ve linked to may change and error 404s start creeping into your site. This will affect your user experience and also doesn’t do you any favours with search engines. In your hygiene check run a broken links check on your site. Ask your developer or website host, or use widely available software such as Google Search Console to investigate. Once you have the list – set to repairing them or remove the link or page in which appears altogether.
5. Are your keywords still current?
… What people type into search engines is continually evolving and keywords which pointed to you a few years back, might not be the key phrases now. Work with your developer or search engine optimisation (SEO) specialist to see what the current search volumes are for your existing words. Are they from the territories you want? Are there new phrases that have emerged which better reflect your offering and customer base? If so, adjust your pages’ SEO settings.
6. Refresh your reviews
… Businesses tend to have a spurt of encouraging customers to post up testimonials and reviews, and then forget for a while. It then becomes obvious to those seeking out social proof of your business that the reviews listed are a bit sporadic. So instigate a process where happy customers/clients are asked for their feedback, review etc at the end of a purchase. Ensure your reviews on the likes of Google, Facebook, Trustpilot (or others important to you), and your website, show a steady flow of current ones.
7. Look beyond the numbers in your website’s analytics
… as well as noting traffic levels, drill deeper into engagement signs. Which of your pages are popular and why? Which are less appealing? What search phrases are people using to get to you (and which are they not?)? What sites are sending more traffic your way and (if you have a search field in your site) what have people put into it? This will form a picture of how you should strengthen certain content in your site, or reconfigure it to have greater appeal. Also look at navigation paths and bounce rates for your pages, to understand ways to improve the user experience and boost conversions.
8. And do the same for your social media
… Here it’s important to drill deeper into what prompted the most interactions with your followers, so you can plan for more of the same. Try not to get hung up so much on follower numbers and concentrate your attention on the engagement you generate from them.
It’s also worth keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing online. This isn’t to copy them, but rather to help you see if they’re anticipating market sentiment and behaviour similarly or differently to you. Think of how you can distinguish from them and present a more appealing approach that’s better suited to customer needs.
For more advice on marketing your business contact us or tel. 01483 429111.