Cleaning up Your Web Presence in 2014
Friends, don’t let your friends leave web presence to chance! In an age where technology is the first (and only) source of information, there is a big difference between having a website and a web presence.
Small business owners take note: you do not need to have a website to have a web presence.
You can keep telling yourself that the internet is just a phase, you don’t have to take part in it. Fine, because your competitors are already there. The potential customers who don’t know you exist, they are finding your competitors first. That’s okay too. Then there is the one customer who had a bad experience… and he wants to drag your name through the mud.
So keep tabs on your online reputation.
You don’t have to claim it, your business has a listing on related directories. While online businesses are all competing for front page placement in Google search results, small businesses have the advantage of not even really having to try.
More importantly, users can review a business online and this is one of the most talked about topics regarding online reputation. But you can read about how to deal with online reviews somewhere else, there are other elements to your online reputation that could be hurting you far worse.
- Your information is incomplete or just plain wrong.
- Your information is outdated.
- You don’t have a website. (Don’t be stubborn. Somebody has to be pretty desperate to call a number when there are other options available that have websites with up-to-date information.)
Having a website is not enough!
So you caved and had a website built… 5 years ago. What’s the big deal?
Unfortunately, websites require maintenance. It’s a good idea to work with a developer that builds the right website for your needs. Static websites still work as a low budget solution for small businesses because they are lower maintenance, but all websites need to be reviewed annually and updated at least once every 2-3 years.
Right now, handheld devices are used more often than computers to browse the internet. If your website is not responsive (mobile phone and tablet friendly) then it is officially outdated and needs to be fixed. Right. Now.
Be real about your social strategy.
Social media is not new. Small businesses can use Facebook to build an online presence and skip the whole building a website thing. It’s not recommended, but it’s better than nothing.
Unless you jumped in without knowing what you were doing. Hire a social media consultant who can help. Seriously.
Or if you started a profile and don’t use it. It’s time to make the tough call—let it go. If you are active on Facebook but not on Twitter, your business will appear stale to Twitter users who don’t use Facebook. Pick the profiles you can keep up with and for heaven’s sake let the rest go!
Determine your goals, and monitor progress. Web analytics should never be your #1 goal, but they should be an important part of your business process. How else are you going to find flaws and strengths or measure the growth of your business?