Is your online presence a well-oiled marketing presence? Or are you letting yourself down without even realizing it?
So much goes into your online presence: Your website functionality and user experience, including its mobility; its ability to be found by search engines; what search engines find when looking for you; and the professionalism (and backlink generation) of your social media and content.
One of the first things we at SocialProse do with new clients is an audit of their online presence. It’s the best way we can, as still an outsider, take an objective snapshot of what’s working and what’s not for that organization. We typically encounter whole hosts of challenges, but if you’re making some of these marketing mistakes, it’s time to fix them — stat!
Here we go:
6. Your business social media channels have virtual tumbleweeds blowing through them. Maybe you set up a Pinterest account and it only sports two pins. Perhaps your Twitter account hasn’t seen an update since late 2011. Or maybe your Facebook account gets periodic flurries of updates and then goes dark for weeks. All of these are no-nos. Commit to your online presence and do it right… and that means in large part, regularly.
5. You’ve made no discernible attempt at engagement. The beauty of online is that it’s not television, radio, or print media. It’s not a one-way broadcast medium. Sure, you can and should share information; but you should also try to respond to people, answer their questions, or simply ask them for their opinions. You should try to listen to what they’re saying and use it to help you meet their needs. And you should build relationships with these people so that they trust you enough to buy from you. Isn’t that the point?
4. You don’t have enough rich, constantly updated content on your website. Being found in search engines is a huge component of your marketing program — otherwise, your website is just hanging alone in cyberspace, waiting for those few people lucky enough to know its exact URL to visit. But: Search engine crawlers index sites and rank ones that experience regular updates and new pages higher. Static sites that are created and never touched again don’t fare well in this environment. Update pictures, pages, and most of all, your blog… you do have one, don’t you?… and you’ll start to be found in online searches more often.
3. Your social media isn’t sending backlinks to your website. An all-too-common mistake is to post pictures, articles or other content directly onto Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or elsewhere. But that content should always be updated on your website first and linked to from there. People, your website is the marketing hub; everything you put on social media should somehow lead directly back to it with a click of the mouse. Your website was created to help you sell your product or service. The combination of social media and content send leads to your website. Capiche?
2. Your website isn’t optimized for mobile. Maybe your website was built in Adobe Flash, and a vast number of mobile devices simply get a black, blank page in the place of your site because they can’t read Flash. Maybe your site loads so slowly that it times out on mobile devices. Either way, not good, right? Very few people will be so desperate to visit your website that they’ll keep trying after that. Or maybe it’s as simple as your site not having a mobile version, or the mobile version you do have doesn’t have contact information on it. Lesson here: Make sure your website is mobile-optimized. And when you think it is, test it… test it on every phone, tablet and platform you can find.
1. You are not taking the most basic SEO measures. There are things that you, your web developer, and/or your marketing team should do as a matter of course in optimizing your website so it can be found by search engines: submitting sitemaps to the search engines, for example, and using appropriate keywords, meta tags, etc. in the production and copywriting of your site. But there are other things that affect your SEO. Presences on sites like Yelp and Google+ are hugely important to search engines. Quick, test it out: Google a type of business, like “construction company.” A hundred bucks says that a minimum of five of the companies on page one of Google results will have either a Yelp page, a G+ page, or both. This is not coincidence.
You may notice that many of these audit “fails” have something to do with SEO and linking back to your site. You’ve invested a lot of time and attention into your website, and for good reason: It’s a huge component of your marketing. But if you must already be known in order to be found, is that losing you potential business? Maybe a lot of it?
So venture forth, and see how you can clean up your online presence so that it becomes a well-oiled marketing machine — not simply a hodge-podge of standalone components.
Lynn Christiansen Esquer is a principal at SocialProse. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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