Just when I think businesses and professionals as a whole are realizing the importance of online branding and marketing, I see another example of a neglected Twitter account or a LinkedIn profile that uses emojis in their headline. Even if your target customers aren’t working in marketing, like I am, they are still using the internet enough to know when someone’s online presence isn’t matching what they are specifically looking for at that point in time (whether it’s a plumber, a lawyer, or something else entirely).
Bad Social Media
This is easily the most common problem when it comes to online presence and visibility. Even though the jury is still out on whether or not social media greatly affects your overall SERP (search engine result pages) rankings, social media is crucial when it comes to your online visibility.
Here are some of the common “don’ts” when it comes to social media in any industry:
- Unprofessionalism: Don’t use emojis, cheesy photos, or slang in any of your profiles, unless they are kept private. Even if your Facebook profile is set to friends only, be cognizant of profile photos and any updates you choose to post.
- Incomplete Profiles: If you have a Twitter account but didn’t fill out your bio or continue to tweet after 2008, it is probably better to take it down completely. When you create profiles, fill them out completely and commit to at least monthly updates on sites like LinkedIn, or daily for a fast-moving site like Twitter. If you can’t keep up, hire someone to do it for you.
- Generic Updates: Admittedly, this is something that is a challenge, even for the pros. But with every update, your voice, content, and even timeliness needs to be on point because it affects the reputation you want to have with your customers.
Social media is part of your online “face” and it needs to be a proper reflection of who you are and what you do.
An Inactive Blog
This is along the same lines as an inactive Twitter profile. When users are coming to your website for more information, it reflects negatively on your company as a whole if your website’s blog isn’t updated regularly (at the very least, once per month, ideally 4-8 times per month). It has been shown in multiple studies that fresh blog content brings more traffic to your website, which of course, will most likely bring in more sales.
Whether it’s through your own team making it a priority or hiring an outside consultant or contractor to help, having fresh content on your website really is super important.
An Outdated or Inaccurate Website
There’s more to publishing blog posts than just the “freshness factor”. Having a 100% correct, updated website is mainly about user experience. There is nothing more frustrating as a website user than being unable to access certain pages because the links are broken or finding out that a phone number listed in a footer is incorrect. After all, 66% of users polled in a study said a website with information brings a company more credibility.
Have employees from multiple departments do audits of your website content every 6 to 12 months.. Have them click on every link, check the copy, and even look at SEO basics (like image alt tags) to ensure that it is as up-to-date as possible.
Another point of frustration for website users is when they have to constantly pinch, zoom and reorient the screen on their mobile device, because a website isn’t mobile-friendly. Work with a developer and designer to make sure that you have a relevant, clean website that is easy to use with today’s technology. As a heavy mobile internet user, there is nothing more agonizing than trying to use a website that isn’t mobile-friendly. Mobile friendliness is now a ranking factor for mobile search by Google.
Outdated Local SEO
Just as your basic contact information needs to be correct on your website, all your local search and customer review profiles need to be correct as well. If not, it can cause search engines to not show your website properly, as well as your contact information.
Just covering the basics: a description about your company and what you offer, along with relevant photos and contact information will take you leaps and bounds above the competition, and will you points with potential customers.There are tools like MozLocal that can help you update a lot of these all at once, but make sure you are consistently monitoring:
- Google Places
- Bing Maps
- White Pages
- Any local review sites
- TripAdvisor, if applicable
- Groupon or LivingSocial profiles
This sticking point is a pain across the platforms I’ve mentioned. Maintaining consistency with blog posts, social media content, correct contact info, and branding across all online platforms can be overwhelming. But it’s key to making sure you have a professional presence that makes it easy for users to find you, understand what you do, and ultimately want to buy your products.
Many customers are connecting with brands in multiple places– liking them on Facebook, then signing up for their email newsletter and checking out their website– before they even reach the point of purchase. So by maintaining a constant, reliable presence across the multiple touch points, you can expect more sales, customer inquiries, and overall engagement.
Ready to create a better online presence and get support to grow your visibility? Get in touch with me today to request a search audit.