Have you taken a good look at your web presence lately? Sure, you have a website, but I mean have you recently reviewed all facets of your online brand to see how it's performing and how it is perceived by your target audience.
As marketers we all know that building and maintaining a quality online marketing strategy is a time consuming, ongoing initiative for any business trying make a positive impact with their brand these days. Whether you are B2B or B2C, almost all customers are doing their initial research online when trying to find and choose the right products and/or services. They drill through benefits and specifications, look up reviews and read testimonials. They have unlimited access to dig deep and collect as much information as they can, before making the decision to connect with you or make a purchase. The touch points and interactions are nearly endless, and just think... those first impressions all happen prior to any contact with you personally.
So why do so many business owners still have a “build it and they will come” mindset when it comes to their own web presence? It takes much more than just spending the time and money to build a great website and get online with a reliable hosting solution to have a winning online marketing strategy. Although that does sound nice, as with many things, it's never that simple. As technology and marketing trends continue to rapidly evolve, there are countless reasons why your website and overall web presence will need constant attention.
Ask yourself the following questions to get a snapshot of your current web presence.
- Are you properly promoting your brand online?
- When is the last time you developed and launched a new website?
- Have you recently tested the features and functionality of your website?
- How often do you update and add new content on your website?
- Do you continuously keep up to date with your search and social marketing?
- Is your content optimized for mobile?
- How are visitors reacting to your website?
- How do you measure up to your competitors online presence?
If you’re having trouble answering these questions, then I'll venture a guess that it's time to audit your web presence.
A Quick Glimpse
What's a web presence audit all about? The process involves an in-depth analysis into how your website functions across all current platforms by testing the features and functionality it provides your users. Reviewing everything from your brand image, to content optimization, to security and privacy concerns are the major factors that will provide valuable insight to the overall health of your web presence. Checking the status of your social channel profiles and other digital touch points to confirm everything is up to date. Evaluating the effectiveness of your search marketing strategy. Examining your website traffic and the actions taken by your users. It basically boils down to analyzing, refining, and adapting accordingly based on your business goals and objectives. The main focus is to determine what’s working and what's not, so you can adjust things as needed to create a better online experience for your customers. Keep in mind, the more visually appealing and user-friendly your web presence is, the more credible and reliable your brand becomes.
Have Your Brand Values Changed?
Auditing your web presence can also help you identify your current brand values and possibly even re-evaluate your business objectives. When done properly, it will show you how your target audience is reacting to your brand online, so you can implement new ways to keep existing customers satisfied and stay ahead of your competitors. It will also improve your chances to connect with potential customers looking for your specific products and/or services online.
Review The Competitive Landscape
It is always important to have a good understanding of what your top competitors are doing online. Access how your business measures up with others in your market, play on your strengths and identify areas for improvement.
Update Your Social Profiles
Have you checked or updated your social profiles recently? Google your business to see if your social media profiles appear in the results. If so, then it's likely you have an active social audience. Make sure your social media profiles are doing a good job of conveying your brand and the value that you bring to your customers.
Check Your SEO Strategy
Additionally, you'll need to analyze your visibility on search engines, and understand that the technical performance of your web presence is a major factor in your ranking in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Over the past few years there have been some major changes and updates in algorithms and standard practices that have significantly impacted search results.
An Ongoing Improvement Process
The key thing to remember is that there is never a “finished product” when it comes to developing and managing your online presence. It always needs to grow and adapt in order to thrive in new environments. Staying in tune with current trends and best practices is imperative. Since business owners are required to focus their efforts on everyday tasks, it typically becomes more difficult to keep up with all the things that can impact the effectiveness of their web presence. Failing to continuously monitor and enhance the performance of your web presence will eventually result in a decline of your brand value to your customers.
Yes, this initiative might seem a bit overwhelming at first, but the benefits are priceless. And fortunately, there are plenty of helpful resources online and digital marketing experts available to help you tackle the auditing process so you don't have to do it on your own. Find the right solution that works for your business and start enhancing the value of your web presence.