Every business will show up online in one way or another. Successfully managing your business’s digital presence will help it prosper for years to come. The trick is knowing how to optimize effectively. Check out these four most basic methods of digital presence optimization.
Set Up a Solid Foundation
The first step to making the most of your business’s online presence is to make sure you have laid the groundwork. In the simplest terms, this means having a website that is up to modern web standards. Cost and time investment in this step is minimal. By the end of 2017, roughly 56% of all small businesses will have websites that meet this definition.
So what makes up “modern web standards”? The home base of your business’s digital presence, your website, needs to meet the following five best practices, at a minimum. If you can meet all of these, your website is well on its way to ranking favorably in major search engines and being a useful resource for your customers.
- Fast Loading Speeds – The pages on your business website should load quickly to lower bounce rate and encourage customers to view it as reliable.
- Original Content with Substance – You should have as much useful content about your products and services as possible. Do you have a contact page? An FAQ? If a customer has a question, do they have the resources to answer it themselves or do they have no choice but to make contact?
- Accessibility and Mobile-Readiness – Today, it’s crucial that whatever online resources you have for your customers are available in a format that adapts to any device, be it a tablet, smartphone, or desktop. This includes websites, email, images, and other media.
- Simple and Reliable – Make it easy for customers to find what they want. You don’t necessarily need more content as long as what you have now is both useful, reliable, and optimized for it’s intended purpose.
Pay Attention to What’s “Permanent”
If you’ve been in business for more than a few months, chances are your business already has a substantial digital footprint, even if you haven’t put up a website.
- What’s Out There Already? – When you look up your website online, what are the top results? Are they the business and social media profiles of your business? Reviews? Complaints that need to be addressed?
- Can You Build On It? – If you have a blog, why not try branching out to other blogs? If your business has a listing in Google’s business directory, is it correct? If someone has registered a complaint, have you reached out to correct the issue?
- How Can You Optimize Reach? – Once you’ve found everything that already exists, it’s time to invest in creating new content. How you go about doing this will rely on your overall branding strategy.
What Your People Thinks Matters
A big part of your business’s digital presence can be dependent on what your employees think of it.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but if those views are bleeding over onto your business, through social media or even your business’s blog, something is wrong. A good copy editor can usually straighten out content that might not be in line with your brand and its values. However, if you have an employee with a reputation that’s eclipsing yours, like a high-profile CEO, you may need to hire out. Reputation management for CEOs, or any private employee, can be a smart investment in these cases.
You can’t optimize something if you don’t know it’s current status. By tracking data and the effects of your changes, you can maximize your business’s digital presence in a meaningful and lasting way. So what, precisely, should you be tracking?
- Social Activity – What gets the most significant response from your audience on social media? What gets the most shares? How long does it last? Does the buzz make a difference to your business’s bottom line?
- Effectiveness of a Given Format – If you have multiple contact channels, what channel gets used the most? Chat or phone support? Email or social media? If you haven’t seen much traction from blogs or guest posts, have you tried video? What format gets the best response?
- Basic Website and Email Analytics – This should be a given, but you need to know where your customers are coming from and how they use the digital resources you provide.
If you have the data (or the systems in place to track it), you can answer the questions above. Those answers can drive future optimizations of your business’s digital presence.