Benchmark Your Business Internet Presence in Five Simple Steps
By : Alexandra L Watson -
Consumers go online throughout the day from multiple devices, and opportunities abound for your business to be a part of that online experience. Building your brand’s online presence is a crucial part of your total marketing strategy, no matter which industry you belong to or the size of your business. A strong business internet presence reinforces your brand and product offering to the public, whether they find you online first as a result of your inbound marketing content efforts or as a follow-up from your outbound marketing or advertising.
These days, many marketing “experts” promise to help expand your business internet presence and grow your website traffic to generate online leads. But how do you know what needs to be changed or improved on your website, and where should you begin to actually assess your online performance? Here are five steps you can take today to benchmark and improve your business’s online presence:
- Audit Your Internet Search Presence
Conduct an internal digital audit of your “owned media”- your website, blog, social media pages, map listings, and online review sites; any and all potential placeholders for your business in search engine results. Note how many different properties you have, if your key business information is up-to-date in each online property, and how frequently you post or update. Also note where these listings rank in search engine results for your most important business keywords, and create a strategy for maintaining and developing each channel. Free tools such as Hubspot’s Marketing Grader or Inbound Sales Network’s Report Generator can help you with a comprehensive assessment of your online presence.
- Grade Your Website Performance
Take a deeper dive by analyzing your website structure for search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. This will uncover basic coding and content issues that are hindering your website performance. Then get a benchmark of your typical site traffic using Google Analytics or another website estimator such as Amazon’s Alexa. Note the average volume of visits to your site per day and month, as well as the typical sources of that traffic (organic, paid search, referrals, etc.) and your most common referral sites.
- Stay Fresh and Relevant
Even the best websites can drop in search engine results from a lack of recent changes. Search ranking algorithms factor in the recency of site changes (in structure or content) to deliver fresh results. Don’t let your online presence go stale. Communicate with your audience consistently through site updates, blog posts, and social media engagement. Implement a content calendar and/or a website maintenance schedule to ensure your site remains updated.
- Seek Out Qualified Professionals
Both Google and Bing maintain accreditation programs to certify professionals in search, web development, analytics, and more. Several industry organizations offer search engine optimization certifications. Hubspot’s certification program for inbound marketing that combines SEO best practices with content marketing skills. Whether you utilize an independent consultant or an ad agency, ask for assistance from a qualified professional with sufficient training/certification and experience.
- Monitor Presence, Progress, and Results
Even relatively small changes to your site(s) can improve your search engine results page (SERP) ranking. Take note of the changes you’ve made (creating Annotations in your Google Analytics account is great) and monitor progress as you move up in search results. Understand up-front that any SEO changes may take time to impact your ranking results, particularly if you have a low-traffic website (less than 10,000 visits per month) since the search engines won’t be scraping and indexing your site frequently.
Most importantly, make sure to create an online presence that accurately and honestly reflects the business, and is compelling and relevant to your audience.
For assistance in SEO strategy, search engine marketing, brand positioning, and more contact Digital Measured.