If the coronavirus pandemic has left you dazed and confused, you’re not alone. However, let’s not mention the “c” word again and let’s focus on those things you can control – one of which is your online presence.
With some extra time to invest in your business, perhaps its time you took that long-overdue analysis of your online presence. Over time, your website, brand and social media profiles can become dated and in a state of disrepair. If you’ve suddenly found yourself looking for ways you can work on your business, this is the perfect place to start.
Improve Your Online Presence
This post is split into three key improvement areas:
- Website improvements
- Social media
- Creating content
There’s going to be loads to get stuck into so let’s begin!
1. Website improvements
Your website is likely to be the gateway of new business so don’t let it be the bottleneck in your sales process. Here are five ways to make it work better for you:
Check for broken links
Broken links often happen when the web page you originally linked to no longer exists. This is a pain for users who use the link but it also signals to Google that you’re not keeping your site in tip-top condition. Use brokenlinkcheck.com to quickly find a list of all the broken outbound links on your site and which pages they’re on.
Find brand mentions and get a backlink
Links from other websites back to your website are called backlinks and they’re super important for ranking prominently in the search engines. Probably the easiest way to get new links is to find existing mentions of your brand, products, or team members and see if whoever has written about you will link to your site. Make a note of who you’ve contacted and remind yourself to follow-up in a week’s time.
Clear out your blog back-catalogue
Extensive, well-written blog content can prove timeless and a real asset to a website. However, some websites accrue a lot of low-quality blog content over time, much of which becomes dated. Use Google Analytics to see which of your blogs get little or no web traffic and either delete them, update them or combine them with other blogs. Google takes a dim view of thin content that offers little value to readers. Content with fewer than 300-500 words could be considered “thin”.
Remember to 301 redirect any deleted blog URLs to a new live page to ensure no one gets lost on your site.
General site improvements
There are lots of small technical improvements you can make to your site, some of which you may need to ask your web developer or support team about. These things all impact the performance or user experience of your site, so get them right!
Site speed – ensure it’s as fast as it can be. A tool like Pingdom will help.
Mobile performance – check how your site looks and functions on your own mobile device and with Google’s tool.
Streamline the navigation menu – ensure it’s easy for people to find your contact page. Above the fold and to the right, as a general rule.
Update your software – the platforms that websites are built on require updating regularly. This includes specific elements or plugins. Get your web support person to help you do this in a safe way.
If you’re looking for support with your site or perhaps looking to refresh it, check out our web services page.
Get some reviews
Reach out to your best clients and see if they’ll leave you a review on your Google My Business page, or whichever reviews platform you’re focusing on. This means your business looks reputable to those doing their research and you can use these quotes as social proof on your website. It can take a while to reach out and secure reviews so get going now.
2. Social media
Unless you’re using a social media agency to keep everything up to date, you might be falling behind. Now’s the perfect time to review your presence and get back on track.
Explore new platform features
The major social networks like Facebook are constantly releasing new features to their platforms. Many of these are centred around businesses using their platforms so your brand account might not be making the most of them. LinkedIn showcase pages, having an Instagram brand account, and service offerings on Facebook are all worth taking a look at.
Secure your brand name on all social networks
New platforms pop up all the time and it’s difficult to know which one will be the next mainstay. TikTok is the prime example now, which we wrote about here. It takes just a few minutes to secure your profile and that all-important user name before someone else nabs it.
Set up and optimise your Pinterest account
Pinterest is a hugely impressive social network that is overlooked by so many marketers. If there’s even a hint of a visual or consumer-facing element to your business, it’s worth setting up a profile and watching your reach skyrocket. Just a few hours spent on set-up and optimisation will yield benefits for months and years to come. Still not convinced? Read more here.
Update your LinkedIn profile
Your LinkedIn profile works like your online CV, a record of achievement and your contacts book. When was the last time you reviewed and updated it? Go in and update your role, experience and any accolades you’ve won. Accept those pending connection requests (from people you know!) and connect with a few more people in your network.
Sound good? Now it’s time to get your colleagues to do the same and give your business’s page a refresh.
Refresh your social media profiles
The artwork on your social media profiles is crucial in capturing the eye and portraying your brand properly. If you’ve not revisited this for a few years, you might find the social network has changed its requirements or that your designs look dated. Maybe it’s time to give them a makeover. Make sure everything displaying your brand is consistent across the internet.
Build a bank of collateral
Create a bank of collateral for your social media profiles. Learn how to use Canva and find some relevant imagery from Unsplash and other royalty-free image sites. Commission a graphic designer to create a suite of graphics and videos for social media. These can take a few weeks to complete so action this sooner rather than later.
Our graphics team is super-busy right now creating infographics, branded videos and social media imagery for our clients. If that sounds like it could be of use to you, find out more here.
3. Creating content
Producing genuinely valuable content is time-consuming but it can be an excellent way to increase your brand’s reach and reputation, as well as generate new business. You’ve now got some time to put together something really worthwhile.
Start a podcast
Podcasts are incredibly popular right now and it seems like lots of people are jumping on the bandwagon, but it’s all about the execution. Quality always comes out on top. Plan a programme of episodes including the detail of what each one will cover. Make sure you stick to what you know and can speak passionately about. Get a good microphone, a quiet setup and, most importantly, use an editor to keep everything crisp. Upload each episode to Buzzsprout to have your episodes syndicated to iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher and more!
Webinars are a great way to deliver information in a more informal and lively manner than a podcast. Webinars are usually broadcasted live and can even include interactive Q&A elements. Your audience is always looking for the latest information and techniques they can use and there will be so much value you can give to them. Remember, what seems obvious to you might be groundbreaking to your customers.
We run social media webinars totally free of charge to anyone wanting to learn a little bit more about the topic. To find out when the next ones are scheduled, subscribe to our mailing list.
Write awesome blogs
Blogging is still a powerful way to communicate with your audience. Blog articles can hold some SEO value if you do your keyword research but are mainly a great way to amuse your audience or share your expertise. Once penned, they make for great content on your social channels or email marketing.
Check out these blog-writing tips.
E-books and free downloads
Create a high-value guide and turn it into a PDF that web visitors can download in exchange for their email address. It doesn’t need to be huge; some of the best e-books are only 5 or 10 pages long – the key is that they add tonnes of value.
For longer e-books, you might consider adding them to Amazon as a Kindle book, either free or paid. If you do this, it’s worth lining up some reviewers so you can get a solid rating shortly after they go live.
There should be no shortage of things to do whilst you have some down-time in your business. All of these tips will help lay a solid foundation to build upon. While other business owners or marketers are playing the waiting game, there’s plenty to get on with so you’re ahead of the game when everything is back to normal!