Understanding And Managing Your Online Presence
By Tom Rojas
The Rojas Group
You may or may not have heard the term “Online Presence”, but as a business owner, it may be something you will want to learn more about, especially as the world continues to evolve and change in the ways customers and business owners interact and work together.
I like to define “Online Presence” as the overall picture and health of your business as it relates to HOW others locate you on the internet and WHAT they think or perceive of you and your business when they find you on the internet.
The reason I mention both “HOW” someone finds you and “WHAT” they see or perceive when they do find you (if they do) is because both are vital when it comes to your business success.
Maybe your website ranks high in search results, making it is easier to find, but potential clients don’t like what they see and the experience they have when they land on your site?
Or, maybe you have a great website, it functions well and the user experience is good, but no one can find you online when searching for your services? What good does that do?
When I consult with new clients these are the very first things I like to check as both are important and go hand in hand.
In the first step, which is identifying HOW easy it is to find a client’s business online, I use keywords to search for the business which I think are specific and similar to what I believe their customers would use when they would be searching for the company services or products.
For example, if a client is a dermatologist, I would search Google using terms like “Dermatologist In Las Vegas”, keeping in mind I am trying to use the most common search terms that the potential customers may use.
This process allows me to experience what the client’s potential customers are experiencing when they try to find the business online, so I can better help in the evaluation and formation of a strategic plan. What do I see when I search these terms? Is their business easy to find? What page on Google are they located? Page One, or page 50? Is their website even indexed properly with Google?
What you will always see at the top of the page and at the very bottom on Google are ads by companies who are putting their businesses in front of these potential customers via the Google AdWords platform. This is an effective way of making sure your business is being seen to this targeted audience, especially if you don’t rank well in the organic search results. Paid advertising is a very successful way for smaller business operations to compete with companies that don’t have strong rankings, however, of course, it does cost money.
As you move down the page, under the map, you will begin to see the top organic ranked websites. Examing this for clients wil help tell me much of what I need to know about the business and how easy (or hard) it is for their potential clients to find them online. Because every industry is different, some being much more competitive than others in terms of rankings, each evaluation considers the level of competition in both current rankings and the ability to improve upon this.
For example, the attorney/lawyer industry is extremely competitive, and for a relatively new and smaller law firm that doesn’t have a lot of history online, implementing strategies the help move them from page 50 in rankings to the first page may be an unobtainable effort unless they are committed to heavy SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts, paid backlinks, consistent content production, and distribution, and in many cases, the costs and resources are simply not there. In these cases, the business may wish to utilize the advertising platform available through Google.
The next step is examining “what is being seen” when someone does find your business online! I remind clients that you never know who has been to your website or social media pages, and if their experience is not positive you truly don’t know what business you may have lost. For some businesses, one client may be a very large transaction so you never want to lose a potential client because of a negative experience when they viewed your business online.
I always start by examining the client’s website and then I move on to their social pages.
Here is a good example of a poorly designed website. The text on the home page, along with the navigation to the various pages are both very hard to read. There is no clear message and not an immediate understanding as to what the company does. In addition, on mobile, the website was not responsive, so it did not properly resize to the smaller screen size, making it virtually unusable.
Can you imagine how many clients/customers they may have lost due to a poor presentation from their website? Since so much business is handled online, and so much of the marketing dollars are now spent in this arena, it is imperative that your website is designed correctly, including:
- Responsive Website which properly displays on all mobile devices
- Great user experience, including easy to navigate, move through the pages, purchase through the website, etc
- Pleasing to the eye, with clear images, messaging, and call to action buttons
- Set up with basic On-Page SEO, and metadata, rich snippets, alt tags, and more
- Text/Font sizes that are easy to read
- The speed of loading the site
These are just a few of the items we review on behalf of new clients. We also like to check and see if all contact information is accurate, the email contact forms are functioning, the links to their social accounts work, etc.
Many business owners are not on top of their websites, letting certain necessary plugins lapse without being updated, causing things not to function and exposing themselves to malware and hacking. In addition, we also see that oftentimes the content is not updated, which is also common on their social pages. What this means is that there may be a blog page or a news page, and when we review the website, the last post may be several years old. This tells the potential client that the company is not very active and may present a negative impression, causing them to leave the site. Also, as mentioned above, we do like to review how fast a website loads. We all know how frustrating it is when you try to log onto a website and it takes forever to load. Most likely you drop off, again, with most business owners never knowing what business they just lost.
The Rojas Group has been a tenant of Lakeside Business Suites for over 7 years, working with various businesses within Lakeside Event Center, as well as here in Las Vegas and across the country. We work with a variety of industries including hospitality, medical, recreation, technology, and social, and with large 500 plus employee companies to small business owners.
As part of our services here at The Rojas Group, we do manage analytics for our clients, and we do look at page load speeds, drop rates, time spent on the website, contact points, leads that come through the email forms, phone calls placed, etc.
In addition, we do a FREE evaluation of both areas discussed today, identifying the current status of their Search Results, as well as an evaluation on their website and social pages, and work with clients to form a strategy to improve upon one or both areas, as needed.
We recently were recognized as a Top Website Developer AND Top Google AdWords Specialists by Expertise.com, and are proud to have received many other recognitions, associations and earned numerous certifications in all areas of digital marketing.
If you need a FREE assessment of your current Online Presence, we would love to hear from you! Please send us an email or give us a call!
The Rojas Group