How often do you audit yourself online? I’m not just talking about Googling yourself (which does not exactly work the way you think it does). I mean when was the last time you stepped into your ideal customer’s shoes and explored your brand online. Today we are going to talk about the importance of a regular audit and what things you should be looking at to make sure your first impression is always the best impression.
Recently I scheduled a massage with a new provider. I was in desperate need of a little self-care from all the work I had been putting in and knew a massage would help with a lot of my stress. I found my therapist on Yelp. She had a lot of positive reviews, and her location was not too far away. So I emailed her, scheduled an appointment, and everything was all set. Before departing for my appointment, I checked the address to the location both on her Yelp profile and her website. When I got to the place I checked for her on the building directly then went up to her room and waited alone in the waiting area. The time for my appointment came and went. I called, and the number went straight to voicemail but mentioned some salon. I left a message saying I had to go because I had other appointments.
Later that day I got a voicemail and an email from her asking me where I went because she was at her location. I shot over to her website copied the address, paste it into an email and sent it back explaining that I also saw her on the building directory. It turns out that she had moved a while back and had not updated her address on her website, yelp or even taken down the directory listing in the building. She offered to give me a 20% discount, but the damage was done. Not only did she waste my time (which I HATE) but she also caused me to miss one of the very few opportunities I had in my schedule to get that massage. Nope, no massage for me for at least another month.
Why tell this story? Because a simple audit would have prevented this problem and saved her from losing clients.
When was the last time you checked to make sure your customers can find you, contact you correctly and that your first impression online is a great impression?
So what needs attention when you are auditing yourself?
Let’s start with your website. Go to your website and click on all the links that go out to your other websites and social networks. Check that your phone number and email address are up to date and working. If you have a form on your site, fill it out and make sure it works the way it needs to work.
While you are on your website, consider the way it looks. Is it easy to read, does it look modern and not from the 1990s? Is it mobile responsive? Did you know that 80% of internet users own a smartphone? (Smart Insights). On top of that Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead. (MicKinsey & Company). And if your website is not mobile responsive you may be left in the dark, literally. Last year Google started testing a mobile-first search indexing. This was stemmed from the fact that Google is finding more and more search queries are done via mobile.
To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first. Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results. Of course, while our index will be built from mobile documents, we’re going to continue to build a great search experience for all users, whether they come from mobile or desktop devices.
Moral of the story, get with the times and make sure your website is friendly on ALL devices.
Don’t just stop at checking the links on your website. Go out to all the social networks you manage and make sure all the phone numbers, addresses, and links are correct. I can’t tell you how many times I have followed a link from someone’s LinkedIn profile and it went to a 404 redirect.
Look at sites you don’t manage too. Did you know that your company can be listed on sites like Yelp and Foursquare without you even adding them there? You better go double check and claim those profiles that pop up. Make sure everything is valid on those sites as well.
While you are venturing around the web looking at all your assets, make sure your branding and content are consistent and valuable. Are you putting your best foot forward, are their messages, comments or reviews that need attention. You never know what someone’s first interaction with your company will be. Be it Facebook, Yelp or Google search results, you need to make sure your brand is in tip-top condition.
Listen to the full episode on Anchor, via the web or on my podcast!
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