online business identity
Establishing a strong presence across various platforms and networks will increase relevant traffic to your website.
1. google map local listing
For businesses with a physical location, a properly managed business profile on Google Maps is by far the most important. Best of all, it is free to list yourself.
2. google reviews
We all read the reviews and for good reason. Your business reviews on Google are super important to gaining trust with consumers. Ask your clients/customers to leave you a review on Google.
3. yelp reviews
Most businesses will benefit from having positive rating with Yelp. A general directory for all industries across the country, these reviews show up in Google searches.
4. YellowPages reviews
Print may be quickly becoming a thing of the past, but digital YellowPages does contribute to your online identity. Asking for reviews on this platform will boost your visibility without the need to buy advertising. Controlled by DexYP, the marketing contracts and support can be hectic, so stick to getting reviews.
5. linkedIn presence
LinkedIn has gained popularity lately and for good reason. The information typically is pro business and not so political as on places like Facebook or Twitter. This is one network you will want to cultivate.
6. industry specific networks
Most industries have a network to add their business profile. Places like TripAdvisor, FourSquare, HomeAdvisor to name a few, offer access to an audience ready to buy. On most of them you can create a free profile and gather reviews. Some work best with some sort of marketing package. For each exist pros and cons. Tailored properly, these systems offer great opportunities for a business ready to grow.
7. youTube videos
A great resource for those who can afford to spend the time to learn how the many ways of YouTube. More so a long term plan, gaining a following here can prove highly beneficial.
8. faceBook reviews
Not every business will benefit from this platform, and you must be cautious how you walk this narrow path. One slip and the mob will appear at your door step. Leave politics aside and you can do well for your business with locals.
user interaction & experience
Traffic is king when it comes to website performance on any network. How your visitors interact with your website contributes to your overall Website Grade. These tips are a great way to improve your website performance.
9. mobile friendly
A website must be mobile friendly. No longer is this an option. Fail to meet this criteria and Google will ignore you. Visitors may also hit the back button immediately. A website that is not mobile friendly tells the world the company cares not about the visitor, they are out of money or so antiquated that visiting such an establishment may offer a poor experience. Whatever the case, this item should be your first priority.
10. easy to navigate
Visitors don't really care about your website. For most businesses, visitors come to make a purchase or gain additional knowledge. A properly built website offers a simple navigation menu with a one-click destination action. Drop down menus, especially 3rd level drop down menus, are best left for companies like Amazon or Home Depot.
11. mobile quick access
Mobile users need simple, quick access to important information, like your address, phone number and hours of operation. Don't make them dig for it. Display this information with an easy one-click method conspicuously.
12. clean layout and design
A service business website should be visually appealing. Award winning designs are nice but not required. Let your visitors know you care about your image. Templates may work sometimes, but often lack focus on the content.
13. unique content
Content is very important to your overall website identity. Search engines like Google know if you copied content from another site. Unless added value to the copied content exists, it is best to create your own content from scratch.
14. call to action
Direct your visitors to where you want them to go or perform an action. This requires some planning but improves your website performance a lot when properly executed.
15. annoying pop-ups
We have all seen these obnoxious windows appear as we are about to make our way around a website. Does anyone fill them out? Depends on how they are applied. Pop-ups can be great CTA's (call to action), but randomly placed, they can irritate a user, causing them to leave your website. Personally, I have never filled one out, never ever, and I never ever will.
16. easy contact options
Every website should offer several ways to easily contact a business. Online forms are great, live agent chat is a great option, or links to your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter account also provide fast access. Reduce the hurdles for the visitor.
17. contact info
This is a big problem among websites. Your contact info, things like the phone number, address, fax (when applicable), social media - these items need to be easily found. Put them at the top, bottom, in the content mixed in and in your mobile slide out menu. Your contact information should be blatant.
18. email campaign
Every business can benefit from email campaigns. A plumber can maintain contact with their customers. Get a birth or anniversary date, or something of interest to the customer. Reach out to them, say hello once in a while. Maybe not every week, but at least once a month. Other businesses can offer reminders, like oil changes, bi-weekly haircuts, or a reminder for teeth cleaning. Whatever your business, it is cheaper to retain a customer or a client than acquire a new one.
technical & important
Experience is required with these website performers. Your website developer should cover these as part of the website building and/or hosting process.
19. website download speed
How fast your website appears on a users device impacts your Website Grade with Google. Slower websites that are commonly built with Wordpress, Square, Wix or Weebly, are much heavier than a custom website and therefore suffer in load times, especially when hosted on low quality servers. Companies like GoDaddy offer low cost hosting options on their shared networks that bottle neck often, causing your website to load slower than a dedicated server.
20. SSL Certificates
Look at the top of the screen where you see http:// - if it is not green followed by https:// - you do not have an SSL Certificate. SSL's protect your users from attacks while they interact with your website. Google prefers websites with an SSL Certificate. All of our clients receive an SSL certificate at no additional cost.
21. public domain
Your domain name was registered by someone. Often, the registrar will recommend private domain registration. There are a few times when you may want to hide your identity. Most businesses should not hide their name and contact info on domain name ownership. Google prefers publicly displayed information.
22. HTML & CSS compliance
Every website is ultimately served with HTML and CSS. The browser converts the HTML and CSS code into the graphical display we call "website design." A website that appears to be working may have improper coding methods that affect the grade of the website. Free tools exist to check for issues with suggestions how to apply a fix. Some errors may be dismissed, while others are critical.
23. SEO score
Ask 30 different marketing agencies about SEO and you will get 30 different answers. In short, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is your website as a whole. The code, the content, how the content relates with internal links, external links, incoming links, design elements - all play a role in improving your SEO score. Other factors affect this rating. Some items can be dismissed, while others are critical errors. How much you should focus on SEO depends largely on your budget and goals. In any case, don't ask a marketing agency for the answer. Go to the person writing your website. Many items are simple changes and your SEO score will increase immediately. Test your website's SEO score with many tools as they all have their bias.