The internet has become the center of our modern world. It’s where we get all of our information, and it’s where most of us communicate with one another. As a result, it’s imperative that your business have a strong online presence. This means maintaining profiles on all relevant social media platforms, as well as employing a strong SEO and content marketing strategy.
But while it’s important to develop a strong internet presence, it’s equally as important to monitor and maintain it. And part of this process involves performing an audit of your online presence to make sure you’re saying everything you want to say about your brand, make sure there’s nothing out there misrepresenting you, and also to check to see if it’s time to update your marketing strategy.
However, this is another case where the why is much easier to understand than the how. You may recognize the need to audit your online presence, but you might not be sure of exactly how to do it, so here are three things every online audit should include.
Check for Negativity
The first thing you’ll want to do when auditing your online presence is to check to make sure no one is saying anything bad about you. Start by simply performing a Google search of your company name. Check the first page of results, but also dig into some of the stuff that comes up on the other pages. You never know if there is a blogger out there who has an ax to grind, and it’s better to identify these issues before they become more serious than they need to be.
If you do find something, there are a few things you could do, such as:
- Nothing: If there is something out there that is obviously false, or that stands no chance of becoming more mainstream, then it might be best to just leave things as they are, especially if you had to wait until page nine on Google to find something negative. Sometimes drawing attention to these things can be worse.
- Reach out to whoever posted the negative content: Sometimes a quick email responding to whatever claims this person is making, and also asking them to take down their post, can be enough to bury whatever negativity is out there.
- Use SEO to bury it: If whatever negative thing is written about you is too big to bury and you can’t get people to take it down, then you may need to get more aggressive. You can hire a reputation management company to help you bury these bad search results further down in Google, for we all know how often people look past the first page of search results.
You’ll also want to spend some time combing through review sites. If your business is on Yelp or Trip Advisor, make sure there aren’t any really negative comments out there. And if you find something, address it. You may not be able to win back a customer with a bad attitude, but you will provide some context to the comment that may soften its significance when future users stumble upon it.
Your online presence is really important for promoting your brand, and one of the most important things when it comes to branding of any kind is consistency. This is because you never know when someone will come into contact with your brand, but you want to make sure that they receive the right message whenever they do.
As a result, a big part of your audit should be making sure that all your messaging is consistent. Take a look at each piece of content on all different channels and ask yourself what these things are saying about your company. But before doing this, make sure you’re clear about what it is you want to say. Then, compare this with what’s out there, and anything that’s off message should be deleted or changed to more accurately reflect the brand message you’re trying to convey.
Study the Numbers
Another thing you should do while auditing your online presence is to figure out what kind of return you’re getting from these efforts. But before doing this, figure out what it is you want to get from each channel. For example, are you looking to convert people into customers? Or do you want people to sign up for your newsletter? Or are you just looking for engagement?
This matters because it will help you identify where your efforts are paying off and where they are not. For example, if you’re spending money on Facebook ads hoping to drive sales, but this isn’t happening, then it’s time to rethink your strategy, or maybe even to drop Facebook advertising from your mix.
Overall, when it comes to digital marketing, quality is always more important than quantity. It may seem smart to be involved on all platforms, but doing so also exposes you to risk; there will always be irrational people. As a result, you need to be sure that this risk is worth it, and an audit of your internet presence will help you figure out if this is the case.
It’s important to stop and do a full audit at least once if not two or three times a year. But this shouldn’t be the only time you stop to look at your internet presence. Evaluation should be built into your approach, as this will help you identify more quickly when something isn’t working, allowing you to adapt and keep moving without having to deal with unnecessary setbacks.
About the Author: Kevin’s current focus is running Broadband Search, as well as being the owner and founder of several other business. His business ventures have helped make Kevin an expert in digital marketing, and he likes to share his expertise with other business owners whenever he can.