In this day and age A company must have an online presence. A company’s Online Presence is the most significant marketing tool available to it. Often a business neglects this if they are not actively seeking business through their webpage. They develop a static page that gives them at least some presence, and leave it at that. Current trends in SEO make this a strategy doomed to failure. If your business has not looked at it’s online presence in the last 2 years, you are out of date.
Developing an online presence is something that each company must accomplish to stay competitive. Gone are the days where a business could advertise in a few trade magazines and leave it at that. Most searches for new products are conducted through the internet. If a business does not take the time to create and maintain an online presence they lose the opportunity for a customer to find them, and neglect revenue streams of which they could be taking advantage.
Notice that the term “Online Presence” is used. The simple webpage is no
longer enough to truly represent a company an Online Presence is needed because it is no longer enough to have one static webpage. A company webpage is the center of a marketing effort that must include social media. Social media includes Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. In addition to the standard social media a company should ensure they maintain a presence on whatever industry specific sites that are available
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has changed in 2017, what used to work may now actually hurt your business. Trends in SEO change as the engines themselves change. It takes dedicated effort to keep your site in line with current trends. Yearly reviews of your site are necessary to ensure that your site remains configured for optimal use. A quick examination shows that there have been some changes.
While considering how to revamp your website, a company must keep in mind that with the new “Panda” ranking algorithm, Google weeds out sites with thin and duplicate content. A business must do more now to get higher on the results list, neglecting to do so can hurt profits as your customers choose a business that shows higher on the results list. The endeavor to reach the top of the search results includes ensuring that your site has unique content, this creates more ways for the search engine to find your site. Copying information from similar sites results in a duplication of content and the new algorithm will downgrade the results and drop your company further down in the rankings.
Panda now rewards a site for original, well-written content. “Scraping” content and putting it on your site will no longer offer the same page rank it used to. The content must be original, well written, and new. Providing content that fits this mold results in a much higher ranking. Cookie cutter, plagiarized, and poorly thought out content is filtered and does nothing for your page.
In addition, it must be kept in mind that Linking networks are no longer helpful. The changes to how Google indexes no longer makes joining a link network useful. Google rewards for organic links, so the best way you can accomplish the same link rate is to develop your own network by providing content others want to link to. Creating content others want to link to is now much more important than simply paying for a linked network.
Social media interaction does not affect your company’s search rating, except in one case. Google+ now influences your search rating. Facebook’s refusal to share social results with Google led them to develop Google+. Activity on your Google+ page is now factored into your search results. So it makes sense for a company to ensure they have a Google+ page in their social media presence. The Google+ page should be used prominently; each +1 that is obtained is factored into the algorithm and improves the search standing of the company site.
Key words are not the golden bullet that they once were. A meta tag stuffed with appropriate key words no longer impacts your results in the same way. Successful page titles are relevant to the content, contain the specific information within the content, and are not just a mish mash of words. Title tags are extremely important, but the keywords need to reflect the actual content of the page or the engine ignores the tag. Key words are still important in some places, but the old style of placing a bunch of them in the header portion of the page is ignored by search engines now.
More “under the hood” considerations are the type of site map used and the construction of URL’s. A site should have an XML site map. The XML site map gives a quick reference for the search engine that is easy to parse, and provides the important information about the site without further research. The site map should be clear in how the site is laid out, and the site should be logically constructed to ensure the best results.
The construction of a site’s actual URL’s are important. The clearer connection between URL and content, the higher the search engine ranking. A company redeveloping their site should take the time and try to use URL’s that are logical and relate to the structure of the site. Random word URL’s or numerical URL’s do nothing to help a company get higher in search engine rankings.
A final thought regarding page design is how it appears on mobile devices. A modern responsive site should translate to a mobile device without any loss of function or style. It is forecasted that soon up to 80% of web searches will be done through a cellphone or other mobile device. A revamped company online presence has to be able to be accessed through the mobile web. This can be accomplished through careful site design, and the use of technologies such as wordpress, joomla, or bootstrap that support responsive website creation.
As said above, one static webpage is no longer the standard to shoot for. A company must have an Online Presence. This online presence is something that needs to be interconnected, not seen as independent and unrelated pieces. The webpage should have social media links, social media accounts should lead back to the webpage. Blogs should be linked to both the social media pages, and the company webpage. Professional association pages should list every available means of connecting.
A company needs to remember that social media is the way it can connect to it’s customers, respond to them, and attract new customers. This is true regardless of if you are a consumer based company, or a client based business to business company. Social media allows you to get to know who is interested in your product or service. It gives insight into what they are looking for, what they like and don’t like about your product. Complaints can be dealt with swiftly and in a way that improves the public image of the company.
Any redevelopment effort must take the constant nature of social media into account. This is not a one-time effort that is then left to sit. Social media requires a constant effort to do properly. Twitter tweets must be sent often, Facebook and Google+ pages need fresh content. The more effort put into this area the greater the reward that follows. For the company that is unsure, remember that each time a person retweets, or follows your page, or makes a comment that they are giving your business free advertising to everyone they know.
When a company looks at redeveloping their online presence all of these options must be put into play, if they are not already. Often a company has a piecemeal effort, maybe there is a Facebook page, but it does not drive people to the webpage. Or a company may have a webpage, but no social media links on it. Modern life is no longer disconnected, it is imperative that a company take the time to develop each element completely.
This may seem overwhelming to some, and not worth the effort to others. The current approach may seem to be working, and the company is making a profit. Why bother going to all of this effort if things seem to be working? The truth is that any situation that is already working, that does not incorporate these elements, is not working as well as it could. By accepting the status quo, a company is choking off their own growth. Embracing the need to revamp a company webpage can lead to even more profits and growth.
Thoroughly examine your business’ online presence when doing any redevelopment. The webpage is the centerpiece of a constellation of places your customers should be able to find your product or service. Ensure that your business is positioned for success by having a well written site that gives you the highest search ranking possible by following good SEO rules. Create and maintain a robust and effective social media presence, even to the point of hiring someone dedicated to creating content and responding to customers. These efforts will lead to greater profit, and greater brand visibility.