Spring has passed, so maybe this should be called, “Regular Maintenance for Websites, Branding Strategies and Digital Marketing Solutions.” In fact, a quarterly (or more frequent) checkup on both is a good practice. If you are a business owner or manager, you need to rethink your branding strategies and the digital marketing solutions you employ on a regular basis. If you are a webmaster or work in an internet marketing agency, you should check and recheck the technical status of your website almost weekly. If you are both owner/manager and webmaster, you probably have too much to do.
Let’s think about some of the things every webmaster, internet marketing agency, search engine optimization company and even direct mail marketing professionals should routinely rethink. Every business, service provider, non-profit and professional practice is different, with unique circumstances and challenges. Still, there are some common elements that apply to all of them.
First, if you have not done so already, make your website, your branding strategies, digital marketing solutions, SEO strategy and even your logo design mobile friendly. There is just no way to get around the fact that the computer age has been eclipsed by the “mobile age” or the “smart phone era.” Google has recognized this, saying that mobile friendliness is now a key element in page ranking algorithms. If your website does not load quickly on mobile devices and fit properly into the mobile format, its ranking is going to be lower across all devices.
What does “load quickly” mean? As a rule of thumb, the main elements of your site should load within 5 seconds on a mid-scale phone running 3G software. Obviously, this is an old standard and the time margins are going to shrink. If your site has not fully or mostly loaded after 5 seconds, the potential viewer (and customer, patient or client) may move on. One marketing study found that over half of mobile users left a site after 5 seconds if it was not loaded. Professionals at an internet marketing agency like Axiom Administrative Services can help with this by streamlining the code and downsizing the file sizes of graphic elements. Smaller graphic files are one of the keys, as they take less time to load.
Second, reexamine the social media you are using, and the way in which you are using it. Did you know that in 2018, Facebook was not the most popular social network among Americans? It was YouTube, which some of us old fogies don’t even think of as a social media, but it is! YouTube offers a free avenue for you to graphically show off your talent, your pizza, your used car inventory or anything else you are marketing. Americans are viewing YouTube videos at an ever increasing rate; in 2018, 73% of all Americans had contact with YouTube compared to 68% with Facebook.
Even experienced marketers and branding strategy professionals can use help with this. Links to social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram have become important parts of good SEO strategy. Each business and digital marketer must evaluate which social media platform is best for their purposes. Sites like Snapchat and Instagram reach a smaller proportion of the public, but they are especially popular among younger people.
Ask yourself frequently, “Who am I trying to reach?” If the answer is teenagers, then a presence on Snapchat and Instagram is very desirable. If your audience is mature adults, then Facebook or YouTube is more appropriate. This seems surprising to many people, but adults and seniors are big users of these platforms. In any case, you and your local SEO services provider need to choose the correct social media platform and constantly update the entries.
Third, take a look at your website and data security. Data sharing, data security and personal privacy have become major concerns to the public, including the users of social media. Consumers have little confidence in the measures taken by most websites to protect their personal information. It is a good policy to be totally transparent about your data collection and protection policies. If you do not need to collect information like addresses, phone numbers, gender, age, etc., then delete any you have and stop collecting.
If you are operating an online store or a small business that accepts payment by internet, you should use one of the secure online payment systems, like Paypal or ApplePay . Remember that you are in the business of selling products or services, not collecting data.
Lastly, you should check the technical properties of your website. Doing this every spring, “occasionally” or when you feel like it is not enough. Most business people are not aware that their website is visited frequently by “bots” (see our blog article, “Visited by a Bot”). These web crawlers are looking for proper or improper elements in your HTML code, hints about the purpose of your site, your geographic location, the number of links and backlinks you have, titles to graphic elements, H1 titles and numerous other clues. Search engines use this data to establish a ranking for your site.
Broken, out-of-date or faulty links are especially bad signs for a bot. A broken link is a lost opportunity or a sign that your website is not professionally maintained. If you are not able to check these and other elements on your own, it is worth the cost to have it done by a professional SEO services or internet marketing agency.
If you are searching for digital marketing solutions that work and branding strategies that make your business stand out, turn to Axiom. Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency. It has the professional and small business SEO skills needed to get your website the ranking it deserves.
Our business marketing team can combine traditional marketing tools like direct mail advertising with local SEO services to build your branding strategy. Please visit Axiom’s small business services page or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.