5 Things You Can Do Today to Boost Your Online Reputation

by Dec 17, 2015Mobile Marketing, SmallBiz

Digital marketing means a lot more than having a profile up on your favorite social network. It includes the guiding the shopping customers do on their mobile phones and tablets, making sure that your website is ready for seasonal shopping changes, responding to customer reviews, plus analyzing all of that activity. The first step is to manage your online presence – your reputation – effectively. If you don’t have a budget of either time or money for these activities, you may find it pretty daunting to get all the pieces handled. For the sake of today’s post, let’s say you have more time than money. The tools here are all free (of financial cost) and available right now.

Note: If you already have a website, you’re paying your hosting and domain fees already. There are several great free and paid responsive themes out there for WordPress – which is free.

  1. Ask Google what your customers are doing online. The Consumer Barometer is an easy way to look at the data from The Connected Consumer Survey. You’ll find answers to questions like what percentage of people are shopping online in the United States vs South Korea (31% vs 75%, respectively). What do you do with this information? You dig deeper into the survey data and devise a plan that is based on your business goals.
  2. Rethink your Facebook Page. This one is for brick and mortar businesses. Facebook is making a big splash in local search now that they have recently enhanced the Facebook Places feature. Users can now “discover” various cities on Places pages, which will highlight restaurants, cafes, activities, and more. These beautiful pages can bring you a lot more traffic – if your page features great images and engaging (not spammy) content. Search results are tailored to the user and those pages where the user’s friends have reviewed or checked in will bubble up to the top of those results. So just because Facebook’s algorithms change like the weather in Atlanta, don’t throw up your hands and leave just yet.
  3. Claim your Google Places entry, NOW. The new Google Maps update makes it even easier to discover businesses surrounding the address you seek. Nearby Places (via Google My Business) now show up below the directions – especially in the mobile version of the app. This means the reviews you receive, and your responses to customer inquiries will be front and center. For restaurants using OpenTable, customers can book reservations right from the app (US only). Nice bonus – users with the Uber app installed can now see pickup times from their location, too!
  4. Step your Instagram game up. The latest IG update brings us caption editing (finally!!) and the ability to Discover (formerly Explore) interesting people (and brands) as well as the delightfully random photos we know and love. This means that authentic, real-time engagement for businesses that rely on visual marketing can help you grow your audience quickly. For those retailers selling products online – the associated website should be ready for that incoming traffic…which leads me to today’s final tip.
  5. Make sure your website is mobile responsive. Not just mobile ready, or having a mobile version of your site – mobile responsive. Mobile search results can be very different from those on a desktop or laptop. Mobile users also impart location information to search, which makes your local focus even more important (see #3 above). A mobile responsive site means that your SINGLE primary web address is delivered to the search results with the associated site reputation, rather than another internal page or folder where the mobile version of your site would be stored. This means that a responsive design is more important than ever to your digital marketing plan.

Between Facebook, Instagram, and of course, The Google, you have new opportunities to craft the story of how your online audience sees and engages with your brand and business. However, all that traffic has to get to your website and be able to complete your desired outcome, whether that is contacting you for a consultation or making a direct purchase. I challenge you to pick up your smartphone right now and go to your website, and try to do either of these things in 1 minute or less. If you can’t, I know a digital solutions company that would LOVE to work with you. 🙂