Tips for Managing Your Online Brand
Keeping up with your website can sometimes feel like a taxing chore. Often times, it becomes easy to “let your site go”. But really, after your main content is developed, it only requires a few minutes a week to maintain. Below are a few tips to help your website from falling victim to cobwebs.
Keep in mind that your homepage is the “door” to your digital storefront.
Most of the time, viewers are searching the internet for things they need, or things they are interested in. Keep your homepage inviting, without giving too much detail. Your verbiage should be clean, and concise. Allow your viewer to quickly scan the homepage to find what they’re looking for, without giving up too much information. Remember that the goal is to be inviting; not overwhelming.
Clean Up Your Content Often.
Keep on the lookout for older specials and sales that you’re no longer participating in. Remove and replace listings for staff members that are no longer employed, or have switched territories. Keep up with your events calendar so your visitors know what’s going on in your location. Optimize your images to avoid slower load times. Do you have a company Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other social networking account open to represent you company? Check your website to see if they’re linking to them. Also, don’t hesitate to brag about your companies’ accomplishments, awards, or good deeds. Your online reputation is just as important as your community reputation!
Testimonials: Ask for them!
The internet is a handy tool for potential customers to find out about products and services before they try them. Don’t forget that your testimonials don’t “just” have to come from online sources. Start with your regular, in store customers, first. Reviews from the shop counter are just as good, if not better, then reviews online.
Having trouble getting testimonials? Try a raffle! Have a small drawing for those who give you reviews, then give something away; like a tee-shirt or a small promotional item. Who doesn’t love free stuff?! (Not to mention, this is a good chance to snap a photo for the site, or for your Facebook to show off how much you love your customer base!)
Update your meta-tags often!
When you update your content, it helps to update your keywords and meta tags so that you can found on the search engines. If you’re managing your own keywords, get creative! Are you carrying a new line? Add it! New products? Add those, too! Start with adding keywords for your manufacturers, your products, your surrounding cities, and keywords that represent your departments (Service, Parts, Financing, etc). These will help you soar to the top of the search engines!
Keep in mind that you want to positively represent your business, so don’t misrepresent yourself by adding your competitors. Also remember that search engines don’t see images! Images are great, and provides something for the user to see, but don’t forget to keep your content rich with text as well! (For more tips on Meta-Tags, see Jennifer Tate’s article, Tips for Writing Better Meta Tags!)
Finally, remember that content writing is never a finished job, and it might not always be on point. Good writing comes with time and energy, so make your updating when it’s convenient and when you’re ready. It will take some experimentation with organization, layout, and your focus, but once you get the hang of it, and you incorporate your website maintenance into your day to day operations, your site—and your fan base—will soar.