Do you know how visible your business is on the Internet? Seems like a straight forward question for a small business owner. Or is it? Does your business have a clear view of its full web presence? Frequent changes to technology, marketing opportunities and customer expectations makes measuring your web presence a moving target.
Measurement means utilizing a cohesive strategy for gathering metrics that build a broad understanding of how visible your business is across all aspects of the web. In the big picture visibility means visitors, visitors means customers, customers means sales.
Important components to be measured include both the technical and marketing aspects of your website, SEO activities and performance, search engine visibility, digital marketing activities, social media presence, content sharing and email marketing activities.
Why Measure Your Business Web Presence?
Being visible on the web is a key element of your online business success. Your business web presence directly impacts how visitors, customers, prospects and business partners locate, view and interact with your business, both online and offline.
Measuring and assessing the state of your web presence provides a window into the level of success your business is having on the web. This type of web presence assessment will be useful in evaluating the ROI from your online business efforts and how you can improve your business visibility going forward.
“What gets measured, gets improved”
– Peter Drucker, Father of Modern Business Management
Here are 7 reasons why you should be measuring your business web presence:
1. Business Growth – Measuring your business web presence allows a business to gain a clear, well-rounded view of its current online visibility, website performance, SEO successes and needs, search engine visibility and social media usage. Your online business visibility, or web presence is directly connected to the ROI of your online investment.
2. Identify Website Problems & Issues – If you don’t know that something is broken you can’t fix it. Using a structured methodology to uncover and fix existing problems and issues will enhance your business web presence. Many of these type of items can be basic nuts-and-bolts SEO work. They aren’t sexy or exciting, but they are important because:
A. Google Says So: Many of these items have been publicly identified or at least suggested by Google as impacting how Google views the “quality” of your website. This can includes items such as web page metadata, image ALT tags and Title tags, and blocked pages and content.
B. Visitors Say So: These types of fixes are also important to visitors. Website problems impact the user experience of website visitors, website conversion rates and the percentage of visitors that return to your website in the future. These issues can include 404 page not found errors, broken links within your website, and orphan or unused pages.
3. Website Performance – Understanding how your website performs is very important for online visibility and success. This is one factor that Google has publicly identity as part of its ranking algorithm. How quickly your website pages load can be measured and improved. Measurements should be done for both desktop and for mobile devices (tablets and smartphones).
Mobile usability is another factor that Google has clearly identified as crucial for ranking well in mobile search results. Google has even provided a tool for measuring this (see Google Tool here). How your website displays and performs on smartphones and tablets is increasingly important for Internet business success.
4. Website Traffic Growth – Measuring and improving online visibility and performance can directly impact the level of visitors to your website and social media properties. Visibility and performance improvements can also improve the satisfaction of visitors who came to your website and increase the likelihood that they will return in the future. Low visitor satisfaction leads to lower engagement and conversions (sales).
Some studies have shown the time it takes a website page to load has a significant impact on website visitors, engagement levels and likelihood of repeat visits. According to noted blogger Jeff Bullas, “If a web page takes more than two seconds to load, chances are up to 40% of users may leave your site.” Read more here. Measuring performance and visibility helps uncover issues that directly impact website and social media traffic.
5. Competitors – Having clear web presence metrics is valuable for evaluating your business compared to your competitors. On the web your competitors are only one click away. Understanding how you compare to your top competitors for web presence and performance can be very useful for business planning and marketing efforts.
6. Web Development – Measuring your web presence will help guide better website development. A thorough visibility assessment should include technical considerations that address the elements that impact visibility and performance such as hosting performance issues, mobile device performance, broken pages and links, blocked pages, broken links, website errors being generated (404, 501, 503), and the number of indexed pages in search engines. Having this information will build efficiencies in website development.
7. Planning – Having a clear view of your current web presence will provide more effective starting points for planning online marketing, social media, email marketing and content creation efforts. You will be able to do more effective planning based on better information. This will also help longer term in effectively preparing for the continuous changes in the online world.
Suggested Next Steps include:
- Determine what you are currently measuring
- Determine what else should be measured and how you can accomplish that.
- Set a clear time frame for getting this done.
- Decide on whether you have the expertise to do this effectively yourself or should use professional services.
“If people aren’t finding your business on the Internet, they are finding your competitors.”
Visibility, performance and web presence directly effects website and social media traffic, search engine rankings, and website visitor engagement. Your web presence directly effects your business relationships with your visitors, customers, sales prospects, and business partners. It can also reflect on your brand and company’s image and the perceived quality of your products and services.
Isn’t it worth it to have a cohesive view of your complete business web presence? For more information on measuring and assessing your web presence be sure to check out our Web Presence Assessment Service.
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