Do your own web presence analysis for free.
As every business owner knows, competition is fierce. Your brand is being quickly analyzed and judged by your potential customers/clients via a Google Search. Now you know that to be true, what are you doing about it?
- Why/When do a web presence analysis?
- What is the result?
- How do I get started?
- Option 1: Fast/Simple Review
- Option 2: More in-depth
Why/When - Business Milestones
Certain events are critical to every business.
- After you first open up shop
- When there is a noticeable decline in profit
- Continued stagnation or lack of growth
These are critical events when you should determine what the opportunities to improve are. For a business that has recently launched, you want to ensure you're on the right course. If if you are profitable, owners should be looking to protect and grow the brand.
When there is a noticeable downturn, find the opportunities to remedy challenges. If there is a lack of growth, gather data to make an informed decision. If you don't know where you are, how can you plan a strategy forward?
Web Presence Analysis - Expected Results
The expected results from doing such an analysis is a list of business decisions you need to make. These are opportunities to do better. How to spend time and money on making the changes is up to you, but you have valuable information as input.
Sometimes there is good news. Minor changes, requiring little cash investment may bring in significant results. Knowing that and taking advantage of those situations is always valuable.
The desired result is to see improvements to your business. Whether that means more store traffic, a higher number of website visitors, or improving your brand's digital reputation gets based on the collected information. Ultimately, you are collecting data, having that data analyzed, and determining the best opportunities to spend resources on.
How to get started?
Every course of action starts with a decision tree. This is a basic decision tree for getting results.
- Who will do the work?
- 3rd party or
- do it myself
- What is the level of effort
- Quick and simple analysis
- More in-depth and more expansive analysis
Do it yourself?
As this article is titled, you are capable of doing this yourself. You can do some basic research, read about digital marketing analysis, and learn about the free tools to collect data.
- Do you have the time to take away from your core business?
- Do you want a person that focuses on this as their primary business to do this work?
The biggest challenge I see for owners is this. Are you able to be objective enough to do this type of evaluation? Are you too close to the business to not have a bias? Those are questions you should be asking yourself.
Level of Effort
The quick and dirty solution seems to be what everyone wants to accept as an easy answer. Perhaps this is valid if you are in a rush for immediate options and have cash flow challenges. Additionally, this type of analysis might get done on a routine basis. If you start to do this often, you will become more efficient and effective at it.
The main reason to do a deeper dive into looking at the business is when you want more significant results. A more in-depth review can also offer additional opportunities for you to consider applying. When competition is hitting you hard, or profits have dipped, this is the best option.
Option 1 - Basic Review
Basics, Brand Reputation, social media, maintenance
If you have never done a web presence self-assessment before, we suggest you make sure the basics are in place. Here is your checklist:
- Own & optimize Google My Business
- Use a modern mobile-first Website, update it regularly
- Promote business with a Facebook Business Page
If one of these is missing, you might want to ask yourself why?
Check your reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, Trip Advisor, etc. If your ratings are trending downwards, mark this as an alert. Investigate and identify the cause. As part of your check-up, spend time to respond to any negative reviews you might have.
Review your engagement level. Check the trend for comments, likes, and messages your receiving. Is someone replying to questions and feedback consistently? Are you posting on a regular schedule? If any of these are irregular, determine what to do for keeping the trends positive.
Be honest with your assessment here. If you don't have a schedule for performing marketing and operational maintenance, your digital investments won't perform very well.
Keeping up with maintenance is not hard, but you can't neglect it for very long before risk levels go up. If it is a WordPress site, make sure you have updated themes and plugins. Security, compliance, and usability are all critical areas that require ongoing maintenance.
Option 2 - Advanced Level
Electing for a serious review means significantly more time gets invested into collecting and analyzing data. Time equates typically to money, so it would also be fair to say you are spending more money on the exercise. Thus, the results you get back should produce better results.
Here are the 15 tests we do to analyze your online web presence. While some of the tests require topical knowledge and specific experience with some software, you can research each one and learn enough to test yourself. Let's go through the list.
- We test to make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
- it is responsive
- effective navigation
- Website Viewed on Mobile - Page Speed
- load times under 2 seconds
- leverages modern files types and optimization
- optimized content and image sizes for mobile
- Website view on Desktop - Page Speed
- load times under 2 seconds
- leverages modern files types and optimization
- Website Basic Security
- Ensure that your site is running with a valid SSL certificate
- Website Vulnerability
- checked for known malware, viruses, blacklisting status, website errors, out-of-date software, and malicious code.
- Identify if your website is running an outdated CMS or vulnerable plugins and extensions
- Website SEO (Seach Engine Optimization)
- Use Chrome Developer Tools - Google's Lighthouse Audit option to check SEO, various best practices, and accessibility.
- Backlinks to your website
- Especially valuable for SEO because they represent a "vote of confidence" from other sites.
- Backlinks to your website are a signal to search engines that others appreciate your content. Use a backlink tool and learn your rating.
- Website content management system
- Security, support, and flexibility are some reasons to select WordPress. Experts agree WordPress offers the best value.
- Local Citations
- Accurate citations can boost organic Google search rankings.
- Is the brand message and data consistent?
- Many consumers also use popular citation sites, such as Google My Business, Yelp, and TripAdvisor, to name a few.
- Facebook Evaluation
- Facebook has 1.4 billion users worldwide. You need a business page and not a personal page.
- Configured correctly with the appropriate template.
- Your contact data is accurate and messaging enabled.
- Run a Website Traffic Analyzer
- Learn which of your keywords are ranking
- What are your top ranked pages
- Learn which pages have critical SEO errors
- Perform Grammar Test - use paid software like Grammarly
- Check your top pages for grammar and spelling issues.
- What is the readability level
- Content Freshness
- Is content new or too dated?
- Is the content relevant, or does it require updating?
- Website Broken Links
- broken links risk reducing your brand image and may negatively impact search engine rankings. A low score indicates too many broken links.
- Website Accessibility
- Broadly speaking, when we say a site is accessible, we mean that the site's content is available, and its functionality can be operated, by literally anyone.
- It also demonstrates sensitivity toward the visually impaired.
Advanced Web Presence Analysis Results - Discover Growth Opportunities
After you collect the data and analyze it, create a report. Use that report as a focus discussion with your leadership team to develop a list of improvement options. If the analysis gets done correctly, you might have critical alerts. Address security and usability issues right away. Use your own business goals to help set priority levels for other enhancements.
Digital marketing experts report, 97% of consumers use the internet to find a business. That's why having an online presence is important.
A strong digital presence helps consumers learn about your reputation before making a purchase. Eventually, all of this information will play a role in your customer's purchasing decisions.
Building an online presence requires effort, but over time it will pay off with better brand awareness and increased sales.
Ask us anything about this. We are here to help you succeed. Thank you, and we wish you every success!