Here’s the quick and dirty: your online presence is everything. More than likely, it’s the first encounter most people will have with you.
That said, what can a brand do to make sure they are making their digital first impression a good one? The simple answer is an online audit. What’s that, you ask? Quite simply, an online audit ensures your online presence is aligned with who you are, and that your brand is optimally positioned to be discovered in a search. Why? because if your brand is well represented, the sky’s the limit.
Google, for example, is driven by AI that measures content across the board from numerous channels to deliver the best possible search results. This intelligence understands that consistent information, current content, citations elsewhere online, loading speed, hearty reviews, and public listings all contribute to a brand’s credibility. So in summary, an online audit ensures that all the best practices are in place to keep your brand relevant on the internet. Below, we dive into a few aspects of how the Verum team can help with this.
Interested? Here’s how to up your game so your presence online is flawless—so when someone searches for your brand they’ll see exactly what you’d want them to.
We start with your virtual “real estate” – just as brick-and-mortar shops offer a ton of information about a business at a glance – your website is an indispensable representation of your brand. That’s why it is an essential first port of call during an online audit. Not only do we want to ensure that branding is fresh and consistent, but we also assess User Experience, functionality, and clarity.
While many websites are decent at telling people who they are, most lack a solid conversion strategy. Put simply, this means that your website has built a workable strategy to convert traffic into paying clients. Without this starting point, most businesses needlessly lose money in ad budgets and man-hours.
Therefore, the first step in our online audit is reviewing the website to ensure that content adequately represents your services and that your conversion strategy is effective.
It is also essential to assess the various spokes of the website:
- Is your branding consistent with other channels across the internet?
- Is the content authentic and dynamic?
- Is stock photography diminishing your brand’s perceived value?
- Would a site benefit from proprietary imagery or videos?
Our job at Verum is to create and execute a complete strategy – from organizing photo shoots to overhauling web branding and building fresh editorial content – to make sure our clients are positioned to make strong and lasting impressions.
The next step of an online audit involves a landscaping exercise. This initial “discovery” phase involves a thorough review to help us understand a client’s foundations. We assess various aspects of a brand’s marketing channels, campaigns, and platforms—essentially determining what their online footprint looks like on the whole.
For example, when we search for a brand we look at the following metrics:
- What does their Google Maps presence look like?
- How are their reviews?
- How commonly are they writing articles for their website?
- How often are they posting editorial across the internet?
- How robust is their social media presence?
- How frequently are they sending out email campaigns?
These points all contribute to a brand’s SEO value and ensure that they are putting their best face forward with potential clients.
We also review a brand’s searchability on platforms from Facebook to Yelp, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Our team analyzes what is currently in place, what’s missing, and what needs to be updated or changed.
Best Face Forward
A thorough audit will also include a deep dive into a brand’s consistency. We look at the following areas as we build our strategy:
- Is branding, including logos, fonts, and graphics aligned with style guides?
- Does imagery fit with the brand personality in content and tone?
- Does the brand speak with a consistent voice and tone?
- Is all contact information accurate and up-to-date?
We understand that first impressions matter, and clients get one shot to put their best face forward. Our team makes sure you are hitting the mark the first time, every time.
What are other people saying about you?
Aside from what you are saying about yourself online in terms of branding, imagery, and editorial, what are other people saying about you?
Another area we assess during an auditing exercise is public reviews. Essentially, “reviewing the reviews.” We do this by taking stock of reviews left on sites such as Yelp and Google, testimonials on a web page, and links to your site from around the internet.
After seeing what’s out there, our team sketches out a nuanced strategy to address any shortcomings we identified and boost reviews as needed. This simple component of your audit creates huge bang for buck. Here’s why…
How to Improve your Online Reviews and Why it Matters
Great reviews can do the marketing for you. They help an end-user better decide which company they want to go with and form an essential piece of a strong internet presence.
In truth, almost everyone could benefit from cultivating more positive reviews. In terms of driving business, they are almost on par with a big ad spend. Here are some ways we help clients generate more positive reviews…
Custom Email Campaigns
One stellar way to drive reviews is through custom email campaigns.
First, our talented design team creates a polished graphic email containing a company’s branding along with links to the top three review sites – Google, Facebook, and Yelp.
We then send that to a client’s mailing list, or to anyone from whom they can expect a great review. These links simplify the feedback process by linking directly to the review site from the email, put you back in the mind of your client, and look good to boot. What’s not to like?
Modal pop-ups are another option to bolster positive online reviews. These “pop-ups” are built onto a webpage, and simply give users a star rating system and an effortless way to submit. It takes the time and hassle out of the review process, making it more likely to happen.
There are also several platforms that clients can purchase to gather reviews. Although these can be costly, they are often worth every penny because of their ability to generate reviews for companies that see a fair amount of business. Such software systems make sense for medium-sized businesses focused on sustainable growth.
The Bottom Line
At Verum, one part of our job is to help clients successfully manage their assets to make the best possible impression in the digital world and drive conversions. If your brand is well represented, the sky is the limit. If you’d like to talk more about online audits, review generation, online citations, and more, reach out for a free consultation.