Your Online Presence is Your Credibility Platform

There’s been a tremendous amount written recently about why a business really needs an online presence.  In fact, a recent survey by the folks at ComScore suggests that as high as 92% of consumers and businesses in the market for products, services or solutions turn online first to source, find and engage even local businesses.

And for that reason alone, your online presence is critically important.  But you might say, but all of our business is word-of-mouth.  An even better reason to ensure you have a quality online presence.

I don’t know about you, but when someone gives me a referral or a business card of someone I should call because they’re the ‘best’, I still go online to check them out.  I want to see if what I find out about them online maps to what my colleague is saying.  Therefore, I think your online presence is really a credibility platform.

online presence

A business colleague of mine shared her Management 101 check with me recently.  She said that when she visits each of her office locations, the first thing she does is check out the restroom.  The attention to detail in the restroom speaks volumes about the attention to detail in the rest of the business.  And that’s how I feel about an online presence.  If what I see online about a business, even their own website, doesn’t ‘feel like’ what my colleague is saying, that’s a problem for me.

What I find out about a business online, after a quick search, should give me enough of a warm and fuzzy feeling to confirm whether or not I want to call them.  Even if you’re only driving traffic to your web site from your business cards, the worst thing that can happen is that what they find online actually discourages them from calling you.

But how do you know if you what you’re communicating online–on your web site and on other outposts is useful?  Here are 6 questions you can use to do a self-audit:

1. Can someone easily  understand what you do?  Be sure to use simple language and avoid industry jargon.

2. Does your web site convey the kinds of problems you solve?  People need to quickly understand why they might call you.

3. Does the site provide some visual stimulation or is it filled with text?  We’re lazy and we’re lazy readers so please provide some interesting eye candy that makes us want to look around.

4. Can people easily see where you’re located and easily figure out how to reach you or contact you?  If you provide limited access like maybe only an email address, that might suggest you’re not reachable.

5. Has your website had any visible updates or changes to it in the last 30 days.  If it hasn’t and it’s clear it’s been years, this is your number 1 reason to start thinking about your online presence.

6. If I google you or your company, what kind of information do I find and is it good or bad?

This is by no means a comprehensive audit.  If that’s what you’re looking for, fill out our complimentary marketing audit form and we’ll provide you with some real quality feedback.

You know people are going to check you out online.  Make sure your online presence is helping to grow your business and acting like a strong member of your team.  The internet gives you the ability to market your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so be sure it’s working for you.

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