Crabtree + Company's Online Reputation Series
Part One: Website
Welcome to the first edition of Crabtree + Company’s Online Reputation Management (ORM) Series.
Let’s start by looking at the most basic (and perhaps the most essential) component of your online reputation — your website — the first moment of truth. When visitors — let’s be real, potential clients! — make their way to your site, it is often your first opportunity to convey that your organization is capable, knowledgeable, and trustworthy — a partner with whom they can build a lasting partnership.
To begin, here are just a few ways to convey this valuable perception to your online visitors:
1. Is your copyright date current?
It’s 2017. If your copyright line says 2015, potential customers may question your relevance.
2. Make it easy to get in touch.
Have a ‘contact’ link in your navigation. Consider putting your address and phone number at the bottom of every page.
3. Website security is a critical and ongoing process.
Websites, much like children, require monitoring, checkups, and the occasional vaccination. Prevention is key to your website’s health.
4. Get on board with Google.
Claim your Google business listing, and utilize the power of Google Analytics.
5. Include a client list, case studies of your work, and testimonials.
Show them what you can do and how you’ve helped other clients before them.
6. Good writing is honest, accurate, and optimized for online viewing and search results.
Your message should be clear and simple — show your viewers that you speak their language. Pay careful attention to grammar and spelling, and your audience will know you’re professional and detail-oriented.
7. Highlight company news or include a blog feature — and post regularly.
This shows your audience that you’re real, you’re paying attention, and your online presence is actively evolving.
8. Make sure your site functions properly.
Keep a close eye to be sure there are no broken links and that your online forms work properly. Make site backups. Work with your web hosting company to maintain files on your site in a manner that keeps loading times minimal.
9. Include social media links.
Put icons with links to your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter pages at the bottom of each page on your site. We’ll include more information on how to get the most out of your social media accounts in the next installment of this series.
10. And by all means, make it look good.
The design of your site is a reflection of your brand. People associate a high-quality, professional-looking website with an organization that is successful, trusted, and experienced.
These best practices aren’t budget busters, but ignoring them can have costly consequences. Call us at 703.241.9001, or visit us online to easily connect (see what we did there?) and find out how we can boost your online credibility.
Up next, Part Two of C+C’s ORM series: Social media effectiveness and PR.