April 12, 2014

Is Anyone Looking You Up?

In the normal course of my day, I am constantly looking businesses up online. If I am going to talk to you, meet with you, consider buying your product or using your services, I've looked you up online. Increasingly, I am finding content that I am certain you do not want representing you.

Maybe you think you do not need an online presence. Maybe you have an old website that you think is working to the extent you need it to. And maybe you are wrong.

Think of all the reasons you Google a business:
  • looking for a product or service
  • looking for a location
  • looking for directions or a map
  • looking for a policy
  • preparing for a meeting
If you are using an online search to find what you are looking for, it stands to reason that others are as well. Many, many others. What do you want them to find when they look?

We've said it before and it is worth repeating. Google your business at least quarterly. Set your website as your browser's default home page so you are seeing it at least daily.

What are you checking for?

Is all the information current? Always keep date sensitive information updated or people will wonder if the website is active.

Are services and prices correct? Did you change that service and forget to update? That can result in an expectation of a service that you no longer provide. Do you have price changes not reflected online? That can be awkward to explain.

Repetitive calls to action, rambling and overly long explanations, broken links or links that do not take the reader directly to the expected information can all lead to a negative first impression. We all know how difficult the wrong first impression can be to overcome. Recognize that today, the first impression is often happening before your potential customer ever meets you.

The worst result of not paying attention to your online presence is that potential customers looking you up online can make incorrect negative judgments about working with you.

Take the time to check your online content. If you have the time, you might want to polish it too!

originally published in Work Better, Not Harder April 9, 2014

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