CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. — Online presence is one of the leading factors in successful business practice across all industries today. Though we’ve been walking the path toward a digitized economy for a decade or two, the pandemic shifted that transition into high gear.
Now, if a laundry’s website is hard to find, navigate or even look at, the consequences can be significant. No longer are reputation, print advertising and location the main drivers of business.
Online presence, design and visibility are essential elements of an effective prospect outreach strategy.
If you’re wondering whether your website is helping or hurting business, here are some questions to ask.
In Part 1, we looked at questions about how trustworthy your site looks and if it’s fast enough. This time, we examine questions about the findability and security of your site.
CAN PROSPECTS FIND YOUR SITE EASILY?
Search engines are the crossroads of the Internet where nearly 93% of all the web traffic flows.
When prospects want to find services you supply, they’ll search for it in a search engine and, if your site is search engine optimized (SEO), there’s a good chance you’ll be one of the first choices on the results page.
If it’s not, your competitors who are optimized will likely get that lead.
• A simple SEO test
To get an idea of where you’re at, search for your company’s name in your preferred search engine. If it shows as the first or second result, that’s a good start.
Now, search for a product or service you provide like a prospect might. It could say “linen service in (your town or city)” or “uniform rental near me.” If your site is in the top five, that’s great. If not, things could be better.
When looking to rank high for certain keywords, it’s important to have content built around those keywords. If they aren’t present on your site, or if the content around them isn’t written well or with SEO principles in mind, you will have a hard time ranking well enough to be seen.
• You must implement SEO correctly
A haphazard content strategy can be more damaging than none at all. If your site has duplicate content, plagiarized content, repetitive keyword usage, over-optimization, poor internal or external linking strategy, or unsophisticated use of meta tags, search engines will pick up on these deficits and punish the site for it, which means your site will be pushed to the bottom of search results or removed entirely from them.
IS YOUR SITE FINDABLE IN DIRECTORIES?
Search engines aren’t the only place your site and business information can appear. Directories remain powerful methods of widening your digital footprint while reaping some extra benefits.
Some directories, like the Google My Business directory, are important for the general visibility of your business during online searches. Other, industry-focused directories like Linen Services or Uniform Services present your business to curated, highly interested prospects.
• Extra benefits of online directory presence
Appearing in directories offers more benefits than simply having your business in more places. Here are just some of the benefits that directory inclusion offers your business:
- Improved SEO. Directories provide quality backlinks to your website, which improves the image of your website in the eyes of search engines.
- Improved reputation. Inclusion of your business in these directories can cement it as a major player in the industry and place you alongside peers.
- Demonstrate accreditations. Other directories, like TRSA’s Hygienically Clean Directory, place you among businesses accredited for complying with strict rules of cleanliness and production.
IS YOUR SITE SECURE?
A website that is down, compromised or dangerous to visit will do serious damage to your business and online reputation.
Without professional monitoring, hosting or disaster recovery of your website, any number of things can go wrong. From down servers to infectious malware, there’s a near-endless list of threats to the modern business’ website. The worst thing that can happen when these problems arise is to do nothing.
Search engines are attuned to compromised websites and will avoid them efficiently. While that is good for people using the search engine, for the business affected, it’s a disaster and one that can take several months to sort out depending on the severity of the issue.
These are just some of the factors that need to be addressed when building a reliable, secure website:
- Knowledgeable, constant monitoring. Your website needs constant monitoring for threats against its continued operation. Prepare to deal with cyberattacks, CMS complications or other website dangers.
- Reliable hosting. Without a good hosting service, there’s no guarantee that your site will remain up or that it will come back online soon if it goes down. Become as familiar with your web host as possible and get a new one if necessary to avoid this issue.
- Disaster Preparation. If your site goes down, you need a plan to either get it back up or start again elsewhere. Any number of disasters could happen so you need a solid recovery plan and backup service to deal with them in the event they occur.
NO SUBSTITUTE FOR A PREPPED AND READY WEBSITE
If you can’t provide ideal answers for the questions posed above, there is no need to panic; there are only reasons to act.
Prospects won’t stop searching for services they need, and it’s your website’s job to put your business in front of them. If it can’t do that, there are resources and web development services ready to help.
Though the expenses to do it right might be steep, the return on investment (ROI) for a high-functioning website can be even steeper.
Don’t let complacency get in the way of success; get the most out of your website and your business with an aware and strategic website presence.
Miss Part 1 on your site’s trustworthiness and speed? Click HERE to read it!