Resolutions are promises you make to yourself in hopes of making a positive difference in your life and others’ lives. These are promises you make now as you consider a fresh start. And more often than not, these promises are broken before the second week of January! Not in 2015, though! This time around, you’re going to keep those promises, right? After all, there’s too much at stake! The long-term health, competitiveness and profitability of your business depend on your making some changes to the same ol’ same ol’.
First, let’s take a look back at the resolutions I challenged you to make in the past couple years. These are still valid, and if you haven’t done these things yet, then this is where you need to start.
- Freshen up your website (this holds true annually). Update your website content and make sure the copyright at the bottom is current. Sites more than five years old should probably be redesigned/updated.
- How is your site ranking? If it was ranking well In the past, is it still? If your site isn’t showing up on page one of a search using the most commonly used search terms the public uses (which are “auto body” and “body shop” plus “YOUR TOWN AND STATE’s TWO-LETTER ABBREVIATION”), you need to seriously think about having a true SEO specialist work on your site to help boost your rankings. Skip past the sponsored listings and map pointer listings and look for what are known as the “organic” search results. Are you on page one? Page one or bust! If you’re in a competitive market and aren’t on page one, you should think seriously about pay-per-click advertising.
- Build a mobile version of your website. Either have a mobile-friendly version of your site or have the site built in responsive design, which will adjust the resolution of your site to fit any size screen.
- Measure your online results. Google Analytics must be set up, and you should be reviewing your reports monthly. You should also be paying attention to Facebook’s Insights.
- Effective social media. Google+, Facebook and Twitter should be up and running effectively. Are you posting regularly and getting active participation by your followers? Are you adding new followers regularly? If you aren’t doing these things, then that’s a resolution for you in 2015.
- Get your business NAP (name, address and phone number) accurate and consistent on directories. Click this link to see how directories see your business: https://www.yext.com/partner/optimaworldwide/diagnostic.html. Having these directory listings accurate and consistent helps boost your overall potential to have your site rank and gives you maximum visibility potential.
- Generate regular content (blog). Content marketing is the single most important thing for attracting the attention of search engines long term. That means regularly updating the content on your site, or blogging regularly, and writing keyword rich content that captures the attention of search engines and your target audience. Updated content shows search engines your business is alive and well.
- Join LinkedIn. If you haven’t done so yet, you should. LinkedIn is great for networking with other business owners, insurance agents, etc. Plus, there’s the benefit of joining groups that are actively talking about topics important to all business owners and managers.
- Do less…better. If you’re trying to do too much with your online outreach, you probably aren’t doing any of it well. If you’re trying to manage six different social media accounts, regular emailing to your clients, texting, etc., there’s a point where maybe none of it is truly effective. You may need to make a change. Instead of trying to do it all, nail it on a few things or outsource.
- Incorporate more images/video into your website and social media. Images and videos are astonishingly powerful for online marketing. Incorporate them into your social media efforts to get more “likes,” “plus 1’s,” comments and shares. Include these on your website, too. Google has been giving more weight to properly tagged images than text lately. And, consumers love eye candy, so give them some!
- Be a promise keeper. Be a person of your word. If you’re going to take me up on my challenge and select some of these resolutions as your own, then by gosh follow through. Set a goal, put a timeline on it and get someone who will help hold you accountable. Seek the help of your staff and qualified experts in the areas where you’re weak with your online presence, such as search visibility and social media.
I would like to wish you, your families and employees the very best during this holiday season. I hope 2015 is filled with happiness and prosperity. I’m pulling for you to honor your resolutions, which will truly help move your business to the next level online!