Allocating time and budgets is always an ongoing issue for a business, so after searching online it is not uncommon to find yourself entering a time warp back five years when you land on a website. Outdated prices, services or addresses leave any searcher in doubt about a business’s reliability. The result generally lands them in the hands of a competitor.
Unfortunately, many businesses set and forget their website, and never monitor what else appears about them online. An out of date website is only the beginning. Today, “online” isn’t just your website.
Often what appears in search results first is your Google Plus local listing.
What’s the map listing saying about you? Reviews? Or your star rating?
The next in search results are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and your website (not always in that order). How professional do they all look?
Is it good, bad or is there the deafening sound of silence?
We are in a digital age when the power of people’s recommendations matters, not only to friends but to anyone listening — and searching.
So ask yourself: when was the last time you reviewed your digital reputation with client eyes?
Search your business name, services by location and view your social media presence. Assess it all. Is it professionally appealing? Content adding value to clients?
Next, fix what you see — which takes time and money, bringing us back to why generally the task is never done. A digital presence is out of physical sight so very easily can become out of mind too. Overcome this hurdle, because an out of date presence is costing you time and money anyway — costing you time chasing work and money filling your competitors’ pockets.

For the time poor

The most timely way to build a reputable presence is to invest in someone who understands what information in your website and social accounts needs updating to optimise search results. This includes information and keywords in title tags, meta descriptions, local listings and social media, categorising your business and services for Google and social searches, and adding links to contact you or access an offer.
Then divert the cost of a coffee per day towards a simple Google or social ad campaign that runs while you sleep to target your ideal client.

For the budget poor

To update your digital presence for searches, Google it or barter. Before coins, services were the commodity, so seek a win-win exchange. Then focus time on increasing leads to establish a marketing budget — no matter how small, you need money to make money.
Nurture networks to build a credible reputation and referrals. Build credibility by emailing contacts to follow you socially or suggest leaving a Google or Facebook review. Connect socially to stay in touch with people you meet.
Remove the barriers of time and money from people finding you. Focus on the “little extra” regularly, so your business builds a reputation as the most trusted choice with which to work. ❐

Lee Ussher is the social media and digital brand manager of BuzzWebMedia.com.au.