‘Google’ your company: Your website might not be as good as you are

For most of us, the Internet is the best library ever, an extensive global catalog, our personal shopper, and our entertainment and news resource. It is our source for information about the next place we hope to work. It is a 24/7 channel for social connection, and the place we go for advice and consumer reviews. It’s not our only resource – but it is our No. 1 go-to resource. Market researcher eMarketer estimates that adults spend almost six hours a day on digital media (mobile, desktop, laptop).

Whether you spend hours on the web or not, your customers, your prospects, your employees, and your future employees are looking for you and watching you online. They are gathering information and making decisions about you and your company based on information they find on the Internet.

Most likely, your website is not showcasing who you really are and/or what your customers are looking for. I bet it isn’t as good as you really are.

Be real and relevant … in real time
If your website is not current, it is working against you. Stock photos from 10 years ago (even five years ago) are easily spotted. You aren’t who you were five years ago – maybe not even who you were a year ago. So why is your website telling the world otherwise?

Who are you – really? Is your website filled with marketing speak? Are you giving the information you want to share, or the information they want? Can visitors easily identify what is most important to you? It is time to become more authentic and transparent to your visitors.

It’s not enough for your website to be an online brochure
How you speak and look to your audience is important. Consider this:

  • Online reading habits are different. We scan and dart.
  • Headlines matter – our eyes want to be caught. They influence our mindset.
  • We like multimedia. Visual information is processed 60,000 times faster than the written word and it is proven to reinforce credibility and drive engagement.
  • Viewers spend 100 percent more time on pages with videos and are 85 percent more likely to make a purchase (convert) after watching a product video.
  • We like to interact. Reviews, comments, configurators, slideshows, videos, etc.

Be easy to find and easy on the eyes
When people “Google” you, at least they will find you if they type in your exact company name. Right? Not sure about that? Check for yourself – and check on it regularly. On Google, is your website immediately visible? Is it on the first page of search results? Yes? If individuals know the exact name of your company they can find you. Congrats! What if they don’t know the exact name? Try common variations and see where you come up in search results.

Perhaps more importantly, what if a potential customer doesn’t know your name at all? They just know they want to buy a product you sell or a service you offer. Can they still find you? It may not be easy, but Google can be your friend. Learn about SEO, meta tags, content management, traffic channels, and Google analytics.

Google estimates that 98 percent of us use multiple devices to access information every day. Phone, laptop, tablet, PC — people want to find you and what they need at any time, anywhere. Time at desktop computers is declining. So why are so many websites still lacking mobile-friendly interfaces?

Don’t take my word for it. Pretend you know nothing about your company and visit your website. Does it put your best foot forward? You know how good you are! It is worth the time to spend a few minutes to look at how you are portrayed on your own website. In a nutshell, the best overarching advice I’ve heard is to personalize, customize and socialize your website. Most likely you will find that your website is not as good as you are. Time to do something about it!

In my next article, I’ll focus specifically on how your website can help (or hurt) all of your recruiting efforts.

Anne Grace Nimke is chief executive officer and co-founder of Milwaukee-based The Good Jobs Inc. (www.thegoodjobs.com). The Good Jobs is a turnkey employment branding solution that helps companies turn their culture into a competitive recruiting advantage.

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