Intro to Online Marketing: How Does Your Customer See You?
Online marketing is all about brand management and taking control of how the outside world perceives your business. If you want to make sure that you’re making the best impression in every way that you can, first you need to know what impression you’re currently making. The good news? We’ve compiled an easy-to-follow and highly informative list of everything you need to do to get some productive insight into how your customer is seeing your business.
Step 1: Google Yourself
As easy as it sounds, this is an extremely important step. After all, this is the first step the typical customer usually takes before buying a product or service. Type your name or business name into Google and see what comes up. Is Google listing your business? Is all of the information listed correct? Where are you appearing in the search results? If you’re not easily found on Google, then your customers are probably having trouble finding you. Conduct this same experiment on Bing and Yahoo to see how you’re performing on other search engines as well.
Step 2: Search Your Business Listings
In addition to search engines, your business should be easily found on online business directories like Yelp and YellowPages. Go into these sites and find your business listing and make sure that your company is a) listed, b) displaying the correct information, and c) receiving positive reviews. If you haven’t claimed your business listings and people are leaving negative reviews, then you are missing out on a major customer service opportunity to reach out and correct things with unsatisfied customers.
Step 3: Review Your Social Media
These days, most customers take to various social media platforms to review various products and experiences. Search for your business on websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and G+ to see what people are saying about your brand. Pay attention to what hashtags and location trackers they’re using. If you haven’t created social media profiles for your business, then there is likely no consistent location or page for them to consolidate this conversation. And, even worse, keeping off social media means that your customers might be trying to talk to you – and you’re not talking back.
Step 4: Check Your Analytics
Google Analytics can tell you how many people are visiting your website, where they’re visiting from, and even how they got there. Not to mention, it does so on a user-friendly and easy-to-read interface! Looking at your website’s analytics gives you a behind-the-scenes look at how customers are engaging with your company. Was there a spike in web traffic the same day that you were mentioned in that local newspaper article? Are people finding your website through your Facebook page? Google Analytics puts mountains of information and data at your fingertips for you to sort through and incorporate into your online strategy. You just have to know where to look.