How to Improve Your Clients’ Total Online Presence
Are your clients having a hard time getting found on Google? Is their website struggling to generate traffic and leads? Do their competitors seem to show up for coveted keywords that they’re also going for? Many businesses have these problems, and odds are, that’s why they’ve come to you for help.
As a marketing consultant, you should have the ability to help them solve these issues, and the best way to do that is to ensure they’re building a total online presence.
The best way to kick off these efforts, in my opinion, is to conduct a total online presence audit for your client (or use it as a lead conversion tool for a prospect) that will give you insight into what they are doing well and areas that need improvement. Depending on what you find in the audit, it can set you up with a clear roadmap for a long-term engagement with them.
Create a detailed report that shows you the highest priority issues for their business that they need to work on in order to boost search rankings and get found easier online.
Audits may vary depending on your client’s business and industry, but generally, I recommend including the following areas within your report.
On-page SEO analysis
- Start with the homepage – If you find issues on the homepage, odds are you’ll find issues throughout the rest of their website as well.
- Review their title tag, alt text, meta description, H1 tags, schema – Are they all keyword optimized and within their unique character limits?
- Identify local attributes when necessary
- Ensure their site is mobile optimized
Local SEO (when relevant)
- Look for an optimized Google My Business listing
- Review citation profiles and inbound links – Make sure their business is listed across not only directories, such as Yelp, but also on local directories
- Search for local content
Content and structure
- Does the homepage address a problem?
- Is the target audience identified?
- Are there trust, proof, and authoritative elements?
- Are there 300-400 words of copy on the homepage?
- Is there a blog?
- Do they use video on their site?
- Do they use content upgrades and CTAs?
- What is their domain authority?
- How many inbound links do they have?
- How many linking root domains do they have?
- What are high priority keyword opportunities?
- How many indexed pages do they have?
- How much traffic do they have and where is it coming from?
Develop a good understanding of what their top competitors are doing so that you can see how your client compares, as well as identify areas your client may be able to do better.
- What is the status of their [page on social media platform] branding, activity, and engagement?
- Are they present on all relevant social channels?
- Are social icons featured on their website?
- What is their reputation across Google, Yelp, and other relevant industry platforms?
- Does a search for their business name turn up an optimized snippet?
- Conduct a citation profile scan, especially of Google, Yahoo, and Bing
Once you have all of your information compiled, present it to the client along with recommendations and next steps.
What to do once the audit is complete
Once the audit presentation is complete, next steps should include discussions around updating their website to a marketing-activated website, developing a content plan, optimizing social media, improving online networking, enhancing email marketing, and tackling SEO best practices.
Before you get too overwhelmed, remember that you don’t have to do all of this at once. This is where the roadmap comes in to play. An example of monthly to-dos for a year based on audit findings is below. Remember, this is an example. Many other to-dos can be added in place of the ones below depending on your findings.
- Month 1: Create a listening station. Actively monitor what’s being said to your client, about your client, about their market, their competitors, and by their customers. Employ a combination of free and paid tools to filter, aggregate, follow and monitor their online presence and establish a routine of processing this information on a frequent basis.
- Month 2: Set up a foundational content calendar. Using your own brainstorming, combined with strategic keyword
research, set up a calendar of monthly themes that will make up the focus of your client’s content for the month. The content created around these foundational themes will become the backbone of your SEO efforts.
- Month 3: Make your client shareable. Audit everything you’re putting out there for your client and make it easier to
share. Add social media buttons to all of your client’s content, add ways for people to share your client’s emails, and so on.
- Month 4: Focus on lead generation. Create a piece of lead-generating content that will be the backbone for your client’s lead capture program.
- Month 5: Clean up your content delivery platform. Take a good hard look at your client’s website. Content delivery now consists of their blog, podcast, videos, eBooks, newsletters and brand assets placed in other networks around the web. This also includes their website, email capture process, contact process, about us page, on-page SEO factors, and page load speed. Make sure all of these are working like a well-oiled machine.
- Month 6: Become serious about landing pages. Create landing pages for specific purposes such as signing up for your client’s email newsletter, requesting a free website review, or signing up for a webinar.
- Month 7: Give your email communication new life. Get serious about remaking your client’s basic email newsletter and set up automated tools to help them follow-up with prospects and clients.
- Month 8: Optimize social profiles. Have your client claim, complete and enhance their social profiles, both the popular ones like Facebook and Twitter, as well as niche networks like Houzz.com for real estate and home renovation businesses (for example).
- Month 9: Focus on online reviews and directories. Create an online review strategy for your client to boost 5-star reviews, and ensure they are listed on all relevant directories and citations.
- Month 10: Focus on lead conversion. Understand everything you can about the usability of their website, landing page performance, and analytics of CTAs, subject lines, and so on. Review the metrics of each and optimize/revise as needed.
- Month 11: Look into PPC. You can run ads before you ever create any kind of organic presence, but I believe that your
advertising gets far more effective once other organic efforts are in place.
- Month 12: Analyze year one and identify next steps. Take a look at what has been achieved and what still needs to be accomplished and present it to your client to discuss strategy moving forward.
I know that’s a lot of information, but it’s so important that they have a well-rounded presence online in order to compete today.
If you liked this post, check out our Guide to Building a Small Business Marketing Consulting Practice.