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Oct-24-2018 18:24printcomments

Drag Your Company's Web Presence into 2019 with 9 Must-Dos

It’s long past time for your web presence to act its age!

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(SALEM, Ore.) - Admit it: you love a good “throwback” joke.

    “The 1980s called — they want your parachute pants back!”
    “2009 rang — you’re hogging its Blackberry!”
    (You get the idea. Comic timing isn’t everyone’s strong suit, okay?)

One context in which you definitely don’t want to hear throwback jokes, though, is your company’s web presence.

No one likes to be told that their website looks terrible on a mobile device, that your homepage takes the length of a leisurely bathroom break to load fully, that your Facebook profile looks like it came together in a manic 4 a.m. cram session.

It’s about to be 2019, after all. It’s long past time for your company’s web presence to act its age.

If you’ve been putting off your digital revamp up until this point, don’t worry: there’s too much to do in a single sitting, and — despite whatever justifiable sense of urgency you might feel — there’s no need to rush. Take it slow, do it right, and sooner or later you’ll have a modern web presence that makes you proud.

Now, for the fun part: nine simple things you absolutely must do to get your company’s website, social media properties, and digital marketing channels in top form for 2019.

  1. Invest in Mobile-Responsive Website Design
    Unless you operate in a strictly B2B capacity, your website almost certainly receives the bulk of its traffic from small-screened devices like smartphones and tablets. If it’s still laid out for the pre-mobile era, it’s almost certainly leaving conversion potential on the table. Invest in mobile-responsive design today (it’s easy, with no professional assembly required!) and say hello to a whole new funnel.
  2. Deploy More Video Content (But Don’t Go Overboard on Autoplay)
    Most marketers agree that video converts better than other channels. Don’t be put off by the thought of producing your own videos from start to finish. Once you start reading up on how to create engaging video content for less, you’ll realize just how powerful your camera phone and off-the-shelf video editor can be.
  3. Get a Reliable Cloud Backup Service for Your Website
    No one likes losing work to an ill-timed system crash or malware attack. When your website’s revision history is on the line, the stakes are even higher. If you haven’t already done so, invest in a reliable cloud backup service that safely, securely, and regularly backs up your most precious files. If disaster strikes, you’ll be prepared to get back up and running with minimal downtime and no significant data loss.
  4. Outfit Your Website With a Secure Certificate
    Even if your website has no e-commerce portal, a secure (SSL) certificate goes a long way to convince visitors that you take their security seriously. Internet users are savvier than ever; many simply refuse to enter passwords and other sensitive personal information on non-secure websites, no matter how much they trust the publisher.
  5. Don’t Skimp on Malware Protection
    Your website’s security certificate is an important signifier, but it’s not a cure-all. Your website needs a comprehensive malware protection suite that detects and parries threats in real time — and, fingers crossed, stays one step ahead of the constantly evolving threat matrix. Some hosting platforms offer bespoke malware protection suites; third-party security plugins and “data hygiene” best practices (such as regularly updating passwords and avoiding dodgy apps) are crucial, too.
  6. Build Out Your Company’s LinkedIn Page
    Does your company have a functional LinkedIn page yet? Even if you’re not seeing a ton of referral traffic coming your way from LinkedIn, there’s simply no substitute for the credibility of the world’s most popular social media site for businesses. Your LinkedIn page should be your corporate website in microcosm: a clear encapsulation of your firm’s ethos and purpose, and a repository of practical details (phone numbers! contact emails! key staff!) that your prospects probably want to know about.
  7. Stop Buying Social Media Followers
    Why work for your social media following when you can buy it wholesale?
    Tempting, yes. Wise, no. The transient upsides of buying off-the-shelf social media followers and/or “organic” engagement don’t outweigh the unintended consequences, the long tail of which can be quite long and very bad. If you’re not sure where to start, Fast Company contributor Kevan Lee has 10 simple pointers, none of which involve cutting corners.
  8. Publish Original, Longform Content on Medium (And Cross-Post on Your Blog)
    Maybe you don’t have time (or energy) to bust out 1,500-word explainers on topics near and dear to your heart, but your marketing manager probably does. Set a realistic publishing schedule, poll your network for crowd-favorite topics, and give the people what they want. For best results, create a publishing ecosystem wholesale: not just your company blog, but your Medium page and LinkedIn company page, too.
  9. Laser in on Decision-Stage Keywords (No More Spray and Pray)
    You’ll spend less and convert more when you focus your paid search efforts on decision-stage keywords — the terms your high-propensity prospects search right before they’re ready to buy. Avoid bidding wars over popular but vague keywords that signal nothing but aimless intent. You won’t just satisfy the folks most likely to buy from you — you’ll also project an unmistakable air of competence for observers who care about these things.

Is It 2019 for Your Corporate Web Presence Yet?

The clock is ticking on 2018! Why not get started on your digital revamp before the second-to-last year of the 2010s is officially in the books?

Tackling these nine to-do items in order is a great way to ring out the old and ring in the new as 2019 dawns. If you get started now, you’re sure to make a dent in this list — and perhaps, with sufficient resources devoted to the cause, put much of it to bed.

Whatever you do, don’t heap these tasks in a brimming basket of New Year’s resolutions that you know in your heart of hearts will never see the light of day.

Source: Special Features Dept.


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