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Make Your Best First Impression Online
Kate Gingold
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Make Your Best First Impression Online

The Sprocket Report

Summertime often means folks are out of the office or just plain distracted. It can also be a great time to find and fix inaccurate online profiles you may have overlooked during the rest of the hectic year.

Nothing about running a business is “set it and forget it” – especially in this digital age. But often we’re so busy doing the next important thing that we never get back to monitoring and correcting what was done before. Times change. Things break. And then we look dumb. Summer may be the perfect opportunity for cleaning up your organization’s online presence. 

Broken Website Links
While it’s advantageous to have a lot of content on your website, that also means you have a lot of content to maintain. Pages you may have linked to in past news articles could have been deleted, resulting in “not found” errors. If you have updated your website or added an SSL certificate, the URL of even your own site’s pages may have changed and those links may be showing as “not found.” As you can see from the screen shot below, that means the links to your blog articles in your Facebook posts may be broken:

A bit of code can redirect the new pages back to the old ones so that the links don’t show as broken. For instance, all the new “https://” pages after installing an SSL certificate will redirect to the old “http://” pages. If you’re still seeing broken links, talk to your web tech for the fix. 

Online Directories
Chambers of commerce, industry listings and other business directories often give you the opportunity to upload information about your company, but when was the last time you checked your profile? 

In the unfortunate screen shot below, a video production company is represented in a business directory by an “unavailable” video. This is probably not the kind of “attention-grabbing” they were looking for. 

However awesome their video once was, this message is now hurting their reputation and they probably don’t even know it. Avoid this issue by putting a tickler on your calendar to check your listings regularly.

Social Media Profiles
Have you claimed all of the social media platforms for your business? Do claim all the profiles, even if you don’t ever plan on being active, before nefarious types get there first and make you look bad. You may be surprised to find that there already are profiles identified as yours, created from your phone number, address or a post about you. 

The screenshot below shows a local business’s profile from the Google info box which is generated automatically because of a physical location or other public information. We can assume the profile has not yet been claimed by the business itself since the logo photo is horrible and they aren’t even casino consultants. 

If you find multiple branded accounts for your organization, it may take some effort to sort out who has the permissions for each one and which can be deleted or merged, but you should take care of it sooner rather than later. People nowadays do most of their research online so you want to control what they are seeing. 

Also, be careful who you give permissions to when you’re tidying up. While it’s great to have help with the social media load, there should always be checks and balances so you won’t be hijacked by a vengeful or forgetful former employee. 

So on the next slow summer afternoon, make a list of where your organization is (or should be) profiled online. Update and freshen up where needed and then set a date to check in again soon. No slow afternoons? Then you might want to delegate the task. Just give us a call and we’ll be happy to take care of it.

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Kate Gingold

Kate GingoldKate Gingold

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

Other posts by Kate Gingold
Contact author Full biography

Full biography

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.


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