Your calling card used to be a literal card (a business card, of course, with a phone number). These days, your website is your online brand presence.

The way you present yourself online is especially crucial for those businesses that offer a service instead of a physical product. Prospective customers are purchasing your expertise and knowledge, as evaluated by the information presented on your website. Therefore, your company website embodies your brand image and reputation, while serving as an ongoing component of your integrated marketing efforts. Make sure the site lives up to your standards!

Since Google dominates the lion’s share of search, it’s imperative that prospects can easily find your site. The old Field of Dreams line doesn’t apply here — just because you build a website, don’t expect anyone to come looking for it.

Search engines reward sites that provide relevant content that viewers click and link to. So fill your site with content that attracts first-time users, while continuing to engage return visitors.

If your analytics results show a high bounce rate, that could be the sign that it’s time to give your website a makeover. When redesigning your site to integrate better with your current brand image, consider some of these tips as summarized from Forbes.

Testimonials Add Credibility

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ve probably developed some strong customer relationships. Gather and share a few glowing quotes or customer reviews on site, either on the home page or in a special section. Customer testimonials aren’t just to make you feel good about yourself — they actually work in persuading others to give you a try.

Share Positive Press

Have you been featured in a newspaper article or blog review? Share the good word by linking to any positive mentions. Collect your virtual clippings in a special “press” or “media” section on your site. Such objective third-party endorsements serve as a sign of legitimacy and credibility. The more publicity you get, the more you establish yourself as an expert in your field, which should also lead to more business.

Mention Honors and Awards

It’s okay to brag a little. Share the news when you or your business receives any award or honor in your industry. Community or civic recognition is also noteworthy. Be sure to share recognition that individual employees receive as well. All of these achievements reflect on the quality of your brand as a whole, enhancing your reputation with the public.

Show Your Social Stats

Make it easy for people to share your brand message with their friends. You can include a social widget or plugin on your home page to show stats such as the number of followers, shares, or visits. The more active and engaged you become on social networks, the more people will find you likeable and shareable. Social media offers companies a chance to be more like real people, and less like a faceless corporate logo.

If you pay as much attention to your online brand presence as to your other marketing and branding efforts, you’ll quickly improve the experience for your customers and increase your web traffic and search engine results.

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