Heather is passionate about helping companies deliver marketing that is hyper-relevant to the customer and drives profit for the business. As an experienced strategist with 20 years developing integrated marketing strategies across a range of industries, she advocates a data-driven approach to marketing.

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5 Most Overlooked Things Your Company Should Be Doing Online

05As 2011 draws to a close, everyone likes to reflect on the past year; what went well, what didn’t, and what’s in store for 2012.  Your online presence isn’t just about Facebook and Twitter.  There are many aspects that often get overlooked, but can have a big impact on your business.  Therefore, here’s my list of my 5 Overlooked (but critical) Things Your Company Should Be Doing Online.

1. Claim your local listing – A Google local listing is a free, highly effective way to help people looking for your local service find your business.  Local listings show up near the top of Google search results and show your business address.  Your Yellow Pages rep might tell you that you need to pay several hundred dollars each month to be listed in their directory and show up in Google, but if you are a local business, you don’t.  For help getting started, check out our 2 minute guide to perfect local listings! or ask your website provider to check and see if it’s been claimed.

2. Create your website contact list – This one isn’t very sexy, but having this information in one place will save you time and stress when you have a problem with your website.  If you outsource your web work and have a problem, the issue could be with one of many different third party providers.  Ask your IT department if they’ve created a list of the following providers, including their contact information:

  • Domain registrar (who did you buy your www address from?)
  • DNS provider
  • Hosting company
  • Website developer
  • Email provider

3. Build your house list – Despite what you may have read, email marketing is not dead.  If it was, we wouldn’t be getting fantastic offers from that guy in Nigeria.  People are still interested in hearing from companies when they have valuable something to say.  If an individual gives you their email address, reconfirm their interest by sending them an email with a link to confirm their signup.  Permission-based e-mail marketing isn’t just best practice; for Canadians, it’s soon to be law. (Watch for a post dedicated solely to this topic in New Year).

4. Make Use Of Analytics – Google Analytics is an invaluable tool for assessing how well your online marketing is working.  You can get crucial and actionable information about who your visitors are, how they’re finding you, and how they’re interacting with your website. It’s the industry standard for analytics packages and is suitable for all but the most complex websites.  It integrates with Google Adwords and Google Webmaster Tools. Better yet, it’s free!

Another important point – OWN YOUR ANALYTICS.  If someone else handles your website, make sure that analytics is set up it up in a way that you can move to another provider without sacrificing years of data.  You should also expect detailed analytics reporting from anyone that is doing SEO or PPC for you.  If they can’t provide this, then what are you paying them for?

5. Know what’s being said about you – The fact is that your customers are already talking about you, your industry and your services online. If you’re not tuned in, you’re blind to the opportunities to participate in the conversation! There are lots of tools to help you keep tabs on where you’re being chatted about.

You can set up a Google Alert for your brand name, or visit a site like to monitor social mentions. Reputation management is just one of the many reasons to monitor online conversations; you can also leverage mentions for link building (SEO), market research, customer relationship management and more.

And that’s that! 5 things, often overlooked, that make a big difference to your online marketing efforts.

What are the things that your company is prioritizing for online marketing in 2012?