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Five Quick Ways to Maximize Your Online Presence in 2014

2014 has started with a bang, and it is the perfect time to re-evaluate how you are using the web to your advantage. Technology has outpaced itself yet again in the last year, and the opportunities to reduce your time, energy and budget while increasing your online presence have redoubled in the last few months! In an effort to summarize the most useful trends and opportunities, HDMZ has found a few strategies that you (yes, you!) can implement without increasing regulatory review, budget or headcount.

  1. Optimize your existing chatter – if you are already using social media outlets to post your press releases or engage with the industry KOIs, there are some keen strategies you can implement immediately to increase the visibility and effectiveness of your posts. Always be brief and use the active voice with images or videos whenever possible. If you can use an intuitive hashtag, you may be able to expand your presence to a larger community focused on that topic (e.g., #MacularDegeneration and #EyeHealth are high-traffic hashtags in the AMD community).
    Additional pointers available from Guy Kawasaki’s Posting Best Practices (December 30, 2013)

  2. Opt for a future-proof site – if your 2014 budget includes a new or redesigned website, consider your options carefully and plan for a site that will have the longest lifespan possible given the rapid advances of technology. Challenge your design agency (or contact us to talk about your options!) to produce a responsive, dynamic, lightweight and flexible site that can automate and adapt as your company grows.

  3. Explore mobile-optimized options – as you work through the action items on your plate this year, think laterally about the ways you can use mobile technologies to your advantage. A couple of our favorites:
    • Include a QR code on your business card that will automatically open a Vcard or new contact record on the user’s phone, providing them instantly with your contact information! Think of the possibilities for your executive team or sales team!
    • Make sure all phone numbers on your site are Click-to-Call compatible, so that mobile users can tap the number and start a call immediately.

  4. Focus on SEO strategies that work – the landscape of SEO is always changing, but the biggest opportunities are no brainers that will only take a couple hours to implement. The most important ways to quickly improve your SEO:
    • Meta descriptions are your first touchpoint to searchers. Optimizing the snippets of content that appear in search results is the quickest, easiest update you can make to your site, and (besides the content on your page) is one of the most important improvements you can make. Make sure the brief description (typically descriptions show ~155 characters, but Google will index longer content) accurately represents the content on the page, includes key search terms, and will entice a visitor to click through to the page. (Note: if your regulatory team is concerned with this approach, at least make sure you’ve at least filled in a boilerplate corporate teaser with a unique page title included for each page.)
    • Content on the page is king. We’ve been hearing this for a while, but the absolute most important SEO advice is to create accurate, engaging, informational content that will resonate with your target audiences. Gone are the days when meta keywords or keyword-saturation was a viable strategy for improving SEO (Google confirmed in 2009 and Bing only uses meta keywords as negative signals). Search engines track the way users interact with your site, and reward quality interactions. If visitors come to your site, dislike what they see and leave, your bounce rate increases and your SEO will suffer.
    • Don’t make social networks guess at your content. When someone shares one of your webpages on a social network (i.e., posts a link on Facebook or LinkedIn), what populates in the preview? Spend an hour customizing your social share meta tags so that when someone shares your page to a social network, you’ve provided the default title, description and image that will pre-populate. This is best practice, and it will make your regulatory team smile.
      Want to geek out? Read more about these trends on SocialMediaToday’s 11 Web Marketing and Social Media Trends That Will Shape 2014 (January 2, 2014)

  5. Look at your Google Analytics and make educated decisions – with just an hour or two each month, you can review the traffic stats for your site and make informed decisions about how to improve your online presence. Do you notice that your top page visits are for your board of directors instead of your product pipeline? Are most of your visitors coming in through your investor pages? Do you need to increase traffic to your career pages? How much incoming traffic is your Twitter feed generating? Don’t underestimate the value of the free reports available on your Analytics dashboard.
By: Christine Bennett
Topics: Best Practices Flexibility Marketing Meta Tags SEO Website Content Website Optimization