Small Business Guide for updating your online assets
Newsflash! Updating your online presence is so important for small businesses. But, completing updates doesn’t necessarily have to take a long time. Put simply, it’s crucial to inform and reassure your customers that you continue to operate. In other words, your online presence is proof of your existence and credibility. For this reason, it’s one of the main services I offer as a consultant.
In this post, I’ll explain the method I use to complete updates efficiently. I call it the ‘top-down method’ simply because I prefer to start with top priority updates and work down to lower priority. Conveniently, this method also prompts you to develop the most detailed updates upfront which you can then apply down the line.
Summary: How to update your small business online
- Start with your website
- Update social media profiles
- Update business and directory listings
- Respond to reviews and comments
- Maintain your online presence
**These tips apply all year round – pandemic or not – we should all be regularly updating our online assets.
For those curious about the inspiration for this post, you can read the full story here.
Look out for our free downloads available below to help you organise your online updates.
Start with your website
By starting with updates to your website, you’ll need to put together the most detailed information first. Then, this info can be applied to subsequent updates.
Now, this is all easier said than done. It can be a huge undertaking to run your business and take the time to think about what your customers need to be caught up on. To assist, I’ve listed the areas of your website to consider updating or adding information.
Think, has any of your contact information changed? Phone? Email?
Have you updated or changed your logo or colour palette? Is it about time to update any photos or graphics on your website?
Do you need to update your ‘About’ spiel? If it’s been awhile, it’s good practice to rejig every now and then. Have you changed your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)? Has your business adapted its offering and consequently, target market?
Shipping, delivery, pick-up information
What’s your average shipping time in each region you ship to? Are there any reminders you should include to keep your delivery drivers safe during COVID-19? Has your pick-up process changed to account for safety?
Products and Services
Have you made any changes to your products? Do you need to update your stock levels or availability? Have you adapted your services since the last time you updated your online information?
Campaigns, Sales and Special Offers
Are you currently running any special offers or sales? Could they be promoted on your website? Keep in mind, people may be inclined to visit your store or restaurant if a special offer was mentioned.
Be sure to double check any pricing listed on your website!
Has your team info changed? Are there new team members that should be included or promoted on your website?
Has the process of booking changed? Have booking requirements (ie. Deposits) changed?
Gather and summarise the above information and post it as a blog. Adding the updates in multiple areas of your website will ensure visitors don’t miss them.
HOT TIP: Please feel free to download the Business Update Template to help you work through this process. Or you can save all the information to a Word document. Then, copy and paste information from this to make the remaining updates.
Update Social Media Profiles
- Update profile information (including ‘About’ section)
- Next, update profile picture and cover image
- Post and/or schedule any important updates
- Check notifications and comments
- Take the time to respond to messages and comments
HOT TIP: In addition to the above, make note of the social media ‘About’ character limits before you update them. Naturally, your website ‘about’ will consist of more characters. By all means use your website ‘about’ spiel to create a version for each social platform.
Here’s a Cheat Sheet of ‘About’ section character limits:
|Facebook About/Page Description 255 characters|
|Instagram Bio 150 characters|
|Linkedin About Summary 2000 characters|
|Twitter Bio 160 characters|
|Google My Business 750 characters|
The above is not a prescriptive list of social media to update. Stick with social media platforms appropriate for your audience and brand.
Update Business and Directory Listings
- Update business information
- Then update business logo and cover photos
- Post any important updates
- Check messages and reviews
HOT TIP: Download the Update Tracker Spreadsheet to keep a record of online assets and track future updates.
Respond to Reviews and Comments
- Check all review platforms
- Respond to positive comments with a consistent ‘thank you’ message
- Take the time to draft responses to negative reviews and comments*
- Respond to negative reviews and comments
- Check account again soon after responding
*HOT TIP: Negative reviews can be confronting to deal with. Of course, there are the rare negative comments with little point other than to be destructive. However, every now and then there might be one with legitimate issues or concerns with your product or service. Don’t take it to heart. Instead, make sure you acknowledge their concerns and describe the actions that you and the customer can take to avoid the situation in the future. Before posting, I recommend having a friend or colleague reading over your response.
HOT TIP: Keep a record of review platforms to ensure you can easily respond in the future. Remember to note the date they were last checked and updated from now on.
Maintain Your Online Presence
Finally, continue to make regular updates to your online presence whenever you can or need to. In terms of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), regularly updating your online presence is an advantage. Specifically, it indicates to search engines that your content is still relevant; worth indexing and including in search results.
You may think – ‘I just don’t have the time’ – make the time! Your online presence is second only to your store front (if you have one). Conversely, if you don’t have a storefront, updating and maintaining your online assets (such as your website and social media profiles) should be number two – right after looking after your customers.
Business Update Template
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Update Tracker Spreadsheet
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Thanks for reading and all the best with updating your online presence! Any questions? Please comment below.
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