5 Steps to Analyzing Your Web Presence for Better Online Marketing

Web presence analysis

Web presence analysis

Any small business that is not developing an expansive Web presence as part of your online marketing activities is missing an opportunity to gain visibility and develop an expert reputation. Think of your online presence as one entity with many customer touch points. Each of those touch points must effectively convey your brand and your message in order to help your target audience continue their effort to get to know you.

A Web presence analysis is an exercise that helps you determine how your business is perceived when someone searches for your area of expertise. Important to your online marketing strategy, this analysis answers questions such as:

  • How well can your business be found when someone searches?
  • Is your brand consistent across all of your online properties?
  • How is your business seen with respect to your competition?

Evaluating how you are perceived online will help you pinpoint areas that need attention, enabling you to develop a better online marketing plan that focuses on these specific areas and puts activities in place that will improve the effectiveness of your online marketing.

Web Presence Analysis Overview

A Web presence analysis should include:

  • Keyword analysis and research – For your top keyword phrases, where do you rank if at all?
  • Search engine visibility – How well can I find you and what is missing?
  • Website structure analysis – Does your website lack the proper items that lead to being found?
  • Social media analysis – Is your social presence consistent and well integrated with other social properties and your website?
  • Competitive understanding – How do you compare to your competitors?

To get started and to make this task easier, I suggest you download and install the SEO Toolbar for Firefox from SEOBook, a set of SEO tools in one convenient toolbar that enables you to gather a wealth of information about your website and those of your competitors that will help in the analysis.

Step 1 – Keyword Analysis and Research

For those of you who follow this blog regularly, you know that I am pretty anal when it comes to researching and then using your top keyword phrases in your web content, your social media profiles and all of your marketing activity. If you search this blog, you’ll find a post or two that talk about the reason for doing this research and the tools that make it easier. Speaking of tools, a nice feature of the SEO Toolbar is the keyword suggest tool. Type in a keyword, select the tools you want to use and get suggestions for other keywords.

SEO Toolbar select keyword

SEO Toolbar select keyword

Step 2 – Search Engine Visibility

There are two areas of search engine visibility:

  • Where your website ranks for your top keywords
  • How visible your business is in general (i.e. via social sites, directories and links to your properties).

To find out how well you rank for your top keywords, you can use the Rank Checker. Enter your domain name, your top keywords and hit start and it runs a report that says where your site ranks for those keywords in Google, Yahoo and Bing. You can save the report and run it regularly to track how well you are rising in the ranks.

To see how well your business is listed in various online directories, check out GetListed.org. They check Google, Yahoo, Bing, Best of the Web and now Yelp and HotFrog for your listing. If your business is not listed in any of these directories, you have work to do. Creating your local business listings has two benefits:

  • It makes your business more visible throughout the social web;
  • It creates more links back to your website.

Step 3 – Website Structure Analysis

How your website is structured has a lot to do with how well you will be indexed in the search engines and how readily you will be found. This may be something you will need help with, but if your site is created in WordPress, which naturally embraces search engines, you will be in good shape. If not, make sure your site isn’t loaded with JavaScript, Flash and other items search engines can’t index and that you follow the usual on page SEO techniques to help search engines better index your site.

Step 4 – Social Media Analysis

Analyzing your presence on the social media sites for this exercise is about brand consistency, message communication and participation across all the sites. Take a hard look at your profiles and make sure you are sending the same message to the same audience for all of them and that you are linking all your profiles and website for maximum visibility.

Step 5 – Competitive understanding

Now that you know how you are seen online, compare your results with that of your competition. Understanding where you are stronger or weaker in relation to their presence will help you determine where you should be channeling your marketing efforts. The SEO toolbar can be used quite effectively to gather that information.

  • Visit the site and look at the information the SEO toolbar provides;
  • Run Rank Checker for the same keywords to see where they rank;
  • Use the “compare sites” feature on the SEO toolbar to get more statistics.

In addition, review their website and social media profiles for their messages, brand consistency and keyword usage.

How visible are you?

If you have never monitored your presence on the Internet to see how well your marketing activities are working, you should do one now to set a baseline for measuring your improvement over the next few months. As you increase your visibility, great things can happen for your business.

What have I missed? Is there something else we should include in this analysis? Add your ideas to the comments. And let us know how well you are doing.

Other items of interest:


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13 Responses to 5 Steps to Analyzing Your Web Presence for Better Online Marketing

  1. Per - Foredragsholder October 25, 2010 at 3:02 am #

    An effective – and free – tool in this process is Google Alert. I use it not only to monitor my own presence, but also to keep an eye on the competitors :-)

    • Debra October 29, 2010 at 9:05 am #

      Yes, Google Alerts – I do use alerts as well to monitor if someone has picked up on my content. Thanks for adding this in to the mix.

  2. Adam January 5, 2011 at 6:06 am #

    Another great post Debra, thanks for putting in the effort!

  3. kirsty January 6, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    I miss doing keyword research. Those are my task before and now I don’t know what tool are currently use for that. Keyword research are very important in establishing a site and yeah of course you have to make sure that your site is visible from search engine.

    • Debra January 6, 2011 at 10:08 am #

      Hi Kirsty,

      I use the Google keyword tools (both external and AdWords versions). They provide a wealth of information that can help you select the right words for your site.

  4. Jackey Worden February 7, 2012 at 1:50 am #

    A nice article you have in here. A Web presence analysis is an exercise that helps you determine how your business is perceived when someone searches for your area of expertise. This should always include Keyword analysis and research, search engine visibility, website structure analysis, social media analysis and competitive understanding.

  5. website designing company April 28, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    Nowadays it seems optimizing your website is more than only building some strong inbound links to your website, here all you have to take care of is your social media presence, quality of content and remain much talked brand in major social networking websites.

  6. 3 Created June 27, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

    Thanks for the post debra. It seems there are thousands of tools like these nowadays but i really wish google would create a tool that would gather the information from all the top social networks.

    • Debra Murphy July 1, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

      Agreed. What works to gain better online visibility has changed since I wrote this article – you probably will see an update someday.

  7. Kodwo October 18, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    Hi Debra,

    I need to conduct a SEARCH ENGINE VISIBILITY FOR A NUMBER OF SPORTS CLUBS IN THE US FOR MY BOSS tomorrow.

    After reading your article I can use Rank Checker to find out how well each sport club with web presence ranks for their top keywords.

    I was wondering what other site or tool I could use to tell how well the sports clubs are listed in various directories other than GetListed.org.Any alternatives to GetListed.org?

    Kay

  8. Debra October 19, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    Hi Kay,

    Interesting assignment. I don’t know any tools other than GetListed.org that enables you to find out if the business is listed in various directories. However, sometimes a Google search using the exact name of the business will also give you a solid list of directories where the business is listed as well. For many of my clients, when I search on their names, I find them in appropriate directories like InsiderPages, Merchant Circle, Yelp and the various SuperPages or YellowPages directories. A combination of both should give you a good picture of these businesses.

  9. website designing company April 28, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    Nowadays it seems optimizing your website is more than only building some strong inbound links to your website, here all you have to take care of is your social media presence, quality of content and remain much talked brand in major social networking websites.

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