Though most business owners don’t set out to create a company and then sell it, if you ever decide to sell your business, you can bet potential buyers will be inspecting your website and how you rank organically within specific keywords.
- They will be reviewing all your content, the structure, and may even ask for access to your Google analytics to see your overall site traffic and where your traffic is coming from.
In most transactions, the URL is part of the purchase of the business. 20 years ago, prospective buyers looked in the yellow pages to see your ads, and where they were placed (at the front, or at the back of the heading), because most buyers knew the value of being at the front of the phone book. More calls translated to more sales.
Today, your online visibility on the first page of search results is what potential new buyers are looking for. They know that if you are not ranking now, it’s going to require an investment on their part to make it happen. They also know that the second page of a search result often looks as barren as the Sahara Desert.
The new buyer also wants to know who owns the content of your website.
- A number of companies that offer online marketing services end up holding the business owner hostage because they own a portion of the content on their website and will not release it if you choose to leave them.
- Domain Name – Make sure that YOU own your domain name and can transfer it to the new owner. You can go to www.whois.com to find out who is the registered owner. If you DON’T own it, you need to contact who does and find out what it will take to own your URL.
The following will dramatically improve a potential buyer’s interest in your company:
Custom Analytics and tracking of site visits; top performing keywords; and leads (calls and recordings, form submissions, orders) by date range. This allows the potential buyer to see the RESULTS of your online marketing, as well as all other marketing efforts you are making, or have done in the past, and the results.
- Whether you are planning to sell your business, or not, you should consider a tracking system that tracks all your online and marketing mediums to help you make better business decisions and improve your return on investment.
Google Places, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp and other citation sites need to be set up properly while ensuring that your listings and website link are all correct.
- If you are not already monitoring all your online reviews on Google, and the main citation sites, you need to get started now. Make sure that you not only have positive reviews, but that the majority of the reviews are positive. We all know that you can’t please everyone; but when the majority of the reviews are positive, you are in a good position.
- Integrated reviews into your website is another asset. It shows a potential buyer that you are concerned about your reputation, and you are leveraging it on your website.
You also want to make sure that your website is built with responsive technology. This allows the content on your website to adapt nicely in format/size to the device (like an IPAD, or most importantly, a smartphone) being used to find your services, or company. Responsive technology also means that you only need to update one website, instead of trying to create two different sites. The other big advantage is that responsive technology does not require a default to a home page menu, as is the case with a mobile device. People get frustrated with having to search a mobile website for what they are looking for, where responsive technology will take them directly to the page of your actual website that came up in search results. This will result in higher conversions.
If you have a contract with an online marketing company, you will want to review it in detail. The potential new owners will want to see what services you are paying for, and understand the contract terms. Any contract term of 3 months in online marketing is not advised. When you hire an online marketing company, it should have to earn your business each month. A month-to-month contract will make a company work harder for you because it has a risk of losing you each month.
If you have any questions about this article, or online marketing, please feel free to contact us.