Geraldine is a Web Presence and SEO Expert at Reverence Global with main competencies in Marketing, Branding, and Web Development.
The Web Presence Research Study
These days there is a huge trend of people and companies that put a lot of emphasis on their online presence. They have several social media profiles, websites and join other platforms to make them more visible. One would think that everyone on the planet cares about this. We thought the same, but we discovered that this is a delusion.
A few months ago our team was hired to research and analyze the online presence of the janitorial and cleaning industry within the United States.
This study reviewed 900+ different manufacturers' websites within this industry. Our team viewed each website utilizing our limited time and resources and assessed multiple factors. The websites were further categorized into those without any visual issues and those having at least one visual issue.
Our intention was to determine measurement factors that could be used as a way to assess a website’s usability and effectiveness.
In our research, there were several factors that we assessed such as page performance, scripting errors, security connections, content quality, search ranking, mobile-friendliness, and more. However, due to our client agreement, we did not share all of them publicly. For public consumption, we chose factors that could be easily found on the homepage of a website then stated the statistics from our findings.
Based on our research results, we found that about one-fifth of the websites within this industry probably don’t have web maintenance processes in place at all.
9% of the websites have serious issues with security and mobile design which makes them invisible on Google and only 54% of the websites in the industry have no visible problems.
Throughout this study, it was typical for us to see missing and/or irrelevant image names or alternative text in the HTML code. We found that 95% of the websites have these issues.
We expected to see a higher percentage of websites without any issues. We were also surprised to see how many websites don’t take advantage of the opportunity for Google ranking through image naming and alternative text conventions.
It’s obvious that the internet and online technology have been advancing rapidly. Issues that didn’t matter before are now crucial to the smooth operation of every website. And it’s not only about visual design or their owners' needs. Companies are responsible for the financial or personal information of third parties by protecting data and staying up-to-date with technology.
Many manufacturing companies that mainly deal with distributors in the janitorial and cleaning or similar industries (as opposed to retail businesses) have the impression that online presence is not very important for their business. But current or potential customers, partners, suppliers, etc. can switch to another competitor at any time if they see that the company doesn’t stay up to date with the times.
The qualitative analysis identified various issues with the websites and also revealed a number of ways in which the website’s presence and security could be improved.
How to improve the online presence?
Many of the problems we have listed are indicators for potential deeper problems such as database issues, security leakages, online store issues, broken contact forms, and more. However, they are easy to fix if a web development team works on them.
On the other hand, implementing mobile-friendliness is a more resource-intensive process that would require rebuilding the entire website. This also applies to renaming images for existing websites (especially when they have hundreds of pictures) which is a complicated task and usually goes hand in hand with an optimization process.
Think of your brand’s online presence as your house. You keep your doors open for customers and closed for security attacks. You paint your doors and walls so your house is welcoming and attractive to your guests. Similarly, you need to put in effort into your website to establish long-lasting impressions for your prospective clients. Implementing proper online presence and on-going maintenance can help you achieve a loyal customer base and in turn, drive sales and profit for your business.
In closing, when making decisions about your online presence here are 4 things to consider:
- Is your company website being monitored on a regular basis by someone who is staying up to date with changing technology to meet online security and performance standards?
- Has your company received an evaluation of your website from an expert to ensure that it is user-friendly?
- Is your company’s website functionality (contact forms, ordering process, login, etc.) tested on a regular basis?
- Is your website content up to date with your company’s most recent products, services and information?