John North, Dayton Better Business Bureau president. CONTRIBUTED

Your website, your business: Maintain it well

A web presence is a fundamental part of business. It’s a virtual brick and mortar that provides customers and potential clients essential information for doing business with your company. By having this information available online, phone calls are cut down and employee time can be used for other projects. A good website with proper maintenance can only benefit your business.

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Inaccurate website information could lead to missed sales and discouraged clients. However, keeping your website current and factual can seem like a significant or expensive undertaking. Better Business Bureau offers the following tips for basic website maintenance:

• Own your domain. Don’t allow others to purchase it for you as part of an agreement.

• Document key information, such as the security key and password, as well as what web editing software is being used. If the relationship is severed, you’ll want to have access to your website.

• Do not agree to “free trial” websites.

• Proofread. Check for spelling and grammatical errors in your website content.

• Keep it simple. Many hits may come from mobile devices, which do not easily load music, flashy animation, etc.

• Make sure all claims are accurate and true. For example, do not use the term “licensed” if there is not a license required for your field. Be able to back up any claim you use.

• Set your website as the homepage on your computer. This gives you the opportunity to check it daily.

Whether you’re building your business’ website from scratch or maintaining a current site, there is help for the do-it-yourself professional. Check out an upcoming workshop, Your Web Site, Your Business: Building a Virtual Brick and Mortar, brought to you by the Advertising Review Council, a joint program of BBB and the American Advertising Federation-Dayton. Mark your calendars for October 24 from 8 a.m.-noon at the Montgomery County Business Solutions Center. The cost is only $29. Register and check out more details at http://bit.ly/ARC-WebSiteWorkshop. Or, contact your BBB directly at (937) 610-2270. Space is limited.

At this hands-on workshop, you’ll explore ways to ensure your company’s website is functional, accessible and safe. Then, experts in the industry will walk you through an inspection taking the mystery out of Google Analytics and the common pitfalls that can easily be avoided. There will be an introduction to custom building your dream home covering tips on search engine optimization, content marketing or even using video to tell your business’ story. Finally, experts will be available for one-on-one consulting.

Maintaining an effective website doesn’t have to be time consuming or intimidating. Build trust and credibility with a well-made virtual brick and mortar.

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John North is president of the Dayton Better Business Bureau.

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