Put the power back into your businesses hands.
Having your own website and social media profiles is a must in this day in age, but only a handful of companies actually have control over it. In fact, if you paid an outside contractor to build your site and set up your pages, chances are someone else owns it. This means your logins, hosting capabilities and more could be caught up in someone else’s hands. Sure, it may be convenient to hire an outside contractor to do the “dirty work,” but the associated legal risk is often more headache than it’s worth.
If you’re worried about who has the ultimate control of your website, google listing, etc., here are seven steps to help regain control of your digital footprint.
1. Master your domain
Your domain name is your company’s web address. Essentially, it’s what users type in their web bar to find your site. The internet is a lot like real estate: almost any site is available...for a price.
Keep in mind that most domain names require an annual fee, and depending on the particular site and name, some may be more expensive than others. If an outside service is registering your domain, make sure they do so in your name -- not theirs.
2. Be a good host
The next topic to squash is how (and where) you host your site. There are hundreds of low-cost options out there, but it’s probably in your best interest to register your domain separate from your website host. There are many arguments for and against this, but for most businesses, keeping your domain and site separate means you won’t have to worry about the host having complete control of your site. In fact, if you’re unhappy with the service or the terms, you can keep your site intact while switching hosts.
It’s also best to designate a separate email hosting login. You can create an email specifically for this, just make sure to keep it separate from your website hosting address.
And on the topic of website hosting, it’s crucial that you create a robust backup, security, and maintenance plan. This includes taking the time to set up monthly backup copies of your website in case something happens. Trust us -- it’s worth the effort.
3. Set up onsite analytics accounts
Even if SEO isn’t your forte, it’s worth taking the time to set up your various analytics and Adwords accounts. Having the means to track your site’s performance, visitors and rankings are invaluable, and even if you hire an outside service to do the digging and diving for you, it’s important that you keep this information in YOUR hands and lease them out to employers -- instead of the other way around.
4. Use Cloud solutions to store your docs
It may seem like it’s more convenient to keep all your sensitive business documents in full view, but like flashing your credit card number online, it’s not very safe. If you’re going to be running your own site, you’ll want to set up an offsite storage solution for all your sensitive docs.
Your business records and confidential work information shouldn’t be tied to a specific site. In the event that your site gets hacked or, worse, taken down, you’ll have no way to retrieve all those important docs. Consider setting up Cloud solutions for your business information instead. Most accounts only cost a few dollars a month, and they’re able to store oodles of information. Plus, they’re safe, secure, and extremely easy to access. No mess, no fuss.
5. Take charge of your account information
Do you have control over your online banking login and account information? You should. In order to fully be in control of your online presence, you need to make sure you have access to all your accounts -- including your financial ones.
And on the topic of access, you’ll need to make sure you have the proper business insurance and document policies in place. Don’t expect whoever designed your site to consider these factors; make an effort to regain control of your sensitive information.
6. Oversee your CRM
If you have a CRM (customer relationship management) system in place, make sure you also have independent access to it. This type of technology is crucial to overseeing your customers’ history with your business, so you really want to make sure you can access this data.
A CRM helps bridge the gap between the client and the customer by providing key insights into user behavior, brand interactions, and more. While most systems offer a handful of different (and often customized) features, their end goal is to help boost overall business growth. If you don’t have a CRM, or if you have one but aren’t able to effectively access it, you’ll want to take make sure you’re able to use it.
7. Don’t forget to back up your digital assets!
Finally, you’ll also want to make sure you have the proper backups in place. Yes, that’s right: We’re advocating backing up all your sensitive docs. From branding to marketing, collateral material, and more, it’s important that you safeguard your sensitive docs by making sure they’re able to remain even if your website falters.
The best way to do this is to use a DAM (digital asset management). A DAM can help you organize your assets, make digital copies, relocate specific assets, keep track of your metadata, and generally make your life easier by taking the “huh” out of digital.
Still aren’t sure how to go about regaining control of your digital footprint? StellaPop can help. Reach out today and see how we can help put your business back in your hands.
Then Dobby will officially have no master. Dobby will be a free elf.