When you open up a business or do a remodel you don’t let the contractors keep the keys. When you buy something new for your business you expect to own it and control it. If you do choose to lease or rent something you sign a contract that clearly defines the terms of this rental. Like a lease or rental you need to understand under what terms you are utilizing any web-based services.
Your virtual real estate on the web operates the same way even if you don’t know it. When you don’t control the passwords for your web site and social media outlets and ‘trust’ your web designers or marketers it’s just like giving someone else the keys to your store. Unfortunately we are repeatedly surprised by how many companies are completely unaware of who actually has control of their web presence. In most cases there is no contract, agreement, or policy in place clarifying how these passwords can be used. In most cases there is no agreement defining how these passwords will be transitioned if you stop doing business with your web contractor or dismiss your employee. On a related note many companies do not define who owns the design and content in their web page and social media outlets. Without these things defined and under control you are putting a critical part of your business in the control of another organization or person.
If this is the case with your business you are completely reliant on someone else’s professionalism and good will.
Here are the simple key steps you need to take to make sure you control your virtual web presence:
- Get all passwords related to your web presence. These include your web host, online stores, databases and web site. If applicable your blog, Twitter, Facebook and Yelp accounts.
- Make sure you clearly own your web domains and know how to renew these.
- Confirm that you own the design for your site as well as the content. If your organization has these things in place you have a good grasp of your web presence.
- Understand and confirm the terms of any web-based services.
You should also get access to your Google Analytics account. Although many businesses are unaware this account exists it is important that you control this. This free software allows you to look at how much traffic is hitting your site and where it is coming from. It is an important and key task that you review this from time to time so that you know if you are making progress.
Many web designers and marketers set this up under a master Google account so that it is more convenient for them to manage multiple accounts. This is common practice and is OK.
What is not OK is when these developers or marketers do not make access to this account available to you. Many of them will indicate that they cannot provide access because of security or confidentiality between clients. This is simply not true. Here is link that documents exactly how to provide this access without compromising security or confidentiality between clients:
Here is a video that demonstrates the process of allowing access in 56 seconds:
As you can see in this video, providing secure access is no big deal.
Many developers and marketers provide these things for you as part of their service. At Everbearing Services we make sure we get all this information to our customers. We also take a few minutes to go over this information with our clients so they understand what they are getting. We also have internal controls and procedures in place defining who, why and when there is access to our clients’ critical information. Other credible companies have similar policies and procedures in place.
If you are not sure about who has access to these critical parts of your business make sure to address this so you can avoid problems in the future.