What It Means to Have An “Online Presence”

The term Online Presence has meant many things over the years. Years ago, setting up your website meant you had an online presence. It was good enough to have a pleasant-looking homepage, smart navigation, pretty images, and good content. No longer is this true. That’s not to say that all those elements of your website are not important. They are. But there are so many other things involved in the process today. The basic list looks like this:

  • Website design and development
  • Search engine optimization
  • Blogging
  • Social media marketing
  • Web analytics

I’m sure you’ve heard that your website is your home base or headquarters that invites visitors in and directs them to their destination. Your website is the place that needs your initial, constant and primary attention. When visitors get to your website they expect to recognize where they are and that it is the place they intended to visit. This can easily be done by ensuring that your logo is placed at the top of the page and that the images and content represent your company’s products and/or services, personality, and characteristics. These elements are communicating your brand. Although branding sounds like something only large corporations do, it is really something you probably do naturally if you are in business. You choose a name, a logo, specific images, and content that represents the essence of your company. After you have established the look & feel of your website you then can focus on the other various elements that make your online presence complete.

Search engine optimization

In order for your website to be found by search engines it needs to be optimized. The Free Dictionary description of “optimize” is: “to make as perfect or effective as possible”

Optimization involves using keywords that best describe your business, products, and services. These keywords are what potential visitors will type into a search engine to get the results they are looking for. To be picked up by search engines it is important to optimize your pages, images, and content.

Blogging

Blogging is a great way to talk about what your company is doing and how that will help your existing and potential customers. Blogging adds interactivity and authenticity to your website. It also encourages viewers to visit your site and then, hopefully, stay on your site longer. Blogging frequently and using good SEO will also help you appear on search engines more often. It might be necessary to do a certain amount of research about your blogging subjects. This doesn’t involve weeks of research and trips to the library but if you are going to post something to the public you should know that it is accurate and full of unique facts. This is not to say that your articles all need to be 100% original, but your readers are going to want to read something new and educational.

Social media marketing

Increase your visibility by networking through social media outlets. You will need to listen to what people are saying and comment with relevant and helpful input. Just blurting out your information is not enough. You need to participate and share. Pick two or three social media outlets to start with perhaps the standard networks Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. After you create your account and checked the program functionality you may want to search for friends or just choose a few anonymous people to connect with. You can also post a couple of comments about something interesting or entertaining. Then as you learn more about how social media works you can search out specific groups, companies, or individuals. Just remember that if you participate in these networks other will respond to you.

Web analytics

When it comes down to it, the web analytics tool of choice is Google Analytics. It is free and relatively straightforward. When installed on your website Google Analytics will generate detailed statistics about the visitors to your website. The tool will track the basic demographics of your visitors, what pages they viewed and for how long, as well as, which search engine the visitor used to search for you. After you put all the effort into building your online presence it’s really important to track the results.

Wrap up

​Your website is no longer just a place to display your content; it’s also important for SEO, social media, and web analytics. You need to make sure your website looks consistent and recognizable, and that your logo is prominently featured. After that, you can focus on things like content, images, and SEO. To optimize your website for search engine visibility, it’s important to use keywords that describe your business, products and services. Blogging is a great way to share information about your company and help connect with your customers. Blogging is an effective way to increase your visibility and reach. You should make sure your articles are accurate and useful, and that you respond to readers’ comments. You can also increase your visibility by networking through social media. Start by creating a social media account on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. After you have an account and verified it, start exploring the functionality and see if you find any friends or interesting articles to share.  

It is extremely important for brick-and-mortar businesses and online businesses alike to have an effective online presence. Although the process might seem complicated, there are very specific steps to follow. We can assist you in creating, reviewing, or improving your online presence.

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