Getting found on the web
Establishing an effective web presence is much more than just getting your name or your company name visible on the web, whether by means of website or social media channels. There are, as you probably realize, quite a lot of other people doing the same; www means world wide web. The challenge, generally, is getting found on the web by people searching for your particular “offer”.
Having a website is not just normal practice for most businesses with serious intention, but is usually the element of the mix developed with “conversion” in mind. This is a clearer concept to grasp if you’re selling products online; e-commerce. However, the website as the place for “conversion” is just as relevant for non e-commerce businesses.
Does your website make users comfortable?
The website provides confirmation to site visitors that your business is one they feel “comfortable” dealing with. The comfort zone you seek to create will likely be one delivering ease of use, useful information demonstrating expertise and client testimonials, as a minimum.
What’s included in the price of a website?
If you’re going to rely on organic search, i.e. you don’t want/can’t afford paid advertising, then you’re likely to have quite a challenge ahead. Paying someone to design/develop a website doesn’t mean performance in Search automatically comes inclusive with the price.
If your website hasn’t been “optimised” for best potential in Search you’re effectively leaving it to fend for itself for recognition in the crowds on the www, without proper means of identification. The return on a website, in terms of success in Search, is measured by search engine algorithms. These consider a multitude of aspects to “measure” quality/worth of web content.
Search Engine Optimisation
The basics for SEO, Search Engine Optimisation, involve aspects such as making sure your page title and meta tags are formatted for best effect. If you weren’t on the course at Northampton University on 5th September, I apologise if those terms are baffling. Suffice to say, you need to be able to access the code at the “back” of your site in addition to site content, text, which appears on the “front” of your site.
What’s covered on the ‘Establishing an effective web presence’ course
On the course I cover aspects conidered ‘quality’ criteria by Search engines. The next ‘Establishing an effective web presence‘ course is on Thursday 13th March in Chesterfield. If you can’t attend but would benefit from advice/help with understanding more about website “quality criteria” feel free to contact me.
Blogging and social media
I want to mention, briefly, two other elements which play an important role in establishing an effective web presence. Blogging and engagement on social media networks.
There are some who lump the blog, Facebook, Twitter etc under one heading of “Social Media”. I prefer to keep them separate from one another, for reasons which I hope will become clear.
Businesses are generally waking up to the fact that a blog can provide a valuable asset to the success of a website in Search. Every time a blog post is published it effectively creates a new page on the website, if the blog is integrated within the site root of the website, rather than being a linked blog. When I talk about linked blogs I’m referring to platforms such as Blogger, or WordPress.com which host blogs on Their servers, meaning these blogs can’t be configured to exist within Your site root. I hope I’ve explained that clearly enough?
A blog provides not only facility to produce regular new information for your potential audience, but indicates to search engines, over time, that your site has “value”. Aspects of content “quality” and relevancy are also factors required in the mx, not just for positive engagement with search engine robots, but also users.
Establishing social media channels, providing opportunity to engage with your target audience, is another aspect of establishing an effective web presence that businesses are beginning to appreciate. What they often don’t appreciate so well is the time/budget they are going to have to allocate for effective interaction using these elements.
Engagement with potential customers is only one aspect of using social media channels. The creation of Social Signals, through users sharing your content, is set to become an increasingly important influence in organic search engine ranking. That is, the order your web content appears in Search without payment of money to the search engine.
In my opinion, creating social signals should be top of the planning agenda for creating an effective web presence. Communicate, engage, convert. It’s nothing new is it? What’s new is the online approach rather than more traditional offline methods. Use both, together, for best effect.
Stay in touch
If you’ve found this a valuable post then please create social signals by sharing the information with your networks on Twitter. LinkedIn, Facebook etc. Comments also welcome, see box at the end of the post.
This is a brief foray into what you need to consider for establishing an effective web presence. This post is far longer than my usual output, but the subject is vast. You’re probably beginning to realise that, especially if you were on the course!
Can I help?
If you want to contact me for help with any of the subject areas covered here, then please do so. You can subscribe to this blog by leaving your email in the box in the right hand column. You’ll then receive future blog posts, nothing else, direct to your email inbox. You can also subscribe via rss, if you know how to do that.
Other posts that might be of interest
Here’s some blog posts which may be useful to you in your efforts for establishing an effective web presence.
Video tutorial, How to find people to follow on Twitter
If you’re in business and are planning a website, or have one already, this should be on the top of your reading list. insight into why helps build appreciation of need. Developing business website accessibility guidelines from W3C schools.
I can’t stress enough the importance of Accessibility. Here’s a link to W3C web accessibility initiative.
Here are links to some of the information videos featured on the course.
YouTube video – types of hosting explained – shared, virtual and dedicated
YouTube video – Cloud computing explained
On the course I provided names of providers of FREE website. NB, remember “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”. None of the following implies my recommendation. The choice for deciding on a particular route to follow over another, for establishing an effective web presence, has to be yours.