Your online presence – 5 tips to improve it and what you’ll learn in this article.
In this article we discover you, your business or your cause needs more than a web site to be successful online and 5 tips to improve your online presence presence.
Who is this article for?
This article is for people who only have a web site and are questioning the value of doing online activities such as social media to assist their business.
Many people who have a typical “bricks and mortar type business” struggle with promoting their business online.
They don’t have the time to keep up with the latest trend of what’s happening because they are doing what they do best, serving their customers by providing exceptional goods and services.
They know they are meant to be doing something or doing more on the web but aren’t sure how to do it. It makes it worse when they turn on the TV and see some advertisement or show talking about a new technology, and they say, “what the…”?
The perception to many is the Internet has a “flocking” mentality, you know, like the flock of birds in the picture.
The flock comes to life out of no where and moves quickly together in several directions and then goes away. They expect that things like social media will go away and it will be just a passing fad so why spend money on it?
They have questions like:
- Facebook, why would I be on that?
- Google Plus, what’s that?
- LinkedIn, another social network, and so the story goes.
Myths about being online
For many businesses you can become a little cynical over time. The reality is in those flocks or communities, people talk, people ask questions, people make recommendations, people share stuff.
Whether you like it or not, people are reaching into their pockets and handbags and communicating with their communities.
Q. Are you there in that community to be their first recommendation?
It’s amazing how many statements didn’t stand the test of time, here are some
- The horse is said to stay but the automobile is a novelty – The president of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor Company, 1903.
- The telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication – William Orton, president of Western Union, in 1876, when Alexander Graham Bell tried to sell the company his invention.
- Television won’t last, It’s a flash in the pan – Mary Somerville, pioneer of radio educational broadcasts, 1948.
- Computers in the future will weigh no more and 1.5 Tons – Popular Mechanics, 1949.
- There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share, No chance. – Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, 2007.
So now when it comes to being online, lets check out the following statements:
Myth 1 – A web site is all I need
There is one thing everyone seems to agree on when it comes to business and the web, “you need to have a web site”. In the 90’s that was probably the case but the web has moved on.
In this age, a web site is only the starting base, and an important one at that.
Back in the day, you would have advertised through traditional ways such as news print or yellow pages directories.
People found you by following the roadmap to get to your business.
Now imagine before the Internet, you were a business in country town call Joe’s Restaurant and your customer base was mostly people who pulled in off the highway, you would have an ad in the local news for the locals and, you would of put some signs out on the highway, “Eat at Joe’s, next left”!
So, if your customers are people coming from the highway, and there was no sign on the highway, how would you expect people to know where you are?
In today’s environment, a web site is the home base. But it needs signposts on every street to direct people to it, social networks are the streets.
Myth 2 – A couple of ads on Google will get the people coming in droves to your website
Google Ads are an excellent way to attract more visitors to your web site.
If you own a web site, you will be inundated with people who will fill your email with guarantees to get you and your business on top of a Google Search.
I met one person recently who suggested that they paid all this money to a Search Engine Optimisation expert and they didn’t see any value in the service they provided nor did they see any increased business from the efforts.
We’ve found the best way to getter better ranking in Google is this:
“Provide high-quality unique and targeted information relevant to your business and customers” and to stay on top of Google, “keep on providing high-quality unique and targeted information relevant to your business and customers”
Google Ads are a great way to supplement high-quality unique and targeted information relevant to your business and customers. If you target the ads to your content you will see the value of your Google advertisements.
Myth 3 – Facebook and other social networks are fads, just like the “flock” they’ll be gone
More people are moving online, they are “moving into the flock”, in fact, their flock is the online community, like a Facebook, a Pinterest a Redit, etc whether we like it or not.
Some 16 years ago I was part of an organisation moving a government agency online.
They foresaw that people wanted to connect with their services online.
As they serviced a good cross section of the community and age demographics their stuff would need to be easy to use. Some years have passed on now and the interesting thing is the older age demographic have taken up their online services.
So here’s the interesting thing – if the older generations have taken to using technology, they more than likely have engaged in social networks. Now I haven’t talked about their kids or grandkids.
Tech times, journalist Quinten Plummer wrote and article titled “Facebook Losing Teen Audience. Now It’s Just Old People Socialising” and spoke to the reader that Facebook was losing its teen audience, and they were moving to other networks such as Instagram.
That may well be the case, its not going away soon, however, there will always be another network. So if you’re a business is it better watching the flock or moving with the flock? I would prefer to move with the flock.
If I need more than a web site, what is the “more”?
You need an online presence in other word you need a web presence!
A web presence is any place on the internet where you can be found. It can be one or more places such as a web site, a blog, an online store, a podcast, a video channel, a social network, a short messaging service, a forum, or a review. It’s anywhere online where you can be found.
A web presence is more than just a web site, its the sum of all your online activities working together to help you grow your business. You may have bits and pieces of it but you need it to work like an orchestra, playing together to give this fantastic outcome. To get you thinking about this, here are 5 tips to improve your web presence:
5 Tips to Improve your online presence
1. Be where your customers gather,
People don’t just come and gather at your web site like the corner store – From what I’ve just shared from the above points its evident there are lots of places to be online. Without going into brands let’s look at some of those places where you could be connecting with your customers or potential customers
- Social Networks
- Short Messaging Services
- Business Forums
- Photographic Sites
- Video Channels
- Help Desks
- Web Cam Sites
- Sound Channels
- Wiki Sites
- Review Sites
- Auction Sites
- Shopping Sites
- Review Sites
- Travel Sites
- Polling Sites
- Education and Learning Systems
That’s an indication of the grouping; within each of those groups there are different brands. Have a think about your own industry within those groups. You can guarantee that within each of those groups you will find likeminded people who will be interested or allied to your products. Its time to start engaging with the audience in each of those groups.
2. People need to discover who you, your business or your cause are
People need to see who you are, what you do and where people can find you. f you have to fill in a profile, make sure you fill in every detail where possible so people can see who you are and understand your personality.
3. Make it easy for people to find you
People need signs and route maps to find you and your business online so be clear. Make sure you place adequate information online about where your business is use maps.
4. Contribute regularly on your web site, blogs, forums and review sites
People need to see that you are regular contributor – Be consistent online. People need to see that you are out there contributing in a positive way. Being successful on the web requires you to show up regularly
5. Establish and build credibility as the go to person
I’ve had several opportunities to be recognised as credible across my career. Sometime we can think that there is a formula for becoming credible. I don’t think its a formula but its more an attitude and approach to life.
Looking at my career where I had become credible as a technology advisor, I’ve found this:
- I was a passionate student, I would learn and suck up any resource to know more and more about the subject, because it really interested me.
- My enthusiasm reflected in my work. People hired me due to my passion. The relationships I had built and the work I provided, sustained my re-engagements.
- The word got out that I could solve their problem. I love working with people especially when we solved problems together. When we did that, people talked. “Go talk to Chris, he knows his stuff, he can help you”, people trusted my advice.
This was all before I gained any University Qualifications!
The same applies to life online and the community you’re in. Whether you write an article, write a comment, join a forum and connect with people online:
- Be passionate, know your stuff
- Be enthusiastic, love sharing and helping people with what you know
- Be authentic, be the real you and people will see that in the way your write and talk online you’re the real deal!
In closing, living in the online world is ever-changing. Keeping up with the game is an essential element in every business tool kit.
Go out there, engage and make your web presence the best it can be so people are attracted to you your business or your cause.
If you have any feedback on this article, please leave a comment, I would love to hear your thoughts.