Now that you have a website worthy of your brand, what's next? You have got to begin establishing a reputation for it. I often tell my clients that gaining traction with a website is a lot like building up your own reputation, whether it be at a new job or in a new network of people. Unless you're already a well-known entity, you typically don't become a superstar overnight.
A Web Presence Lacking Strategy Results in Chaos
Building a web presence requires a strategy. It's a simple statement, but not always an easy task. As you work to build hype around your brand and present the best marketing messages for your customer, there are many variables and verticals--and even horizontals--to consider. But remember this: in whatever efforts are made and however much you invest in your web presence, make sure they validate and advance your strategy.
Listen, this isn't like in "Field of Dreams," where "if you build it, they will come." Having a website without driving traffic to it is not effective. There are too many individuals and businesses competing for the same prime real estate on SERPS and you've got to get in the game of making a name for your website and online profiles.
Introductory Thoughts on Strategizing
It's difficult to put an award-winning web presence strategy into an easy "to-do" list. For that reason, in this post you won't find "3 guides to building a better web presence" or "5 tactics to improve your online accessibility." It isn't because those items wouldn't be helpful (and I can't promise that you won't see me post about them in the future), but my focus in this post is to make the case for the importance of building an intentional web presence for your business and/or whatever brand you're trying to sell. I will leave you with some thoughts to consider as you venture into the ever changing whirlwind that is Internet marketing.
In no particular order, here are some things to keep in mind as you develop your plan:
- Web presence isn't limited to your website; it's a grouping of any online mention, ads, profiles, and content that refer to your company or your brand. Make sure it's worth reading!
- Consider the value in hiring a company who is considered experts in this field and who cares about your success as their customer.
- Speaking of customers, the most important focus of your web presence should really be your own. Who are they and where will they find you? Ask yourself how your target audience will likely see your website and online ads, and move forward from there.
- Part of your strategy should absolutely consider SEO tactics, paid search, link building, and rankings; however, this should all be geared around who you're targeting, who you hope visits your site, and who you want to eventually convert as a customer.
- Don't underestimate the impact of negative press or shady SEO efforts. Identify any areas of your web presence that pose a threat to your strategy and client conversions or consult with a company who can help you identify what's hurting your current campaign.
- Don't be afraid to change an existing strategy if it isn't quite working as you had hoped, but as the old saying goes "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!" Even then, definitely improve upon it and make it better.
In conclusion, your online imprint should be strategically built and not just thrown together with each new demand. If your tactics are void of rhyme or reason you'll see the results in your lack of visitors, minimal conversions, and chaotic search exposure. Realize that it will take time to build a reputation and to develop a strategy that will produce results. Be patient and avoid making hasty decisions about your Internet marketing.