What is a web presence and how is it different from a website?
A web presence encompasses the contents of any website or websites you may have online, along with your social media sites, your blog, and any other media you may have online including your newsletters.
A web presence can be broken down into two very different entities. The first is IDENTITY - What you portray yourself, organization or company to be on the Internet. Another way to think of it is, the story you want to disseminate. The second is LOCATION - Where you, your organization or company is located on the Internet. This doesn’t necessarily have to be one place, it can be multiple places as described above and this is not to be confused with where your website or websites are physically stored, that’s another story.
What does it take to build a web presence?
Building a web presence involves more than just putting up a website. It involves a total web strategy centered around these questions; What’s my primary, secondary and tertiary goals? What web based tools do I need to achieve those goals (or just - How will I achieve my goals)? How do I best implement those tools to efficiently and cost effectively achieve my goals? How will I measure what I implement? and finally, How will I maintain or improve what I implement?
What are the goals of my web presence?
Your goals for you, your company’s or organization’s web presence could be anything, but should usually have some of these characteristics:
• They should dovetail your over all plan or strategy.
• They should be measurable.
• They should be sustainable.
• They should be ethical.
What web based tools do I need to achieve my goals?
Of course this depends on your goals, but there are a number of tools available. In fact there are so many tools available that it can be confusing and a bit overwhelming to some. Some of those tools are good and some not so good. The trick is to know what you want to do and then focus only on the tools that will best help you achieve your goals most efficiently and cost effectively. But remember cheaper is not always the best option and should never be the driving force behind your decisions on what to use.
How should I implement the web based tools I decide on?
This can be tricky - but there’s basically only two options available to you: Do it yourself, or have someone else do it for you. I would say, unless you are an expert, have a lot of time on your hands or can’t afford to have it done any other way, YOU SHOULD NOT DO IT YOURSELF, but rather have a professional help you. Remember, what you put on the internet totally represents you, your company or organization and is often the first (or maybe the only) impression your targeted audience will have of you, good or bad.
How can I measure if the web strategy is being effective?
In a word - web analytics. Okay, that was two words, but web analytics should be the corner stone of your measuring tool set. You’ll need to know things like, who’s coming to your website, how often, where do they go once they arrive, are they coming from your social media sites, a search engine or entering your URL in directly? It will also be helpful to know if it was a promotion that got them to your site (if you are having one), or maybe they found you through a blind search. If that’s the case, what keyword did they search on? You get the idea. You may also want to have a website exit survey or an email survey to gauge the feelings and perceived needs of your visitors.