The Internet is a constantly evolving animal. Over the past couple of decades, businesses started to realize that they needed to have a website. All sorts of web developers and companies popped up offering anything from a one page brochure website to hundreds of pages deep website that disseminate all sort of information. At first, it was perfectly fine to have a template or brochure type site. Basically you are just referring people to your website from your business card, a trade show or seminar, or perhaps when they are in your place of business.
In this day and age with so many people doing searches online (97% of consumers), it’s not enough to just have a website. You have to do more to get found online. So what’s the difference between having a website and a web presence? The answer is that a website is just that a page or group of pages on the Internet. Just putting up a website online really doesn’t do much for you these days. You have to have a full web presence. There are all sorts of properties on the Internet that you need to utilize to create this web presence.
Here are a few recommendations for you to increase your web presence:
Get your business listed in Google Places
Get your business listed in the major online review sites
Get your business listed in the major online directories
Create pages and profiles in the social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
Put up a Youtube channel
Start a Blogsite or add a blogroll to your existing website
Create a podcast channel
Create additional web 2.0 properties such as a Squidoo Lens or Hub Page
I know it’s a lot to take in but the point is that just having a website is not the same as a full web presence. You don’t have to do everything all at once but you definitely want to get started improving your presence before you get buried. It will get more and more difficult to get found online if you don’t have the proper tools in place working for your business. Let’s use a simple analogy as an example. A mechanic has a huge set of tools to work on your car and all of the parts need to work properly and fit together to get you where you want to go. The same hold true for the Internet, there are all sorts of tools that work in different ways to keep your web presence “tuned up”. You can’t neglect your online presence too much longer. Just as the auto industry (and many industries after that) evolved and new forms or transportation became available, the same goes for the Internet. You don’t have to have a Ferrari but you can’t use the old Model A anymore and still get where you want to go. You’ll be passed by and there will be nothing left for you.