WebSite Design

Web Presence

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Web Presence

What is web presence you will ask?.  Many people are probably telling you that all you need is a website and the world wide web will deliver more business than you ever had straight to your door.  This is at best half true.  A website is an important part of your web presence but is is only part of the solution.  There are a lot of things to be considered in maximizing your investment in the web.

Web presence is the concept that when people are looking for something on the web and find your business they will get a good impression of your business.

  1. If a link to your website is shown in a general web search does the entry give the searcher enough info to want to click on the link for more information.  Also is the link close enough to the top of the results that the searcher even sees the link. 
  2. If the searcher is searching for a business in a business directory does the result for your business get clicked on.  Your website may be wonderful but if the business directory entry just shows a business name and phone number will they click on it to get to your website? 

Below are some of the points that I feel are important in the web presence concept above just having a website for your business. 

Website Content

The content of the website is an important part of your web presence.  It needs to be current and show to first time visitors that your business is well established, currently doing business and has what they are looking for.  Equally important is the site needs to be designed so that search engines will find the site no matter what the potential customer is searching for and will rank the site high enough on the search results so that a potential customer will see your website. 

Pictures and other flashy web technologies may give your website a killer look but some of these technologies are ignored by search engines.  Certainly a zippy lively website has its place to keep viewers interested in your business.  Equally important is presenting your information in a manner that is friendly to search engines so your customers will find your website in the first place.  Wherever possible you want to use the search engines to drive business to your website instead of having to use expensive paid web adds or Email marketing campaigns. 

For example the Remember When antique mall has a dealer who does doll repair.  The website content and business directory entries for Remember When need to indicate that this service is available at Remember When.  This insures that searchers for "doll repair" will see the malls website and directory entries and be assured that if they click on them they will get that service there. 

In addition to content on the pages I understand how to present the content so people and most importantly search engines will see and appreciate the content.  Understanding Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important part of how the content is presented on the web site pages.  Using page Meta Data, placing words in different HTML tags, placement on the page and many other factors can tell search engines that your page is the best place to send people for the key information on your web page.  It is important to have a good understanding of the nuts and bolts behind what you see on the screen when developing a website that both your customers and the search engines will like.   

Search Directory Integration

Search engines like Google, Bing and Yellow Book provide the ability for you to define a business page which is shown in their business search results. By default the search engines may be able to find out your business exists automatically and show your address, phone number and maybe a link to your website (if you have one).  This presents a poor web presence to people searching for your business.  As part of my work in building your web presence I will work with the appropriate search engines to be sure your business has maximum impact when customers search for your business.  The effort typically includes the following:

  • Adding pictures to the basic directory. These pictures add pizazz to the entry and say to the viewer that the business is successful and thriving.  The search engines also use these pictures in some directory search lists. In such a list a picture is defiantly worth more than a thousand words. 
  • Adding operating hours.  The directory entries put a lot of effort in displaying this information in a user friendly way but need to be told what your hours are. Putting this information in (and keeping it current) is a great aid to potential customers
  • Defining merchandise categories.  Search engines love to categorize businesses and show your business when customers search for a certain category of goods.  Unfortunately they cannot figure out the types of merchandise you have from your name, address and phone number, you have to tell them.  Setting up this information for the directory services is an important part of your web presence

Website Maintenance

Even the best website needs some maintenance.  You want to keep the content current with the seasons.  Talk about Christmas or Valentine gift ideas and show special products you may have on sale.  This shows first time and returning visitors that your business is a going concern that is worth coming to.  I can provide you with whatever level of maintenance you may need for your website.  If you have an existing website that you have issues with I can also work with you to improve and maintain the site. 

Web Infrastructure

  The infrastructure used to host your website is an important consideration in the value you receive on your web presence investment.  I can arrange web hosting packages appropriate for the type of website you want and the web presence services you are using.  Depending on what you need I may be able to get free hosting for your site and if not will insure you are only paying for the services that your individual site needs.  I will also insure your website is designed and implemented to be compatible with the hosting package.

Domain Names

Many people fret that all the cool domain names are taken. Without a cool domain name how will people find my web site.

While it is true that most of the cool domain names are already taken it is not a big issue for a local business.  While people may type in a web address for IBM or Apple and expect to go to their website for most businesses they find the website by first doing a search. My web presence work will insure that most search results will show a link to your website.