A few years ago a company’s presence on the web was just its website. It’s not quite so simple any more. Your web presence is going to be spread across many, many places. Some of these are under your direct control but many aren’t (but you can influence them).
You need to be aware of all of your web presence because it will all impact the way you are found and perceived by your customers and prospects. So, let’s look at those aspects of a company’s web presence other than its website.
- Search Engines When somebody searches on a keyword that is indexed for your website your details will appear in the results. By careful use of title and description tags you can determine what appears here. You can also use PPC to get ads to appear in search results.
- Google Places This is a free local directory listing. Claim it and expand it. It’s yours and it soesn’t cost you anything.
- Directories You may already be listed in some directories. You can find out by doing a Google search on your company name. Make sure that the entries are correct. Look at signing up for free directory listings wherever appropriate. These are great because they help you in search engine optimisation. Some directories also have reviews (see below).
- Review Sites There are loads of online review sites (e.g Trip Advisor and Qype). You need to know what people are saying about you.
- Facebook You can have a company page on Facebook (which you can customise and brand). You can interact with your customers through this. You can also advertise on Facebook (targetting demographics). You can even set up an online shop on Facebook. A great way to interact with consumers! Even if you don’t have a Facebook page, people might still be talking about you!
- Twitter You can have a company Twitter profile which, again, can be customised and branded. This is a great way to communicate to your world with links to your website or other items of links. Also, you may well be being talked about on Twitter so remember to search for mentions about you.
- YouTube You can have a company YouTube channel which is a great place to put videos about your products and services (make them educational and informational, not salesy).
- Mobile Applications You can have iPhone (or Android or BlackBerry) apps that help your customer order from you or help them use your product (e.g. a user’s guide).
- News, Features and Blog Sites Just like news, reviews and comment in newspapers, magazines and other traditional media with one crucial difference. A newspaper or magazine article ‘vanishes’ after its publication date has passed – stuff published on the web stays there forever!
So, one important piece of advice – be aware, be very aware.