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Why A Web Site Is Not Enough

A few years ago you could have launched a web site and called it your 'web presence' without too much fear of contradiction but today that is no longer the case. Defining your presence on the web now involves many more nuances and channels than ever before and simply having a website is not enough. While the evolution of the internet has certainly played a role in the increasing complexity of the modern web presence, it's the different ways people now use the internet that continues to raise the ante.


Innovations like social media and even the proliferation of smart phones and tablets have fundamentally changed the internet, our access to it and the expectations that we now have of it. And this amazing industry keeps delivering on those expectations with increasingly smarter, more responsive and immersive content, sites and applications.


So where does that leave you, the business owner, when staking your claim on the internet? It means that in order to maintain an effective and dynamic web presence you have to stop thinking of your web site as your entire presence and start to think of it as the central point from which all of other elements of your web engagement will originate or point back to. It is in the complex relationships of disparate content and their link attributes that will ultimately form your company's own 'web' on the internet.


Where Social Media Falls Short

A fan page or business page on a social media site is a great way to support your web presence, but it can't do the whole job by itself. Since these pages are free, you don't own your content; the audience is somewhat limited and you can't control how visitors see you. Elements like social media pages are great ways to generate interest and tap into word-of-mouth referrals from your social network but they also need to tie back to your central hub where you can control the message and the content.

You Get What You Pay For

There is no such thing as a free lunch especially in cyberspace. Choosing a free host or ‘one-click’ website building wizard will ultimately weaken your web presence and cause problems as time goes on. Poorly designed sites or those that appear as branded pages on site farms often lack appeal or distinction and frustrate visitors to the point of being more damaging than if the company had no site at all. If your brand is not represented consistently across all media and in every instance on the internet, your message will be lost or confusing to potential visitors.


A Little Planning Goes A Long Way

When you are looking at your web presence as the sum of many parts, the Shoot, Point, Aim Strategy will not serve you well. Understanding how all of these attributes work together is essential for planning how to integrate social media, video, blogs and other content to enhance your brand. Randomly listing your business on a handful of popular sites, for example, could be worse than useless if you don't take the time to research how they work, who they attract and how effectively you can maintain them. You need to have a plan in place and sufficient resources allocated to keep your brand well represented everywhere it appears.


Think big, Start Small

Remember that cultivating your web presence is an ongoing process. As time goes on, you will see new opportunities that fit closely with your goals and you may find that some of your older strategies don't perform as well as they once did. By pruning older elements and adding new ones, you continue expanding and refining a dynamic and engaging presence on the web for your brand.

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