Building a web presence

Building a web presence

Web Presence

Business owners with limited internet visibility need to build a web presence.

What does “Building a web presence” mean?

[NOTE: This is not meant as a “How To” guide but more a “What” needs to be done]

In order to gain any semblance of visibility on the internet you need to make sure people know about your business. You need to do two things:

  • Build and keep your web properties relevent
  • Register your properties with the major search engines

Exactly what do I mean by “web properties?” A web property is any service you have on the web which was created to promote your business. It’s not just about building a website or Facebook page. It’s about creating, claiming, and managing those properties that exist or wants to create and those the business owns and linking them to create a single consistent view for your clients and visitors, a web presence. A web presence can include the following:

  • Website(s) – yes, there can be more than one as long as they advocate your business
  • Social Media Sites
    • Facebook
    • Pinterest
    • Instagram
    • etc.
  • Location Services
  • Local Search
    • Yelp
    • Foursquare
    • YellowPages
  • Google/Bing Maps

Many businesses focus on one or more of these properties and consequently miss opportunities to gain a following. Others, not understanding what a web presence means build a disjointed view of their business losing the change to promote must be consistent and tell the same message.

Link Web Properties?

Exactly what does link web properties mean? People searching on the internet for your business should find everything about you in a single location. For instance, search results for ABC Company should return all information about “all” your web properties; Facebook page, website, and any relevant information about your business you want people to know about.

How do you do that?

Through the use of two important tools; Google and Microsoft webmaster. These tools were designed to not only search for information about your business but also as a place where you can consolidate all the web properties that make up your business. In essence, controlling the information you present to the public.

NOTE: Information about your business can be disseminated by publishing content or through the “meta-data” created to further describe your business. Creating meta-data is especially important for local search. That topic is beyond the scope of this discussion.

Granted some social media offer a place to do the same, but Google and Microsoft own the search results for most businesses in the United States. If you control the information about your business, there is no better way.

Lets break down the process

It’s assumed you will have at least a website and one social media site. What do you need to do?

Websites are typically the first thing a business will build. As a result, they should the hub of your web presence. It should provide detailed information about your business as well as links to your other properties; both physical and virtual.

A recent Moz blog post highlighted the importance of having a website.

Some businesses will also display post from their social media feeds to insure people see their participation.

Google and Microsoft use automated bots to parse your website looking for information to build out search results. Why not give it to them rather than let them guess.

How?

Publish schema information in the metadata of your website describing all the web properties you own. The search engines understand that information and consolidate it according to how you’ve laid it out.

How do you build a web presence?

To summerize, it’s important that business owners insure what Google and Microsoft see on the web is what they want their clients and visitors to see. Rather than let it happen organically take the time to build a story and publish your story on your terms.

  • Review all your web properties to ensure you are delivering a consistent message
  • On your website consolidate all information about your business into the appropriate schema and publish as metadata for the search engines
  • Publish a sitemap for your website
  • Register your website with the two major search engines; Google and Bing(Microsoft)

If you need help why not give us a call.

BONUS
So you want to make sure your information is available to the web and you don’t have a website? Create a Google My Business or a Bing Business account. Both of these services are designed to provide the same functionality by going directly to the search providers and registering your business.

An added benefit is your business will be published on their respective Map applications with the information your provide and you can also respond directly to your clients.

Still not convinced? Google allows you to create a limited website for with your My Business account. It’s an excellent way for a new business owner to create a web presence without having to bear the expense of building and maintaining a website.

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