Internet Marketing: Website or Internet Presence?
The importance of internet marketing. Do you have a Website or an Internet Presence?
Often, when talking to managers and small business owners about their internet marketing needs I’ll bring up the idea of an online presence. Most people equate an online presence to; “Yes, we have a website.” or “No we don’t have a website yet.” However, having a website does not mean you have an Internet presence. A website is an essential element to internet marketing and creating an online presence, but a website alone is not enough.
What is an online presence?
What I like to use as a litmus test is the following:
Let’s say you have a small architecture firm in Troy Michigan. Let’s also say that the name of your business is “Keating and Partners Architecture.”
If I’m looking for an architect, I might I go to a search engine (usually Google) and type in “Architects in Troy Michigan.” If your website shows up on the first page of results then, congratulations, you have an online presence (well at least in Troy Michigan, you do.) For your purposes, this is likely fine and you may decide that you don’t have further interent marketing needs. However, if after the same search your website is buried on page 3 of the search engine results (or worse) then you may have a website but you don’t have a web presence. Nobody is going to find your business through the internet unless they are looking for “Keating and Partners Architecture” by name. This means you will not be getting new leads through google searches. In many lines of business this should be seen as a huge problem given how many people find goods and services through search engines. This firm has a real need for better internet marketing.
Who needs a website only?
I needed to sit and think a long time to think of an example of a firm that doesn’t need a web presence: only a website. This would be reserved for businesses that only use their website to pass along further information and not to market a product or event. A feedback website might be a good example. Perhaps you have provided a product or service and you wish to get feedback. You might then provide the consumers with the URL to the website for them to give the feedback you desire. There is no need optimize the website for search engines since you do not wish for people to find the website with the exception of those that were invited with your URL. In this case yo may need to spend the time or money with better internet marketing tactics.
Who needs an online presence?
Anyone who hopes to be found through search engines when a consumer is generically searching for your type of product or service requires a web presence. This applies to almost all types of businesses. Chances are if you offer a good or service then a large proportion of consumers will use a search engine to to find information about this product. If consumers use a search engine then it is vital for your website to be optimized such that when a potential customer searches for your type of product, your website rises to the top of the search engine result pages. Without proper internet marketing your site, no matter how informative and attractive, will never be found by your potential customers.
Stay tuned for tips on how to transform your website into an internet presence using safe internet marketing techniques.