Commissioning a firm to design and develop your website is a crucial first step toward establishing your brand’s presence online. But what does that mean, “establishing an online presence”? To begin with, a website is the cornerstone to having an online presence, because a website provides your clients or customers with important details regarding the services and/or products your business offers.
Words by Chris Taylor
(Holding bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science, English, and Spanish, Chris also earned his PhD in Linguistics (with a focus on interactional sociolinguistics) from Rice University. In addition to his academic pursuits, Chris has been designing and developing for the web since the late ’90s. Working first as a web designer and then PHP developer at Sam Houston State University, Chris freelanced in Houston for nearly a decade before founding Picky About Pixels, where he is both principal and lead web designer)
Additionally, a website enables you to put your services in context through carefully-crafted online content. This includes copy written for your website and social media accounts, as well as interactive elements on your website that guide visitors in the ways that they engage with your brand online. So a thoughtfully-designed and maintained website is an integral component of an online presence.
That said, this isn’t the movie “Field of Dreams” (i.e. “if you build it, they will come”). Invariably, a good deal of forethought and hard work go into cultivating an online audience and driving regular traffic to your website. That means taking measures to be found in the results produced by Google and other popular search engines when potential clients/customers search for the services or products you offer. These measures include securing as many “back links” to your website as possible — particularly links from high-ranking pages to your website.
In order to accumulate at least a minimally-effective number of such back links, a variety of tactics can be employed, some of which take money away from your marketing budget. To get the job done for near nothing or nil, one surprisingly-effective option is to create and maintain (with regularly-updated content) social media accounts for your company or organization. For example, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Snapchat, Instagram, and others provide companies and organizations with the opportunity to create pages or accounts on these social media platforms and regularly add new content to enterprise-specific pages/channels/feeds/etc. Accordingly, taking advantage of these opportunities helps to establish and improve your online presence in several key ways.
First, you can enter a link — a back link — to your website on platforms such as Facebook, which are highly-ranked in Google and Bing (among others). Do this for as many social platforms as makes sense for your particular enterprise and you’ve started weaving a web that connects your site with places online that consistently attract heavy “foot traffic”. Second, posting regular content on Twitter and Facebook helps to cultivate and keep an audience online, engaging visitors and directing them to your place online, where you can convert online engagement into lead-generation or purchases. Finally, building a following online through social media contributes to your enterprise’s perceived legitimacy in the eyes of the potential customers or clients who visit your site. (“likes” can translate into effective outside vetting online for example.)
For these and other reasons, we recommend to all our clients that they take stock of how they’re using (or not using) platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to advance their business interests. These platforms provide largely free avenues for promoting a range of commercial enterprises online through content creation and management tools, as well as through opportunities for creating all-important back links to your website. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you promote your online presence by leveraging the potential of social media.