Building and Managing a Web Presence


Building and managing a web presence is all about managing your reputation. Now, and in the future even more, the first face your new fans are going to see is a search result. Or a tweet, or whatever crazy name some kid in California comes up with in the next generation of the web.

It doesn’t matter what the tool is called, it’s going to be a web tool. And that means you need to be there. Not just with a digital home, but with a real human presence. Today, anyones can hire a tech-junkie to automate a web presence with fake robot tweets, scraped (stolen) blog posts and spammy comments on websites. And any real human can see right through it.

A properly managed web presence is built on four pillars, which form a framework for activity that allows for staying current and relevant.

1. Monitor current trending topics and participate in those conversations that are relevant to you.

Use several web technologies separately and together to monitor any activity on the web for a given topic. On any given day expect to receive alerts from twitter, linkedin groups, and the web in general, including both news sources and industry blogs.

2. Establish reputation for rational well-thought and well-written commentary on current topics.

Using recent alerts and activity as a guide, visit influential websites around the web and join the conversation. The goal here is always to offer relevant commentary and whenever possible, offer some genuine, real-world help to solve a problem.

3. Identify emerging trends early to become identified with the beginnings of those trends – establish thought leadership.

Over time try to identify which emerging trends will most likely become mainstream. By joining the conversation near its beginning, it’s possible to become associated with the conversation and looked to as a leader of the conversation.

4. Identify important future trends and create conversations around those trends.

It is important to cultivate a genuine leadership position once it has been attained. By nature, social leaders are the ones who recognize and act early. It will be up to you to keep a thoughtful eye on the future, so you’ll know which conversations to start.

The Bottom Line

Reputation is an elusive thing – building a good one takes sustained effort over time. In the end though, it’s as simple as what folks think and feel about you. That is who you are, to them. If they have no real presence to base their opinions on, they will probably still form an opinion.

A properly managed web presence helps to ensure the reputation you want, positioning yourself as a de facto leader in your chosen field and establishing a real rapport with both current and potential contacts. While true that successful management comes with a high price tag, the benefits are worth far more than the cost.



5 Ways to Make Your Site More Engaging

Google is able to accurately predict how engaged a typical visitor to your site might be. Higher engagement translates to a higher ranking in their search results, leading to more visitors. With more to keep them interested, your visitors will stick around longer and come back again for more. Here are six easy things you can do to get more engagement.

1. Make It Easy To Get Around

When it comes to getting around your site, don’t try to reinvent the wheel. This whole internet thing has been around for a while by now, and everyone on the planet has been conditioned to look for certain things in certain places. Put the main navigation either across the top or down one side. Use normal words that are easily understood by your typical visitor. Use colors that contrast enough that your text can be read without effort. Put your content near the top of the page, above the fold. Let your visitors know immediately that they have come to the right place.

2. Speed It Up

The fastest way to lose someone is to do nothing for a few seconds. About 50% of all people on the web will hit the BACK button if your site hasn’t loaded in two seconds. By four seconds, that number jumps to 80%. Getting a quick load time may be as simple as removing images from your background and using only color or eliminating rich media ads that are loaded from other websites. If you’re using a CMS like WordPress, you can install a plugin such as WP Super Cache to serve cached content, eliminating the time it takes to query the database.

3. Format Your Articles For Ease

Long blocks of text simply do not work well on the web. Use images and break your text into short paragraphs to keep the reader interested and occupied. Break medium and longer articles into smaller pieces separated by sub-headings. Do not place ads in the main body of the text. You will be tempted. Don’t. Remove all obstacles that interfere with the ability to consume your content.

4. Use Video

Now that your visitors can easily find their ways around your lightning-fast and informative website, what can we give them to keep them happy and coming back for more? Sometimes a great idea is to create a custom video on a relevant topic. If you have a product to sell, make your own 30-second commercial for it. You’ll be tempted to make a feature film, but you have to control that impulse. Keep it short. You can upload it to YouTube if you want, and host it on your site from there.

5. Add a time waster

It doesn’t have to be all business, all the time. Consider adding a section with nothing but photos, or a section with some simple games. Make it obvious that this is here just for the enjoyment of it–a little added value you just wanted to give away.

Happy Visitors Keep Coming Back