My desire is to provide helpful and thoughtful information about all aspects of doing business. Feel free to share your comments, experience and insight!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Is Your Business Internet Presence A Well-oiled Machine?

When a vehicle is in top condition & running great, it is often said it is like “a well-oiled machine”. Can you say the same of your business Internet presence? I define “Internet presence” as any place on-line where your business information, brand or image is represented. From your website, to search results and Internet ads to social media – all of this plays into how your business is presented & viewed on-line. A “well-oiled” Internet presence requires several components...using a car analogy we’ll review the four most important.
  1. Website = Engine
  2. The basis for any on-line presence must be a website. Opinions vary on this greatly in the age of social media, blogs, etc. but I believe the best and only place to be in complete control of your company message, brand identity and business information is your company website. It is the core & center of everything you do on-line. Just like an engine is the core of the vehicle & it is involved in every function of the machine, so is the company website the center of an Internet presence.

  3. Search Engine Optimization = Chassis
  4. Although the engine is the core of a vehicle, without a chassis, that engine can't be taken anywhere. In that same thought, a business website is the center of a professional message but if it is not optimized to do well in search engines, the message never goes anywhere. Search engine optimization allows the website (and really all on-line communications) to do more than sit and wait. It gives the on-line message the framework to actively attract business.

  5. Marketing = Wheels
  6. Marketing efforts are what give a website and other areas of the Internet presence the ability to really move. Internet marketing creates the opportunity to increase visibility of a company message and move traffic to and from the various on-line activities. It could be paid advertising or have no monetary cost at all, but the interaction of your marketing message on the Internet will give greater return for your efforts.

  7. Social Media = Super Charger
  8. If we consider marketing to be the wheels of the 'well-oiled machine' then we now consider social media to be the super charger of the Internet presence. With social media use hitting all-time highs, it only makes sense that a business profile on Facebook, LinkedIn or even YouTube can be a powerful & valuable asset. Generating daily, weekly or even monthly interactions on social media sites has proven to be an exceptional way to increase a business Internet presence.

It is worth saying that an engine can be started, a chassis can be formed, a wheel can roll and a super charger can be built all independently of the other components in our analogy. However, it is only when they are all put together correctly do they make the vehicle function as intended. And the exact same goes for our on-line components. For a business to have a "well-oiled machine" of Internet presence, all of the components mentioned - a website, search engine optimization, marketing & social media - need to be a part of the plan, be implemented correctly and work in coordination with each other.

Consider how your business information, brand & image exist on-line now...and commit to taking steps to make it better. Let's get your Internet presence running like a well-oiled machine!