The First Step to Online Presence

Online presence is everything. Whether you want to start a business, be a successful free-lancer, or sell your art, almost every endeavor requires some knowledge of SEO (search engine optimization) and online marketing, whether it’s your field or not. In short, mastering how to use the internet to your advantage is not optional if you want to be successful regardless of your goal. It’s your reputation, your visibility, and how you’re perceived.

In this series, we will explore some of the fundamental and nuances of what makes some websites work while others fail. More broadly, we will talk about business and online success and the pitfalls to avoid in getting there.

If you can hold attention with your website, your online presence can conquer the internet.

We’ve heard it said that time is precious, but equally important is attention. If you can grab your audience’s attention and hold it, you’re doing more than having them invest their time into you: they are investing their energy. An Audience that is invested in you is an audience that remembers you, likes you, buys from you, and returns to pay more attention to you. You’re only as big as your online presence and your presence is only as large as the audience that pays attention to you. Who and what we listen to is habitual and understanding this and how it applies to SEO, your website, and to your business or project is paramount in conquering the internet.

With this in mind, SEO campaigns and other advertising efforts amount to little if you don’t start by having a website that captures people’s attention. There are many crucial ingredients here, but the first is Authenticity. In person, video, audio, or even in text, people can “smell” when someone or something seems phony. It’s part of our innate and age-old natural defenses against conmen and huxters. Those who are scammed, lose–and this defensive instinct has resulted in a hyper-vigilance against phoniness. Being full of such scams, people are especially wary on the Internet.

Award-winning brand consultant Simon Mainwaring notes that, “The keys to brand success are self-definition, transparency, authenticity,postand accountability.” Your brand doesn’t have to be a company. It could be your Yoga studio, but it could also be an organization dedicated to helping the needy, or selling costumes for cats–it doesn’t matter! Authenticity doesn’t have to be boring. On the contrary, a website that’s built around genuine enthusiasm will exude an attractive energy that is engaging and memorable.

As we continue to cover the keys to a strong online presence and take a look at the tips and tricks that have made others successful (or just become “internet famous”), we will see how you can follow in their path–and make your own, as you journey towards cyber ubiquity!


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7 Ways to Stand Out from the Crowd Online

To have a potent online presence, you need to have your essentials in good order: social media, functioning links on your site, an attractive layout, etc. They are certainly a crucial foundation, but it’s not enough to master the basics, you need to have an online presence that stands out from the crowd. This is about the questions you need to be asking of your business or website in order to get noticed. Standing out from the crowd can include one or more of:

  1. Novel: A product, service or perspective that no one else is offering

No one else sells seashells that double as bluetooth speakers? Great! You’ve got something original (for now). Be wary of this avenue. You’re only unique until someone copies you.

  1. Stylistic: Aesthetics or tone that are unique to you

A fresh approach, layout, and atmosphere can mean everything, especially if what you’re providing is directly related. For instance, a consulting firm or marketing group may benefit more from excellent aesthetics and verbiage on and around their website than a dentist’s office.

  1. Premium: Extraordinarily high quality–and the reputation that comes with it

Simple in theory, but difficult to achieve and nearly impossible to prove. Do you have the potential for a growing reputation of quality and excellence? Can you encourage patrons to leave positive reviews and testimonials when possible?

  1. Cheap: Fiercely competitive prices

Nothing is better than cheap (except free)! Undercutting competitors is as old as the free market but if you can do it well without sacrificing as much quality, you have an important edge!

  1. Legacy: A long history of market presence, brand loyalty and/or easy recognition.

“Tide” is a word as well associated with laundry detergent as it is with a natural function of coastlines. Building such a brand was certainly not easy. Remember: Size + Time it’s survived equals the legacy of your brand.

  1. Innovative: A ground-breaking improvement upon tried-and-true methods or products

This can seem similar to “Novel” but this is less about being niche and unique and more about finding a revised method to deliver on a time-tested product. Uber might be in this category. Everyone knew about Taxi cabs, but Uber took an entirely different approach…

  • Attrition: Successful online presence is the beneficiary of a well-funded advertising campaign.

Let’s face it: throwing money at a problem sometimes works.

There may be rare occasions where an organization, business, or professional has a website and overall online presence thanks to some other factor, but generally: every time a business has a strong and positive online presence, it’s thanks to one or more of these 7 reasons.

SEO does NOT exist in a vacuum. There is no magic bullet for ranking highly on any search engine. To conquer the internet with your presence, you need to have a presence worth paying attention to. Why should someone spend their valuable time on your website instead of any other–or indeed, closing their laptop altogether. What are you offering people that is worth them paying attention to that no one else is offering (at least in the same way)?

Where does your organization have the potential to increase your use of one of these 7 factors?

Your Website’s Blind Spots (and how to get rid of them)

Business owners and everyone else who relies on their website to be successful and visible to the public knows how important it is to keep an eye on their website. What does it mean to ‘keep an eye’ on something that is ultimately made of zeros and ones? It means you’re limited to the non-digital lens of the human eye.

The integrity of a website

Broken links, slow-downs, and browser compatibility issues are among the many issues that can plague your website without being obvious to the naked eye; these are your website’s “blind spots”. Such blind spots are one of the main reasons why otherwise well-managed small businesses and professionals struggle with a stagnate online presence. Search engines use various algorithms to determine how to rank websites. Even with a well-funded SEO (search engine optimization) campaign, your website may find it’s way to the back of the line time and again until you’ve sorted out the internal issues your website faces. To stay on top of these issues, we recommend investing a website monitoring software-service like Soliciti. More on that in a bit.

Broken links & broken dreams

Hyperlinking text over to other website’s can be both logical and necessary. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to make sure that every link is working properly without constant micro-management or needing to wait until a client mentions the break. The same is true of media that fails to display properly. A sound loop, image, or animation can be essential for the aesthetic you’re aiming for. Automated website monitoring services are designed to constantly be looking for such snags–and alert you when they find them. To complicate matters further, a piece of media or link that appears to be working in your browser may not be working in others–or on other devices.

Awareness is the secret ingredient…

Just as you can’t fix a leaky pipe if you don’t know about, you can’t secure your website or prevent the many things that could go wrong if you aren’t made aware. In the digital age, a well-maintained automation program like Soliciti remains your best bet to the the first person to know about anything that could be causing your site to be less than completely professional and therefore presentable.

Regardless of what method you choose to “keep an eye” on your website, make sure that is includes these criteria:

  1. Affordable on your budget
  2. Comprehensive enough to cover elements from security to compatibility and everything in between.
  3. Is easily implemented and doesn’t intrude in your day-to-day operations.

Be smart. Do your research. Protect your website. Conquer the Internet.


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