Most businesses think that once they have a web site and maybe some regular activity on a social network, they’ve established themselves online. After working with a number of B2B clients recently, we proved that simply having just wasn’t cutting it because very little traffic was actually coming through on their web sites. We discovered that their biggest challenge is that they really lacked a complete online presence.
There’s no question that apps, social tools, plug-ins and widgets have made our online presence a good deal more complicated. Spending some time working to build these tools will enhance that online presence and get your business found more frequently. And it really doesn’t have to be that complicated.
To build an online presence, you want to start with your website. The great thing about the web is that it enables businesses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and you want to be able to use that volume of opportunity. It means you can take advantage of trends in the marketplace or local issues for which your business has a great solution. The downside is that you need to be prepared to respond just as dynamically and quickly. And that means you’ll want a web site platform that enables you to update, change, and add content whenever you want.
We’ve all heard about the importance of content and using that content to get prospects to know, like, and trust you. Your web site is really your credibility platform and it’s important that you have as much flexibility and control over the site as possible.
Because flexibility and control has become so important to businesses, using content management systems (CMSs) to build websites has become a critical tool in building an online presence that can work for your business 24X7. With a CMS, not only are you able to control the content on your site, you’re also able to integrate other marketing tools into your website to help you drive more traffic to your site.
Using other marketing tools that integrate directly with your web site can also help to increase the volume of traffic, and even more importantly, increase the type and quality of traffic to a web site. Integrating tools like email marketing, landing pages, and social media tools is an important aspect of building your total online presence and these tools also allow for improved metrics so you can really see what’s working and what needs some tweaking.
When selecting a content management system to build your total online presence around, it’s important to consider several important factors: how easy the actual CMS system is to use, the other tools like email marketing services, landing pages, and social media tools that integrate well with the CMS and ease of use of each of these. And then you also want to be able to track your progress by looking at metrics and analytics to monitor the performance of your online presence.
The most popular CMSs today are WordPress, Joomla and Drupl. The CMS that we recommend at WH & Associates is WordPress because it stands apart from the others in several areas. Our website was built on WordPress in 2009 and it’s become even more prevalent in the last couple of years. According to a recent article in Forbes, it powers one of every six web sites on the internet. It’s the most commonly used CMS today which also means that more designers and application and theme developers are focused on it as well, so it continues to be improved with advanced features and support.
While it’s a great solution for small businesses because it’s so much easier to use than both Joomla and Drupl, it’s not just small businesses that are moving their online presence to it. We are now seeing large organizations using WordPress for different aspects of their business including Forbes.com.
The key to building a total online presence is to start with a CMS that has the capabilities to support a completely integrated marketing effort. To get your online presence established and working for you, start by building your website with a CMS that will allow you to use your online presence as your credibility platform.
For more information on building a total online presence you can download our Total Online Presence E-book.