The competitive marketplace continues to rapidly change daily, which means the No. 1 objective should be a vibrant, integrated presence.
You must keep an open mind in order to be prominent in all online mediums, and appeal to all personality types — from prospects who are ahead of the curve on technology to people who still like to read books.
Naturally, it’s important to develop online relationships with social media and other strong Web sites.
They will enhance your Web image until it achieves a dominant position in your niche. So, an integrated approach works best.
A Web site doesn’t have to be an expensive venture. With WordPress and other options, you can forget about HTML, which is challenging and time-consuming to learn. You can use a free WordPress template, www.blogger.com, or buy a complex WordPress template and customize it.
Another challenge: Cyber security. Be sure you take every security precaution. (This portal has several columns quoting a nationally respected security expert, Dr. Stan Stahl: has been quoted often.)
21 steps for integrated approach
Not to over-simplify, for an overall great Internet presence, here are the basics:
- Research options for your ideal branding.
- Decide on your slogan – three to five words that will pique the interest of your target audience.
- Develop a logo that tells your story.
- Create a favicon, which is a short description for “favorites icon.” A favicon is small, often 16 x 16 pixels, used as a logo for your Web site on the search engines. If it’s the same as your company’s logo, you’re really rocking. For example, just look at the URL in this search line on this Web page and you’ll see mine. Or look up any major company or site. All the big dogs – successful companies – have a favicon. It will help portray you as a unique firm.
- Install a good site map for the convenience of search engines and SEO (search engine optimization).
- Don’t under-estimate the power of the news media. Include a “Press Room” on your site for the convenience of journalists to read about your firm’s developments.
- Know and implement the right key words for you — no more than 10. If you’re a small firm, include your name and a brief Web description that isn’t too long in order to be inserted on the search engines when they mention your site.
- Develop your site – if possible, include a blog, and blog frequently.
- Consider inserting relevant videos — an increasing draw for traffic.
- Register your site with the search engines.
- Read the search engines’ Web developer tools. However, in the main, if you focus on quality and relevance you’ll do well on the search engines. Many people think you have to have use separate strategies for each search engine, but that’s not the case. Relevance and value are what matter most.
- Immediately create profiles on at least the salient social networks: LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Set up a Google Analytics account.
- Miscellaneous tips – on LinkedIn join all relevant groups focusing on your target audience and especially your industry to attract business. Promote your work on the groups. For Facebook, decide if you want a personal or company fan presence. Grow your Twitter followers every week.
- For your profile, make sure you use a good picture with strong resolution. Use the same picture in all your promotions. Consistency is a requirement to earn universal trust. Include all your profile basics.
- Develop and implement an editorial schedule for your blogs. Life happens. Keep it flexible in case the schedule has to be temporarily altered. Quality content is crucial to rank No. 1 on Bing and Google.
- For every salient event or blog, insert no more than 10 keywords so readers can find your topics in a search, and write an online press release and have it distributed on an authoritative press release service. Pick one that has a page rank of 6. Many will do it for free.
- Promote your blogs on your social media, especially your LinkedIn groups and StumbleUpon, and write for a bounce in revenue, write strategic press releases.
- Consider the potential of e-newsletters.
- Install a social-media sharing button on every page, which will mean you’ll have access to more than 300 social media sites. (For WordPress, Sassy Social share is excellent.) You can also insert separate buttons for your social media.
- Check the Google page rank of all sites linking to you, and you’ll need a lot of them. Google assigns page ranks from one to 10. However, remember your new site will have a zero page-rank, and you don’t want other zero-ranked sites linking to you. That goes for your online press-release company. Shoot for links with a page rank of 6 or higher because if you do things right you’ll quickly earn a page rank of one or two. Allow for some wiggle room for your site’s future ranking. (Check your site’s page rank.)
- Continue to innovate in all that you do.
The best way to innovate is to keep an open mind. The best way to keep an open mind to spot and capitalize on new opportunities is to practice the “Principle of Contrary Action.”
It’s a tip from a cherished mentor more than three decades ago. Keep track of everything you do and strive to do it differently each time. That includes taking different routes to work, going to the grocery store or even take different aisles every time you shop.
It was a simple but effective strategy from Len Brode, Ph.D., who had many accomplishments as a scientist, advisor to the Pentagon and the ABC-TV network, and as a great human being.
Long before I heard it in infomercials or charismatic self-promoters, he also was a proponent of “how to keep your personal power.”
From the Coach’s Corner, here are more research links:
Sales Success: Flawless ‘Brand Personality Appeal’ Is Vital – How you can gauge your brand’s personality appeal – if it’s suitable to yield sales. Here’s a checklist of 16 important factors.
Checklist to Build Your Brand on a Budget— Every business needs to save time and money while increasing revenue with affordable branding techniques. Here are 29 proven branding solutions for maximum profits.
Google Insights – 23 Key Questions about Your Web Site — Google has unveiled vital information about what it considers important for Web site ranking. Without divulging proprietary information, Google emphasized it’s all about value – quality for Internet users.
Choosing Best Web Sites to Advertise — ‘Medium is the Message’ — When considering where to communicate your message, selection of the right medium is important. In the 1960s, it was all the rage after Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan theorized that “the medium is the message.”
Checklist: 19 Quick Marketing Tips for New Entrepreneurs — Would you like to be your own boss? Are you gainfully employed but have a great entrepreneurial idea? Why not start a new business?
“A strong foundation increases the value of everything you do.”