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Factors to Consider for a Healthy Web Presence

Factors to Consider for a Healthy Web Presence

By Paddy Phillips

Thompson Cat Community website

The 21st Century makes a healthy, strong Web presence a vital necessity for companies in all industries. Failure to have a recognizable Website leaves companies virtually invisible. Considering the vast worldwide competition, companies (in particular new or smaller businesses) without such a ‘digital business card’ have little hope of success. Here are a few factors you should consider when trying to achieve a health Web presence and subsequent company growth.

Personalised Domain

Many small/ new businesses play with the idea of starting off their Web presence by taking advantage of free Web hosting offers. This does, however, have drawbacks. First of all, resources like bandwidth and storage space are typically limited on free hosting plans. This means as a company grows, upgrades or changing hosts becomes necessary. The process of upgrading/ changing hosting plans could turn out more expensive than using a paid-for host in the first place.

Secondly, and in this context more importantly, free hosts usually provide users with domain names that are tied to the host company. If, for example, you create a site to sell jewelry via a free hosting plan, your domain name would be something like this: yournamejewellery.hostcompany.com. If, in the other hand, you have a paid-for host, you will be able to choose your own personalised domain name, which could look like this: yournamejewellery.co.uk. The latter looks much more professional than the former. It also signals to potential customers that you care enough about your business to invest in your own domain name. In other words, a personalised domain adds credibility to your company.

Professional Design

Websites obviously have to be attractive. There is, however, far more to professional Website design than appearance alone. In order to attract and please both customers and search engines, business Websites have to conform to a certain extent with current design trends. They also have to be user-friendly; easy to navigate and accessible from any device, from desktop computers and laptops to tablets and mobile phones. If you have little or no experience at all in designing a user-friendly, attractive site, hire a professional designer. This may not be cheap, but a well-designed site will help to strengthen you online presence and typically recompenses your initial outlay very quickly.

Copy and Content

Website copy and content have to be relevant to your business, informative and/ or entertaining. In short, they have to be of value to visitors. Visual content like photos, videos, graphics, etc, have to be of high quality, but need to be small enough to prevent slow loading times. Textual copy/ content needs to be well written, easy to read and free of grammatical or spelling mistakes. Optimizing both copy and content for search engines with the help of relevant, well-researched keywords without ‘keyword stuffing’ the site is equally vital in ensuring your Internet presence is healthy and strong. Again, enlisting professionals to assist you in the creation of suitable copy/ content and search engine optimization may be the most profitable option in the long run.

Social Media

You can significantly strengthen your Web presence and increase your target audience substantially by creating and regularly updating company profiles on social media networks (Facebook, Google+ and Twitter; Pinterest, LinkedIn, and so on). Providing unique, fresh informative, educational and entertaining, even funny content and engaging with other users regularly is imperative to generating a healthy Web presence. So is avoiding excessive sales talk and dubious methods like ‘sock-puppeting’ (creating fake profiles to post positive comments/ reviews about your own business). Linking these pages back to your Website is naturally also essential. This, of course, leads neatly to the next step of creating a solid Web presence, namely link building.

Link Building

Having relevant in and outbound links on your site is also an important part of securing a firm Web presence. For obvious reasons, it is important to only link to reputable Websites. Such sites may be related blogs or other industry-related Websites, for example. The main point to remember is to have organic links. In other words, it is necessary to generate links by providing content that is valuable enough to others to want to link to, rather than ‘harvesting’ links from so-called ‘link farms’. Such ‘farms’ may provide an almost limitless number of links, but many of those links may originate from/ lead to less than reputable sites. Using those links could easily backfire and result in your site being penalized or black-listed by search engines.

Summary

To put it in a nutshell, creating a healthy, solid Web presence for your company depends at least partially on having:

– A personalised domain name

– User-friendly, attractive and responsive Website design

– Well produced/ written, valuable content/ copy that is search engine optimized

– Regularly updated social media profiles

– Plenty of valuable organic links to/ from your site

If achieving a strong Web presence means having to enlist the help of professionals, the results usually outweigh the original expense within a very short time.

Freelance writer Paddy Phillips offers high quality content and copy writing services at competitive rates. Check out her Website: http://ppwritingservices.co.uk/ for details of her services; rates, client testimonials and more examples of her writing, or contact her directly via e-mail: paddy@ppwritingservices.co.uk

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