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7 Tips for an Effective Web Presence

By:

Jason Clark
Jason Clark

on 10/23/2008

This is the outline of a short, 20 minute presentation I gave yesterday to the St. Matthews Small Business Association. In it I document a few tips that are essential for understanding your website, and also how to deal with your web developer. I will elaborate on these in future posts. The impetus of this outline stems from issues that some of our clients have had in the past, and is not technical in nature.

Getting Started

  • If you can avoid it, don’t use a freelancer
    Choose a company you can trust will stick with you. Freelancers will disappear, and therefore don’t have the time to follow best practices. They may be cheaper in the long-term, but will cost you more down the road.
  • Don’t trust “Buzzword Evangelists”
    Anyone stressing one aspect of web marketing over another, unless they really know your business, is just selling a buzzword. SEO and Social Media are the latest victims.
  • Your most valuable asset is time
    Unless you choose to devote time to learning web strategies, understand that your vendor will be a long-term partner that will help you do your job more efficiently.

Building the website

  • Don’t let your web developer hold your site hostage
    Use an open-source CMS, not a proprietary one. Demand a site-backup before launch, and on a regular basis.
  • Search Engine Optimization and Web Analytics are important
    It’s like having a store with no sign. More people use Google now to find services than the Yellow Pages. It is important to start as early as possible using SEO Best Practices & measuring results with Web Analytics.

Marketing your business online

  • The Internet is the most cost-effective way to advertise
    You can make a big impact if you have an effective plan of action. The web is also one of the only mediums now where you can accurately measure your results and act on solid data.
  • Success on the web is a journey, not a destination
    Shoot for small successes, but be aware that your competition has access to the same tactics, so regular evaluation of your strategy is a must.
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