Why should you have an online presence?

Picture of me very pixellated so that you can't see my face
If you couldn't find a business online would that make you suspicious?

The last 5 years or so has seen a seismic shift in the way we use the internet. We have moved from what some people call Web 1.0 to Web 2.0. To put it more simply, when the internet first came into being, a lot of people saw it as an online encyclopaedia and Yellow Pages. We would go online to look stuff up in the same way we used to look stuff up in books. Then some websites started to enable you to carry out transactions online, so we started doing internet banking and booking our flights online instead of through a travel agent. Then, social media arrived, or ‘web 2.0′ making the internet 2-way. We didn’t just use the internet to find out information and carry out transactions – we started adding to the internet (or creating content). We started putting our holiday snaps on Facebook, we started writing reviews of hotels on TripAdvisor, we started blogging…

So now, not only can we find out where to go on holiday online, we can read travellers’ reviews of hotels and resorts, see travellers’ photos (not necessarily the ones the hotel want you to see), choose our holiday and then on our return blog about our experience and upload our own photos!

Our whole relationship with the internet has changed.

If I want to settle an argument about something the first thing I’ll do is turn to Google. If I hear something recommended, I’ll turn to Google to verify it first. This short video illustrates this neatly (even if it is a bit of an advert for Google!)

So why should you have an online presence?

As an individual:

Whether you like it or not, people will Google your name. This is especially the case if you’re applying for a job. The old paper CV is dying out with companies looking more at your ‘digital footprint‘ instead. To help you with this, check out my guide to getting the most out of Linkedin so that when someone Googles you – you have some control over what comes up!

As an organisation or business:

Your web presence is your shop window – whatever it is that your organisation does. Your users/customers will want to engage with you online and may well want to tell their friends about you. If your website doesn’t allow that two-way conversation, you’re likely to struggle to increase traffic to your site and engagement with what you offer.

This video illustrates how powerful the internet can be in marketing your brand (even if you’re a charity or church this is still applicable!)

I’m here to help you navigate this brave new world! Don’t worry if it scares you a bit – it scares us all – but it can be really exciting too! Drop me a line today to see if I can help.


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