Years ago online activity was static and simple. People visited websites and then emailed the address at the bottom of the page for further interaction.
How we use the internet now is very different and dynamic, with online interaction increasingly transferring to social network sites.
In the era of social media businesses are constantly advised on how best to establish a presence on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and other networks. Experts insist that in this day and age no business can afford to neglect their social media strategy because of the nearly limitless possibilities for reaching consumers and liaising with other businesses.
Of course this is correct. But be wary of losing yourself in a frenzy of company blogging and company twitter feed updating at the expense of maintaining what is still the most stable and important part of your business’s web presence – your own website. Vibrantly engaging with consumers, participating in online conversations, and convincing people to click on your links are worthless pursuits if there’s nothing exciting waiting at your website.
Social media are a means to the end of drawing potential customers to your website, essentially the headquarters of your online operations. Blog and tweet your heart out but don’t forget to keep cohesion with your website, which must stay fresh and updated. As your business evolves, so should your website, so always include new products, promotions or major company news.
Your home page needs to make an impression. Remember that it takes mere seconds for a user to decide whether to exit a site immediately or stay and look around. The general appearance, design and layout of your home page are just as important as the copy on it in communicating information about your brand.
Your home page should tell users straightforwardly what you do, subtly how well you do it, and simply direct them where to go next. After the Home page the About and Contact pages are most important so details on these should always be accurate and up to date. In terms of SEO it is also good to ensure that copy on your website is optimised for commonly searched phrases, and that content is grouped on clearly arranged and easily navigable pages.
When thinking about your business’s online presence conversation on social media networks is crucial, but don’t forget your general housekeeping duties to keep your website clean and healthy.