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How Can You Turn a Website into A Web Presence?

2010 April 12
by buddy

web-presenceIf you are looking for a Calgary Web Design (or a Web design anywhere else in the world), you will need to consider if your Web site will become a true Web presence.

A website is, by definition, a single entity on the Internet. It has a unique address, internal links and menus, some kind of Web design supporting the Web page content and is , for all intents and purposes,a standalone entity.  The general practice of website development since the 90’s until now was to create a website based on a print brochure. In fact, many companies simply copied their brochure content over from print to their new site. Of course, the Web changes quickly and as a result, search engines and marketing methods must also change. Add these factors that cutting edge design and functions become more affordable or even are free, the basic Web site can easily get lost or outdated.

What are some signs of an outdated Web site?

  1. Out of Date Web Design Elements – most web designers currently design for a 1024 wide screen resolution, however the past standard was 800 wide, so simply designing to the narrower width can make a website look dated. Dated designs are also subject to much less functionality as they were built using less advanced coding standards. The best scenario is a web presence that is refreshed visually with a newer web design, has updated coding and functionality and has current content with past content moved to an archives section.
  2. Dated Content – probably most obvious is content that is expired or last updated a year or two ago. This goes for broken external links to other sites that no longer exist…or have been updated.
  3. © 2001– Need I say more? If you or your Web designer update the site at least once a year, get them to update the copyright notice to include the current year.
  4. Simplistic Communication Levels– older sites rely on email and maybe forms, which works well, these are standard levels of communication on the Web. However, newer sites can now offer “Live Support”, forums and interactive flash media to their gamut.
  5. Poor or no Search Engine Marketing– A dated site probably is not getting any efforts put into its marketing either! This includes Search Engine Optimization and/or online ad campaigns.

Does this sound like your website? Then read on to discover the keys of turning it into a true Web presence.
The difference in a Web presence is the difference between the wall flower at a party and the chain of people doing the conga around the entire room to the beat of the music.
A Web presence is considered a living document as it expands and gains attention and gets people involved.
To take your current Website or if you are planning a new web site from scratch, you must consider the following key features to make your website a true online presence:

The Web presence:

  1. Have a custom web design that is uncrowded, professional and attractive, but does not inhibit the navigation nor the accessibility or flow of content.
  2. The design should not limit expansion, but encourage it– it should easily be able to have new pages and functionalities added. Think about a blog or forum – these tools are built to expand and manage new content easily.
  3. A Well Planned Navigation and site flow are used to define which are passive sections, which are active, which functionalities are dynamic or static and which areas are most likely to expand. Ideal navigation will allow for the user to access all pages from each page, with minimal clicks. Clear logical grouping of content into section/page/subpage is key.
  4. Have unique content that is written for the Web, not just transferred from company brochure or newsletter, or from an industry-focused technical paper. You can make these documents into White Papers or single PDFs for downloading, but the general content on the site needs to be Web-ified and Search Engine Optimized.
  5. Add Reasonable Functionality– you don’t need an “Live Online Support” function if you don’t plan to use it. Determine who will do the site updates, either your Webmaster or a trained editor who can manage the site using a CMS. If you have a portfolio, invest in a customized, dynamic gallery to exhibit your work online. If you want a blog, make sure you understand how to use it properly. If you want to start e-commerce, be prepared to learn how to manage the catalog and admin areas.
  6. Search Engine Optimization – starts with the organic results generated by how the site is built, how accessible it and its content is, and how it relates to other websites. Then get your site manually listed in the top search engines and directories and start building reciprocal or back links to your site to help increase exposure and build popularity.

Once the site is live, you will need to:

  1. Regularly review your organic SEO terms in your Meta tags and in your content
  2. Expand into e-commerce, so your site can make money for you.
  3. Start to develop targeted ads using CPC paid listing campaigns like Adwords, Adbrite, etc.
  4. Collect Information about your visitors using Opt-in newsletters and special offers.
  5. Get feedback whenever possible from your visitors.
  6. Make your website as interactive and personal as possible.
  7. Explore how to use different media such as graphic design/print, vehicle signage, mobile, radio, in-person business relationship building to elevate your Web presence even more.
  8. Maintain your update schedule and find related niche sites and post on any blogs and groups for your key search terms and links back to your site.

A Web presence is more powerful and successful than a website because it has people actively involved in these key areas.

A stand alone web site provides a passive focal point for your business , but a Web presence is innately active and is a successful means of interactivity with your customer base and can provide a growing revenue stream.

Are you a Calgary business looking for a new or revitalized Web Design?

If so, please contact Calgary Web Design Team at for complete Web development and Print services.

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