What is web presence? It's just the term used to describe how (where and why) you show up on the internet, and how you engage with the world. In today's cyber-connected world, web presence is essential not only for businesses, but for non-profit organizations, and even for personal branding for job seekers. And it all starts with having your own website -- or at minimum, what I call a blogsite.
Web Presence Begins With Blog or Website
A blog site is a website that mostly just uses the blog pages. The platform known as Blogger (formerly Blogspot), a Google product, is often used for this purpose. Tumblr is another similar platform, but I don't recommend it for serious adults as it tends to attract sketchy users and a lot of distasteful content.
Of course, as a Wix designer, I will encourage you to have a Wix blog if not a full blown website. More on making that choice later.
Think of your blog or website as the absolute center for all the rest of your website. It carries the heaviest workload for all your marketing or presentation of yourself online. It's where the public turns first when they want to get a sense of who you are and what you have to offer.
In the same way that it's hard to imagine getting by without a phone, the same will be said about not being perceived as a credible solopreneur, trustworthy charity, or skilled employee in the not too distant future.
Wix offers many contemporary styled templates that can make your first website a breeze to create yourself. My advice is to NOT use the ADI option -- artificial design intelligence -- because it is harder and more frustrating for non-techies than it should be if you have any preference at all for layout and minor adjustments. If you need help, email me for a phone chat. I won't pressure you to hire me, but can probably give you some useful tips.
Attractive Attracting Content
This may be the hardest part of good web presence. And it's become more important to Google. Content should be written in first and second person tense so that it reads as friendly and personal, like you're having a conversation with the reader over a nice cup of coffee. Third person, cold, stuffy, distancing content doesn't make for good web presence.
Content also needs to be relevant to your audience's interests. It needs to have enough salience to their search terms too. This means NOT stuffing your pages with the same keywords, but using variations of those words. If a main keyword for you is anxiety, salience points are given for words like anxious, worry, nervous as well.
Significance is the third factor to strive for when it comes to content. This has to do with which keywords you pick in the first place. Be specific. If you are an intuitive reader, the word esoteric has little search engine juice. Use spiritual instead, or name the precise methods you use (tarot, astrology, psychic medium, etc).
For more on this tricky part of web presence, see my blog on relevance, salience, and significance.
Blog Frequently and Promo on Social Media
How often to blog is always a question my clients ask. It depends on the purpose of your business, non-profit, or other use for having a blogsite or website. If you are trying to attract clients or get donations, the more you can blog, the better. Weekly would be excellent, and every other week may be good enough. Monthly is starting to take a risk of losing momentum in attracting clients and donors.
If the purpose of your website is more like having a resume online, depending on what kind of job you are wanting, you might not need to blog at all. But you might consider using blog pages to showcase your knowledge about current events in your industry and your job-related skills. If you do that, I recommend adopting a content tone that is friendly and helpful, and keeping in mind that you are establishing a persona that will favorably impress a future interviewer.
What does it mean to promo on social media? In short, it means after you publish the blog, go to your social media account and add a short "tease" about the blog, and include a link to it. Don't post the whole blog post on social media. The point is to entice people off Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter and back to your own site.
Wix makes this easy. After clicking the Publish button in the blogging tool, you'll automatically get a pop up that prompts you to add that promo to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and maybe more. When you click on one of those, a second browser screen will open with a status post all ready for you to fill in. The link to the blog is added for you. Just say a few words and you're done.
Those few words may be important though. Make them sounds like there's something valuable to be gained by clicking your social post link. It could be something repeated from the blog itself, or something different. Just make it enticing.
Perfect Your Calls to Action
A call to action (CTA) is a button or short declarative sentence that tells the reader what to do next to get more of your expertise. Don't waffle or be wishy washy on these. The point is to facilitate the reader's motivation to take the action you want them to take -- Buy Now, Make an Appointment, Join Here, Subscribe for More, and so on.
Nearly every page of your website should have some kind of call to action. Homepages might just have a Read More CTA that links to the About page. Or, under a paragraph about your therapy specialties there should be a Get Details CTA that links to a Services or FAQs page. Additional CTAs on the services page can link to a booking or session payment page.
Some advisers say that people who cruise the internet aren't usually ready to take an action, but that those who search on their phones are. My analytics don't bear that out.
And since in Wix you'll need a designer to arrange for different content and CTAs on a mobile view from that which appear on your desktop and tablet versions, it's not generally something you'll need to worry about or need to pay for.
Although, here is one thing you can do. I don't usually suggest watching your analytics to track how many people are visiting your desktop versus your mobile website. It can turn into a time-sucking obsession. But once in a while, like maybe every 3 months or so, its useful to just check in and see if your audience has changed their viewing behavior.
To do that, go to your Wix manage posts screen for your blog. Look down the left column for the link that says Insights. This is where you can see the analytics for both your website as a whole and for your blog. Be sure to scroll down because each option has more info than can be seen above the fold.
Prioritize Just One or Two Social Media Platforms
You don't need to be everywhere. It's much better for web presence to choose the platform where most of your clients, donors, or employers are likely to be. Younger folks seem to be more on Instagram now. Middle aged and corporate brands are more on Facebook for direct connection with clients, and on LinkedIn for gathering referrals from other professionals. Journalists and politicians have taken to Twitter.
Google+ seems to be dying out for the most part, so I don't think it's worth your time or mine. But if your posts have good visual content, Pinterest is a growing social media platform. If you vlog or produce other videos, YouTube is now considered a leading social media platform.
Know where your audience is likely to be and promo yourself there.
Add Yourself to Google My Business
If you need people to come to your business location, add yourself to Google My Business which makes it easy for people to find you. This puts your name, address, phone number, business hours, and photos of your building in a sidebar on Google, along with links to your website and directions for finding you.
As a solopreneur that works from home and deals with people strictly by phone and email, Google My Business makes me shudder. So I use the address of a UPS store down the street were I've had a mail box for a few years. Google has yet to figure out what to do for people who don't have a local, public, brick and mortar location and don't want people dropping in without an appointment.
Participate in Social Media Groups
Lastly, make the time to be more interactive online. Post regularly on your own Facebook business page by sharing content, asking questions, announcing fundraising events, making recommendations to colleagues, etc., in addition to promo'ing your own blog posts.
But perhaps the most valuable thing you can do on Facebook or LinkedIn is to join or start a closed group to generate even more interaction, become an unforgettable name, and very very subtly mention your business or charity once in a while. This kind of activity can pay off in a large but indirect way as those who "friend" you start to send referrals your way.