A web presence is something defined differently by every digital strategist on the planet. The basic answer is that a web presence, YOUR web presence, is all the profiles, photos, pages, reviews, & links that are "out there" for your business.
To be found on the internet of things, one must have a social profile and website at the very least. Most have a couple with multiple pages for multiple streams of income or business topics. Not having ANY web presence in today's era is detrimental to success in the competitive market. On the rare occasion that we come across a niche business that stays busy without a web presence AT ALL, we usually visit them and find out how awesome their "REAL LIFE" customer service & presence is. There is something to be said about brick & mortar or "old school" techniques. We don't need to lose all the door-to-door advertising benefits when we switch to a digital world. At Facets of Hospitality, that is our key difference. Allow us to explain...
The Basics of Web Presence
These are the key items involved in a robust web presence that will build your online brand and reach new customers outside of your local network.
Website (With a Custom Domain)
Google Listing (Especially if you host a physical location)
Any searchable articles, appearances, photoshoots, collaborations, or podcasts that you've created or been a part of.
Build Your Brand Offline First
Did you know that the internet started after business? A few millennials we all know and love seem hard-pressed to believe this conspiracy theory, but there is quite a bit of evidence that suggests beautiful, robust, booming businesses did just fine before the Net... with flyers, billboards and good ol' fashioned word-of-mouth.
Interestingly enough, the users who interact on the internet of things include those who shop inside real stores and value customer service as a human being as well. This is an important factor in building your online presence that is missed. A lot of focus is directed towards the logo and color and aesthetics and mechanics of user interfaces, but who YOU are matters. Your customers need a sense of trust in realizing what you're about and how you work. Build your brand offline before you translate it to a digital web presence, it will make you more unique.
Why A Web Presence Matters
As mentioned before, on a rare occasion we will come across a business on our travels who is not advertised, we simply found out because someone recommended it or stumbled upon it. In fact, we know these instances have happened, usually at food trucks or tourist traps, but good luck if we could ever find them again or remember their name. In a busy life, branding helps people remember who you are so they can look you up again.
Case in point from our resident techy @NerdInCharge... "When I was 20, a friend introduced me to a "local band" with a made-up name I'd never heard of, so I spelled it out in my head. They had a bootlegged CD copy going around, unlabeled, and I burned it onto my computer to add to my mp3 player. It quickly became some of my favorites. Fast forward 15 computers, 1 kid, a lifetime of content creation and heck if I can find that music anywhere. They never branded, never put up a Myspace page, never really named their band on discs or flyers or in public-- they just played a few places and had good friends who shared their music. And then it was lost. Had ANY sort of web presence related to their band name or songs been created then, a simple search today may provide some results or current whereabouts, maybe even a current Soundcloud profile hosting my old favorites and some new ones. But alas, the "Magic of Ellie Adoro" only exists in my head. And trust me, I have searched all words related... Help if you can!"
The moral of the story is, if you are going to do it... be remembered for doing it.