My reason for saying this might surprise you.
Yes, it is about being where your customer is searching. And with mobile technology taking over and print media on the way out, the internet is where everyone goes.
More importantly, it is about having better control of what is being publicly displayed online about you and your business.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had small business owners tell me that they don’t want an online presence because they want to maintain their privacy. In one simple search I can show them that they’re already online, just not in control of that online presence.
Privacy as we know it so gone.
In a recent post, The Erosion of Privacy and the Rise of Publicness…and why it’s a good thing, Brain Solis shows how “publicness” is the new norm and privacy as we know it is gone.
In the Solis article experts talk about effectively taking control of your online presence which Solis calls “publicy.”
Module One of Take Control is a first step in that process. We at Take Control put your website next. Why? Because this is one place where you have total control of your message, your publicy.
You get to portray yourself exactly the way you want others to see you, and you can link everything else on the net to that statement of “youness.” Nobody can block or ban or blacklist you there. Based on your optimization skills, everyone will be able to find you. It is your homebase on the internet.
The third module in the Take Control membership training program is, “Take Control of Your Website.
Does taking control mean that you need to start from scratch, or can you continue to make do with your old website?
Here are some points you can use to decide:
1. Are you truly in control of your website?
With old html sites, you probably have to go to a webmaster to do any updating. That means you are probably not updating very often, because it costs money.
If you aren’t able to update regularly, you are not in control, your webmaster and your pocketbook is.
Another problem that indicates you are not in control is not knowing how to access your website and what the passwords are for accomplishing that.
2. Do you like your website just the way it is?
An old website may be exactly perfect for your business’s needs. It provides the information your customer needs. And occasional updates don’t cost much. But…
3. Is that old website being found by search engines?
In order for it to be the ultimate statement of your publicy, it must show up on the search page one, when people are searching for your business or industry in your town. If it doesn’t, it isn’t doing its job.
If you aren’t updating regularly, or your old website isn’t properly optimized, your placement on search engines like Google will shift to the point that you are no longer being found by your customers.
To test this, do a Google search. Type in the words you know your customer is likely to use to search online for what you have to offer.
Think about the search as a very sophisticated phone book. Searching by keyword phrases is like using the yellow pages. Remember how challenging it was to make certain you were listed under the most appropriate categories in the yellow pages? Google is like the yellow pages on steroids! Not showing up on page one of a Google search is like not making it into the yellow pages in the proper category.
Search for any keyword phrase you believe potential customers might be using. If you don’t show up, you need to optimize your website.
If answers to the above questions show that you have a website problem, Module Three at Take Control will help you solve them.
You may find that your simplest, most cost effective solution is to create a new website.
With WordPress technology, this is something you can do for yourself, or get a webmaster to help you at a reasonable cost. With a little instruction, you will be able to add content and pictures and do updating yourself.
You’ll need some lessons in creating content, optimizing images and optimizing for search engines. You can do these things! They are not rocket science!
If you discovered that your website is still serving you well, keep it. Learn how to optimize it, and consider adding a blog to allow you to economically add fresh content.
Blogging isn’t difficult, but I realized that a little instruction can be helpful, so the first lessons in Module Four will teach you how to set up and maintain a blog.
So, spend a little time considering your current situation re: your website, and let us know in comments how we can help.
Here are some past posts on websites that may help:
Photo on Flickr by SEO Planter