Please Note: This article was last updated in 2003.
In the real world, your intention toward your professional life drives who you associate with, what you wear, how you treat people, which publications you read, etc. One outcome of all of these activities is your presence the way you are perceived by your customers, clients, and other people in your professional community.
Just as your real-world presence is made up of a variety of activities, behaviors, and documents, your virtual web presence is influenced by a number of factors:
- your website
- the quality of the information on your site
- the look of your site
- your domain name
- how often you update your site
- your site visitors’ experience
- your web site’s search engine listings (how your web pages are described on search engine results pages (SERPs))
- your web site’s description in links from other web sites
- your online publications
- your web pages
- your e-zines
- your e-mail newsletters
- your blog entries
- old news group and discussion list postings you have made
- information about your web site that shows up elsewhere on the web
- your style how you do stuff online
- your e-mail correspondence
- your e-mail address
- how quickly you answer your e-mail
- your e-mail writing style
- your e-mail signature file
- what other people say about you online
- your ratings at eBay, Amazon, epinions, and other sites that let people comment on you, your publications, and your services
- any web page that Google has indexed with information about you (or, for a humorous take on this idea, go to Googlism and enter your name)
Obviously, many of these factors will always be out of your control. But if you strategically plan your web presence, build a search-engine optimized website, behave online in an internet savvy way, and otherwise take control of the factors you can influence, you will be well on your way to achieving your web-presence goals.
What Web Presence Is Not
When Microsoft talks about “web presence providers” or Yahoo! talks about “web presence,” they are referring to web hosting, which is only one small part of your online presence. The services I used to offer (I’m no longer doing internet consulting) were advanced marketing techniques that go well beyond what most web hosts offer.
This page created 4/5/03; last updated 11/21/03.