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Four Tips on Building an Online Presence for Your Business

Aug 17, 2007
In a day and age when the Internet is mushrooming and there are virtually no corners on the globe left that are not connected or at least connectable, as a business you will have to have an online presence to stay competitive. Of course, building an online presence for your company is not as easy as it sounds, and the number one mistake made by those who might be small business owners is to do it themselves and cut costs wherever possible. This leads to a host of sites that look or feel simply unprofessional.

Here are four tips on building an online presence for your company:

1. Hire a professional web designer and ask to see samples of their work. You want to see currently working sites that have been put together by the outfit to ensure that you like what the finished product would look like. It is too easy to be wowed by a web designer's low price tag only to later end up with a site that is either run of the mill - as it the case with many software programs that only offer for one or two variations on a theme - or so packed full of slow loading graphics and flash footage that some consumers who are still not up to date with computing items will be left out.

2. If you decide to go it alone, pay to have your site hosted. While a free host sounds good, your website will also become an advertising solution for the free host. Thus, you will have to display banners, ads, pop ups, and other undesirable bits and pieces in order to have that free site set up. Instead, purchase your domain name and pay for the hosting.

3. Do not overproduce your site. This applies especially to first time webmasters. It is so tempting to add as many "drag and drop" elements on a site as possible. Resist the urge to have email buttons, counters, guest books, weather forecasts, map functions and other items on your site all jostled together. Instead, each page of your web site should be clear, concise, and quick loading. Furthermore, the less links you offer, the less chance there is for a broken link. Consistently stay on top of your links to make sure that customers do not get error notifications.

4. Last but not least, perhaps the most important tip on building an online presence for your company is to have content that is sticky and that will be so useful to your customers that they will either bookmark your site or come back time and again from memory. The goal is to offer unique content, articles, news, and other web content that your clients or customers will appreciate, use, and perhaps also pass on to others.
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