Online presence management
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Online presence management is the process of presenting and drawing traffic to a personal or professional brand online. This process combines web design and development, blogging, search engine optimization, pay per click marketing, reputation management, directory listings, social media, link sharing, and other avenues to create a long-term positive presence for a person, organization, or product in search engines and on the web in general.
Theory of online presence management
Due to the evolving nature of Internet use, a web site alone is not sufficient to promote most brands. To maintain a web presence and brand recognition, individuals and companies need to use a combination of social tools such as Google Maps, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Pinterest, as well as cultivating a brand presence on mobile apps and other online databases.
The online presence management process starts by determining goals that will define an online strategy. Once this strategy is put in place, an ongoing and constant process of evaluating and fine-tuning is necessary to drive online presence towards the identified goals. At the same time, presence management is concerned with reducing the cost of achieving goals by relying more on organic activity than on paid placement approaches.
An online presence management strategy has several parts. Generally these will include search engine placement (making sure the brand appears high in search engine results when the end user has a relevant query), monitoring online discussion around the brand, and analyzing the brand's overall web presence.
Elements of online presence management
Web design and development
Web design ensures that the brand is visually attractive through web site layout, logo, image placement, and other strategies. This may include establishing a consistent graphics scheme to use in establishing brand consistency across online platforms. Web development includes programming sites, creating mobile versions or apps, and related activities. A developer can tie branding into navigation and integrate search engine optimization into a brand's web site. Security configuration is also important to ensure brand reliability online.
Blogging can promote a brand through consistent, interesting content generation associated with a particular brand. Microblogging through services such as Twitter may be particularly effective for establishing and maintaining name recognition. Blogging is also a quick way to respond to brand-related complaints and maintain a positive focus around a brand.
Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization is the use of keywords in a web site to increase its ranking and thus visibility in the organic, crawler-based listings of search engines. Search engines use a spider or a crawler to gather listings by automatically "crawling" the web. The spider follows links to web pages, makes copies of the pages, and stores them in the search engine's index. Based on this data, the search engines then index the pages and rank the websites accordingly. Major search engines that index pages using spiders are Google, Yahoo, Bing, AOL, and Lycos.
Some methods to optimize a web page in search engines are:
- Using keywords in a domain name
- Strategic linking (quantity of links per page, target, and keywords in link text)
- Keywords used in headings, page titles, and image descriptions
- Title tags
- Meta description tags (not relevant for all search engines)
Internet advertising is a form of broadcasting and promotion of products, ideas, or services using the Internet to attract customers. A 2011 advertising industry survey found that 21 percent of Internet users consider online advertising to be the most relevant advertising system. Internet advertising has overtaken other traditional advertising media such as newspapers, magazines, and radio. Internet advertising targets users interested in relevant keywords and displays a text or image ad next to search results or within social media.
Reputation management is the process of tracking actions and opinions, looking for positive and negative opinions about any particular service or product, and removing negative opinions (if any) and converting them into positive ones. It is important, however, not to attack or try to obscure negative opinions through devious means, as this is likely to have an overall negative effect on the brand. A better strategy is to respond to complaints with information and an apologetic attitude, cultivating later positive reviews.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing uses social media platforms to create and foster communities and relationships. Social media marketing is focused on creating content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share content with their social networks. Social messages are effective because they come from a trusted, third-party source, rather than the brand itself.
Understanding what tools are available and how to use them effectively is key to success in social media marketing. Some of these tools include:
- Social media monitoring
- Social aggregation
- Social bookmarking and tagging
- Social analytics and reporting