Your Online Multi-presence – Part 1
Your Online Multi-presence: Start with a Web Site
– by Anna Marie Piersimoni
You may be new to the internet and wondering, “My practice is full – why do I need a website?” Or maybe you’re a well-seasoned web surfer, thinking, “Everyone is on Facebook, so why do I need a website now?” Either way, the professional website is an essential component toward establishing your online identity. Even with the rapid adoption of the Facebook Business or Fan page, a website still functions as the hub of a thriving web presence.
There are two critical dimensions in thinking about your website:
Content – the words and pictures that your visitors see
Searchability – how individuals find those words and pictures – and you!
Your web site gives an initial sense of who you are to potential clients before meeting they meet you. First and foremost clients get to know about your practice, theoretical orientation and specialties that will help them make an initial decision about whether or not they feel there is a potential good fit. So it’s important that the first impression on the homepage is both professional and inviting, while providing basic info and interesting content:
- Contact information Detailed information about your background
- A PDF of your resume that can be downloaded
- Description of the various services you offer
- New clients forms that they can fill in before their visit
- A blog that allows for a dialogue between you and others
- Video that can put a human face to all that text
- Links to resources and educational materials
Blog or Website?
A blog is usually chronologically ordered – actually, the term itself is a shortened version of the words, “web log”.
A website is a group of linked pages, that are organized so that you can navigate from one page to another.
Today, the lines are increasingly blurred between the two forms and now there are several easy to use, inexpensive blogging applications, such as WordPress, Typepad, Weebly, Homestead, Tumbler, Squidoo. Some of these allow a blog to look and act like a standard website, while allowing you to make up to the minute changes with the ease of a word-processing program. In Part 2, we’ll get started by taking a look at basic content, style and function elements that need to be addressed whether you opt for a simple, do it yourself format or hire a professional web developer.
Anna Marie Piersimoni is an independent consultant in multi-platform media production and marketing. She is a former Director of Internet Communications and a video and broadcast television promotion producer.