The Anatomy of your Web Presence
Part 1: The Brain
Welcome to the 13 part series: The Anatomy of your Web Presence. We will be looking at different issues around web development, promotion, management, writing and buzz marketing. This series is not just about your website. It is about having a life on the web. Developing your web presence is more than a website. It is interacting with people, setting strategic goals, working, playing and growing.
Part 1 is the brain. We start with the brain because it is the most important aspect of having a successful web presence. The rest of the body is just a bunch of tools that should be aligned with accomplishing the goals set by the brain. This web view mirrors our real brain. Our brain is the control center for the central nervous system. Instead of pumping blood, our web presence will be pumping information. Information is the life source of who you are on the web.
The brain is where you will think about your goals and desired outcomes. Your brain will have to analyze the time you spend on the web and assess the value that is gained.
The questions and activities in this document are some of the same kinds of thing that a high-priced web analyst would ask when reviewing your website. It is also the kind of thing a mentor or coach will help you explore to improve your business.
The reason these people are successful at helping you is that they are not blinded by the big picture and they focus in on specialized questions and topics that they know can have a big impact. This does not mean they are easy. What it does mean is you can develop a list of activities to improve your web presence and work towards your goals.
What stops most people from doing this? Unfortunately, the brain is often overlooked by people when developing a web presence. Here are some of the attitudes and behaviors people adopt because they do not take the time to think about their goals.
I never get results from the web
This common statement can be heard from many business owners who spent too much money or time setting up a basic website and then waited for people to start coming to them. When their giddy excitement died they assumed it is the fault of the Internet, and could not actually be their unrealistic expectations and limited web presence.
If this describes you, don’t despair. Many website owners set them up and forget about them when the phone does not start ringing off the hook. You need to reassess your goals and set realistic expectations. Then you need to begin using your brain to build up your web presence bit by bit.
I can write a script….
Some people give up quickly, and others are on a never ending quest for short cuts. Sometimes these short cuts can pay off and generate revenue but there are a variety of reasons they are a bad idea.
If you are practicing techniques to build lots of information that is pulled from other resources, you are hoping to capitalize on other people’s brains but not using your own. Google and the other search engines are always combating these kinds of activities. Even if you find a trick that works, it is only a matter of time before it gets shut down. Then you are off on a new quest to find a new trick to make money.
If you are writing scipts to pull in data, you know that your techniques can change any day. Develop a great online presence that does not use these black hat techniques and begin to phase out the old short cuts while building up a legitimate audience.
A voyeur is a brain that reads other people’s writing or watches their video but rarely contributes. This is also sometimes called a lurker in chat rooms, message boards and such. If your goal is to help people get to know you are find your website, you cannot stay invisible.
People yearn to see their message boards and blogs commented on. One of the biggest complaints I hear from people that run these kinds of sites is that it is difficult to get people to comment. People visiting, on the other hand, often doubt that what they have to say is valuable enough so they do not say a thing.
Do not be a voyeur. Make meaningful, interesting comments and it is OK if they are not a masterpiece. Just don’t do the old “Nice site” comment as it will probably get marked as SPAM. Instead, say something about the topic that is interesting.
You have met people like this before. “I don’t know technology”, they say.
This has less to do with skills and abilities, and more to do with your brain’s ability to get outside its comfort zone and try something new. I bet many of the people that say they do not have technology have a cell phone and a DVD player. Those are technical.
The key to getting your brain past its techno-phobia is to be willing to try something new and to understand that technology continues to get simpler. Writing a website used to be somewhat tricky for non-html people. Now there are many content management systems out there that make it simpler than using your word processor. And if your website is still too difficult, you cannot possibly tell me a blog is too hard. You will in the title and write the paragraphs. Two fields and hit save.
Not technical is not an excuse. Just say you are not interested in being successful on the web. That is far more sincere.
Busy Busy Bee
Some people spend a great deal of time on the web and never get anywhere. These are the people with huge networks or lots of websites, but they are not making any money. This happens with someone is focused on activity and not outcome. Your brain, and a deep breath, are what help you set goals and deadlines so that you can analyze your activities and eliminate those that do not pay off.
Of course, it is not always about the money but at some point there has to be a reward for your effort, unless is it strictly recreational.
Put your brain in charge
So now let’s agree on a few things. The brain is in charge. The brain does not do things for the sake of doing them. It is goal driven and seeks to create good, healthy habits that will enhance the health and well-being of your entire web presence, and it will work to eliminate those things that damage the web presence or take away valuable time and energy.
The brain must set goals, collect and disseminate data and change activities and objectives when necessary. Without being emotionally attached to your current products, websites and activities, I’d like you to turn on your web presence brain and focus on setting goals and objectives with the following website goal worksheet.
Overall Web Presence Mission:
Instructions: A good web presence strategy keeps the mission in mind but understands that some people will move faster than others. For this reason, a tiered set of goals must be created. We look for a three by three set of goals for optimum results. Tier 1: These outcomes are usually the purchase of your premium items or services.
Tier 2: These outcomes are mid-range purchases. Books, eBooks, sign up for a webinar, etc. #1
Tier 3: Free outcomes that can later lead to higher tiered outcomes. Sign up for newsletter, download presentation, etc. #1
Now do a complete review of your core website or blog. You should have one central location as your primary brand and focused resource for accomplishing your goals. For example, http://www.buzzoodle.com/
was simplified to only have items that can be purchased or signed up for on it. One week after the simplification, our target pages went from 3% of the hits to 22% of the hits. We used our brain to focus on the goals and get rid of the fluff. Does this mean we eliminated content? No. Content is too valuable to be slashed and burned when you are making changes. We simply stopped internally linking to the old pages that were making the site seem busy and we produce most of our new content on our blogs and other websites, such as http://blog.buzzoodle.com/
. Those sites act as engines to draw in readers and the interested visitors end up on the website that is focused on the goals.
The web has the ability to help people anywhere find you and follow your lead to your goals. Use the brain to think link someone else that has stumbled upon your website or blog. Ask these questions for every page you create:
- Is the subject of the page clear?
- Who is the company or person behind the site?
- Is the next step clear if I am interested in the subject?
- Do you ask for the sale?
- Does this resource provide value to the reader?
Every single page of your website or blog could be the first page someone starts on, if they arrived via a referral link or search engine. Do you build every page with a goal in mind?
Next, ask yourself if the next step is compelling. The figures vary depending on what study you look at, but it is well documented that people spend a few seconds at the most on a webpage. Do you have headlines or something else compelling enough to stop them in their tracks and get them to pay attention?
The brain is there to think and plan. Go back through your goals and look at how easy it is to achieve these goals from your main web resource. Can you remove things that are distractions to your goals? Can you make it easy to spot your main objectives in one to two seconds? Are you giving people a reason to stay or junking up the property with advertisements and links?
Your success depends on your ability to use the web presence brain to make decisions on the kind of materials you put on the web, the clarity of the
This concludes Anatomy of Your Web Presence: Part 1 – The Brain.
You may view all thirteen parts of Anatomy of your Web Presence at http://blog.buzzoodle.com/index.php/2007/07/16/do-you-have-a-living-breathing-web-presence/ once they are complete.
Next: Anatomy of your Web Presence: Part 2 – The Eyes