Why keeping your website’s a reputation winnerBY HANNAH SAMUEL
If you, and virtually everyone you know, is on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or other social media sites I bet at some point or other you may have toyed with the idea of getting rid of your ‘old-fashioned’, non-social media website right and focusing all your time and energy on one or more of these sites.
You might try and convince yourself by saying ‘I spend 90% of my time on Facebook these days and almost none updating my own website. So closing it down makes sense, right? Wrong!
“Although it may seem counter-intuitive, if you’re in business the more time you spend using social media sites to connect and engage with clients and others the more important it is to have an up-to-date, easy to navigate dot-sg or dot-com type website of your own to support your social media activities” says reputation expert and author Hannah Samuel.
‘Predictions that the humble website would be superseded by a profile on LinkedIn or Twitter or any other social media site were totally exaggerated. In fact, there are a growing number of reasons why having a professional general website is essential in terms of enhancing your reputation both online and off.’ So why should you consider maintaining a dot-sg or dot-com website? Reasons include:
Be found easily – Search engines rank dot-sg or dot-com URLs highly, often above profiles within social media sites. Having your own website is important if you want to avoid sending visitors to someone with a name that’s the same, or similar, to yours and enhance the ranking of your social media profiles.
Confirm it’s you – If visitors need to check several websites or profiles before they finally stumble across your profile you’re likely to frustrate them, and may even lose them entirely before they find you. If they recognise a photograph or other information from your website that’s consistent with other profiles or sites you have it can help confirm the profile they’re looking at is actually you and
encourage them to click through to connect with you.
'One-stop-shop’ directory – A well designed website will do more than just act as an online sign-post for you, but effective sign-posting is critical in helping you get found amongst the masses. Ensuring it contains working links to your different social media profiles and pages via a single click will make it easy for visitors to connect with you without having to search through several different sites and try and second-guess what you might have called yourself on them.
Reinforce your brand or name – When visitors use your website partly as a directory or linking service to your social media profiles it gives you an opportunity to reinforce your brand or name and create an experience they may not have if they went straight to Twitter or LinkedIn to find you.
Help them remember – Having all your on-line and off-line contact details on your dot-sg or dot-com website makes it easy for you to let people know how and where to find you. You just have to give them one URL and they have just one URL to remember. Instead of listing six or seven different ‘addresses’ on your business card you simply need provide one with a note saying they can access all your social
media profiles from the one source.
Hold their attention - Using a social media profile as your sole, or primary, online presence increases the risk of visitors to your page being distracted by other peoples’ comments, images, links or adverts. A well designed dot-sg or dot-com website is more likely to keep visitors focused on you and you alone, without distractions, for longer.
You’re in control – Having your own website allows you to create the look, feel and experience you want instead of having to fit in with a format or template that's almost identical to every other Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn user. You get to choose the style, colour, content and layout and create an impression that truly reflects who you are and not the platform you’re using.
Enhanced security and accessibility – Having your website also means you’ll be able to maintain a positive online presence if the social media sites you use are hacked, fall out of favour, or becomes inaccessible for some reason.
So far from being a digital waste of space, developing and maintaining a dot-sg or dot-com website of your own is a reputation winner. It will help people find and engage with you quickly and effectively, support and complement your social media activities, and enhance your online presence overall.