(DGIwire) — In the age of Facebook, Twitter and 24-hour news cycles, news travels instantly, allowing people to hear about what’s happening as it’s happening. We can follow any event in real or near-real time as events unfold, including something as exciting as a presidential election or as terrifying as a natural disaster.
Unfortunately, because of near-universal Internet access, there is essentially no way to regulate what people post. While news sites are supposed to present factual information, it is easy for an error to slip through during the race to post an article before a competing website offers it to the public.
If you are in charge of your company’s public face, you’re likely aware of the challenge of keeping all the corporate information factual and up-to-date. Perhaps you’ve even experienced some online antagonism and have been challenged by the need to figure out the best way to tackle these anonymous critics. On the other hand, perhaps you haven’t looked at your website since the first year you were in business, and it has become a dead end. If used correctly, a company’s online presence can be its biggest asset.
At its most basic, you need a website and it should provide the names of people that make up the company’s management team, what product or service you offer, your hours of operation if appropriate, and how people can contact you. Offering this basic information is essential and, if done right, will let site visitors get a good sense of what you do, while inspiring them to move to the next level of interaction with your company.
One person who appreciates the importance of a stellar website is Dian Griesel, Ph.D., President of DGI. Griesel shares this information and a lot more in her new book, ENGAGE: Smart Ideas to Get More Media Coverage, Build Your Influence & Grow Your Business.
“When it comes to captivating the attention of your online visitors, quality content—text, images, sound, video or animations, for example—becomes essential,” explains Dian. “When you first launch, your site will be fresh, so some people might visit it by chance or out of curiosity. However, traffic will die down if visitors don’t have any reason to come back. Ideally, you should have a blog on the website that you update weekly or monthly. Also, try to review all of the site’s content at least every two months, just to make sure everything is still up-to-date. And check how many visitors you are getting and how long they stay, to establish the patterns.”
As Griesel also advises, “Once you’ve gotten your website up and running, you should think about how to optimize it by adapting it into an app for smartphones and tablets. Keep in mind, though, that your mobile app can and should be different from your website. It should be optimized for smaller screens—in other words, made easy to read with larger buttons—and has to require less data to load and run. Some companies even offer an incentive through their app, including coupons, discounts and exclusive content.”
Your website will most likely be your first impression, Griesel emphasizes. “Whatever you need to do to keep your online presence fresh, up-to-date, and competitive—do it!”