We hope you enjoy reading the MEANit blog with all the guides and tips. If you want our team to help with your web presence click here

The articles here will give you everything you need to plan, design, develop, market and maintain your website, if you have the time required – Enjoy.

Why Have A Website?

Why Is Digital Presence Important?

Here are a few reasons why you should have a good overall web presence, including a website, but not just a website on its own.

Plus a few tips on how to manage your overall web presence to get the best from it, as it constantly needs attention, just like a shop window.

Ground Rules


The times they are a changin’. Everybody Googles everything, including you. It would have been a good idea to establish a really good web presence ten years ago before the COVID-19 pandemic brought a Lockdown. But failing that now is the next best time to address this. This is the foundation for your Marketing activity in the landscape of the 2020s.

Turn up

We all go online looking for news, recipes and gifts, suppliers and services, restaurants and takeaways, or when researching information. It used to be important to be in the Yellow or Golden Pages, but that is passé now. We all need to be able to be found online when someone is Googling or looking online for us, our services, or our products. People do a search and want answers immediately 24/7/365, so we have to turn up when they search to offer that service.

How we appear, when we do get found, will define what people think of us, if they find us at all and it will dictate their next click or action. That web presence is our shop window, so it needs to be dressed well, to showcase our company, business, products, or services. We do need to optimise our web presence so that we get found by the very people we want to reach. It does not happen by chance or just because you have a website – far from it. We can also use the web to offer Customer Support, answer questions, and provide FAQs or Guides, like the one, you are reading. Or you can offer a Live Chat or email response. This allows people to ask a question when it suits them. We just have to be open to getting these queries via Live Chat, Email, Snaps, Facebook Messenger, GMB, Whats App, etc.

Designing-a-website-blog

 

 

Potential

This is a huge opportunity for all of us. Now we can market to a wider audience. We can make widgets in Ireland and sell them in Iowa. Design houses in Dublin and sell them to builders in Dubai. Catch crab in Donegal and sell them to fishmongers in Osaka. We can sell online, we can communicate online, and we can do meetings or hold events online. And we can use any marketing medium to send people to our web presence, where they can then engage with us.

Compete on the online High Street

As ever the big retailers and brands or large firms are prolific online. Why? They realise that they need to turn up and they will advertise online to get found. The glossy magazines get less and less advertising spend, as it goes online now to Google Ads and Facebook advertising etc. But, there is a wonderful opportunity for smaller, niche suppliers to compete with the big guns. The web can be a great equaliser. The big spenders may get found, but the smaller guys can also get found by optimising their presence. This way you can be found organically, avoiding any big spending on Google Ads or Facebook Ads. Let the big guys spend on Google Ads to generate interest in the topic and you just turn up on the same page organically.

Building a web presence

Small-Business-Website-DesignPeople often think that a website is your web presence, however, it is only a part of it. It is a very important part and is like a big digital business card or shop window. It can be considered your land, a solid foundation, where you build a presence and manage it. Just like with a brick-and-mortar store, you can continually add to it. Unlike Facebook or Amazon where they change the rules and it is more like building your web presence on shifting sands.

Put a stake in the ground and build a website that reflects who you are and adequately showcases your products and professional services. Design something that makes you proud. This is not simply a box-ticking exercise. You would not appear in public looking shabby or unkempt, so make sure your website wows you. Then find out if it wows your potential clients. How? Just ask a few of them – simple!

It is always a good start to ask existing clients what they want to see on your website. Then add these items to the design and development planning stage. Remember, it is an ever-evolving thing, so it is never ever finished, much like that bricks-and-mortar store and its shop window, which needs constant attention.

There’s more…

Just to complicate things a bit or rather, to offer more opportunities, remember that your website is not your total web presence. If you Google your company name, (use an ‘incognito’ window) you will see where you appear and how you look to ‘searchers’. Any instance of your firm appearing needs to be curated so that it reflects well on you and is ‘on brand’. You can create an entity on Facebook with a Company page. Do the same on Linkedin. Create a Google Business Profile or Google My Business entry in Google – keep it up to date. Appear in Google’s map stack. Ask for positive reviews in Google or Facebook Reviews. Get recommendations on Linkedin.

Then Google your competitors and see where they are appearing. Can you pick up a few tips from them? You want to get ahead of them in search, to be found at the top of page one in search for key search terms for your services. And you want to look like the best option for visitors when you do turn up on Page 1 results.

Manage that digital presence

Website Support PlansKeep curating your website content and your Facebook, Linkedin, and Google pages. Create a great digital ‘you’, wherever your audience looks for the products or services you offer. You may have to write blog posts or do some guest blogging. You may want to join Facebook or Linkedin Groups which have taken over from Forums. Be in there to answer questions, be helpful and show domain authority or expertise in your subject matter.

ROI – Return on Investment

Gone are the days when you spend money on advertising and think that half of it should hopefully work. Nowadays, you can see what is working and which advertising spend gets results. This is brilliant, however, it does take some work to get your head around how to make it work for you. Try everything on a small scale initially, find out what works, and then drill down by investing more into what works well. Nail it, then scale it. Keep testing, because the audience will move around, using new apps and visiting new sites, etc. You can always outsource this work to someone who knows how to use the various tools.

There are tools to manage your spending and show results. Both Google and Facebook provide their own free tools for you to use. It is important to understand how the tools work, otherwise, Google and Facebook will happily take loads of your money and advertise to the wrong audience. They do want you to get it right, but you need to understand their clumsy tools.

Marketing in 2022

Managing your overall web presence, including your website is how you actually do your Marketing in the 2020s. Will you do it well or will you avoid this as an option? There is a huge opportunity for the businesses who use the tools or engage someone to do it for them, by outsourcing. And likewise, the businesses that avoid the challenge are losing out every single day. There is nobody on the streets, but they are all on the web every day, browsing, shopping, and learning. See all the delivery trucks passing the shopping centers bringing the online purchases to individual homes.

MEANit web presenceWhy have a website or web presence? It is simply a must, as well as being a wonderful opportunity – what are you making of yours?

10 Reasons our clients decide to get a good website include – based on their feedback:

1. To look more professional online.
2. To attract a certain type of client
3. To discourage certain types of client
4. To promote or launch a new product or service
5. To increase sales
6. To reduce time doing things currently being done by staff by using the website to answer questions
7. To improve SEO Search Engine Optimisation and rank higher in Google search
8. To get a new look or design
9. To get a website that is mobile responsive
10. To make a statement about a new direction or a takeover or other big decision

Questions??? Send them to us. By all means, share this article if it was of value to you.

Do you want more traffic?

Hi, at MEANit we help 40 ‘Professional Services Businesses‘ to be effective online annually. Will your business be one of the 40 in 2022?

MEANit-Web-Design-Agency-Michael-MacGinty

Written by Michael MacGinty

Michael is a well known speaker, author and coach on how to use the web to grow a business. He is also WP Elevation certified as a Digital Business Consultant.
Blog Categories
Website Design
Search Engine Optimisation
Website Support Info
FAQs
Website Tips
Digital Marketing
News
Business Tips

Get ‘loved’ by

MEANit Web Design SEO Google Logo

Essentials Website

Get a clean, fast, mobile friendly, custom designed website that ticks all the boxes. By focusing on the essentials we can get you an online presence that makes a big positive impact on your business without investing a fortune initially. Build your brand and grow your audience with a Mobile-friendly, WordPress website typically 5 to 10 pages, along with all the training provided, so you can grow your site yourself over time, adding your own content and Search Engine Optimisation to get you found in Google search results over time

Best suited for:

Small firms, practices or businesses, who need a high quality custom design website without needing any large initial investment, but a platform that they can build upon over time.

Intended to get you online and give you a platform to start building your brand.

Includes simple Brief or Plan & Wireframe or Layout, Custom Graphic Design, Website Development of typically 5 to 10 pages, Initial SEO Search Engine Optimisation and Training.

From €4,800

Optional items include: Keyword Research, Keyword Mapping, Competitor Analysis, Monthly Support Plan and ongoing SEO services.

Custom Website

Let us get you noticed with a totally custom designed, fast loading website built to your specific needs. Then we can engage your target audience with unique page layouts perfect for feature content and focused landing pages. Training is provided with this custom designed WordPress website, typically 10 to 30 pages – this allows you to make all the changes you want.
And we can add in the critical Search Engine Optimisation, so your website ranks well in Google. Plus a full written plan for your team to follow..

Best suited for:

Medium-sized firms, practices or businesses who need a quality custom website and a marketing plan along with some ongoing help every month to generate the leads they want

Intended to make you more effective online and build upon your brand at a steady pace.

Includes Brief or Plan & Wireframe or Layout, Custom Graphic Design, Website Development of typically 10 to 20 pages, Initial SEO Search Engine Optimisation and Training.

From €6,000

Optional items include: Keyword Research, Keyword Mapping, Competitor Analysis, Monthly Support Plan and ongoing SEO services.

Strategic Website

You probably have an underperforming website, but realise you need a better web presence. One that will consistently generate the ideal pre-qualified leads and work you really want.
However, you do not have the team time to be doing all this digital marketing stuff. So you want some expert help.

Lets start with a meeting, then we can write up a digital strategy or plan, to ensure we set some agreed goals or targets for us to deliver for you.

Best suited for:

Growth focused medium sized firms or practices, who want to outsource all the website management and digital marketing responsibility to a competent, reliable Irish team, who will generate the new business.

This allows your whole team to focus on what you do best. Results Guaranteed by us!

Includes Brief or Plan & Wireframe or Layout, Keyword Mapping, Competitor Analysis, Custom Graphic Design, Website Development of typically 20 to 100 pages and Training, plus SEO Search Engine Optimisation.

From €9,500

Optional items include: Monthly Support Plan and ongoing SEO services.

A Web Presence Checklist, for the senior partner

12 things to oversee the web presence for your legal practice

LinkedIn including company profile page and personal profile for you and all employees. Post some articles about your services, giving some useful advice, sharing insights or sharing industry news. Connect with logical potentially good connections. No sales pitch, just hello with a short line to make the connection, like swopping a business card at a networking event. Read our Linkedin Guide.

Facebook – keep it a basic entry for the practice just to turn up in Facebook in search or get reviews. You could use it to get reviews from people who spend a lot of time on this platform. Or use Facebook to advertise your services, if it is right for your target market.

Website focusing on the services that you want to specialise in, the ones that make you the most margin and that you are happiest to deliver. Bear in mind that you can offer services that you do not personally have to deliver, but make you margin. You do not have to deliver you do not necessarily have to be involved in the process whatsoever. Who is responsible for your SEO Search Engine Optimisation? Read our Guide.

Include SSL – This is the little padlock that appears on the top left corner, to indicate the site is safe. This is not just for eCommerce websites.

Google Business Profile – Have you got one? Is your Google Business Profile profile populated, as in photos, service details, opening hours, blog items, reviews. Independent Google Reviews are fuel for your practice. Get as many as you can. Remember to reply to every single one of them. These are happy clients or people who are in need of attention. Read our Guide.

NAP – Include nap NAP everywhere that you write your address, search Google to see where you appear and ensure the NAP is exactly the same everywhere, including the Eircode.
Do any Google search of your name in an ‘Incognito window’ to see what people see on their computer when they do a search of your company. Whilst you’re there also do a search for solicitors in your town or area. Also do a search for the legal services that you want to promote in your area. Such as conveyancing in Dundalk or conveyancing solicitors in Dundalk.

Recruitment – Your website can also be used for finding new team members, rather than going through the expense of recruitment agencies. This tactic would generally be known as being a part of your overall content marketing strategy. This is where are you create content on your website that will attract people who are looking for certain things. Whether that be a specific legal service or a job in a legal practice that looks attractive to them.

Google Page Insights is a tool that is free and will give you an idea of the speed of your website. Google gives a lot of weight to a fast loading website, especially on a mobile view. Websites are being measured by Google more and more for their mobile view as a key metric.

Google analytics is also free and will give you an idea of the number of people travelling to your website visiting your website on a monthly basis. Use the overview to see how many people visit your website on a monthly basis to see if it’s going up or down. Google Analytics is a great tool but having a high numbers visit your website does not guarantee a conversion to a customer. In order to get conversions you continually need to add content and optimise content and compete with whoever your competitors are. A very simple search for a legal practice in your area will show you who is ranking number 1, 2 or 3. These are the competitors or people you’re competing with, so you need to be better than them. Read our Guide.

Google – With Google Ads you can spend a fortune easily. So if you want to use this platform, get to understand it or engage a specialist. It can be very useful in the short term or to use whilst you are working on your website and SEO. Read our Google Ads Guide.

Conversion. However, bear in mind even if you are number one and you get click through so people visit your website when they land on a page on your website. You have to work on the content in order to get them to convert from visitor to customer. This is your user experience as in UX through your User Interface referred to as the UI.

Reports – Ensure someone is producing a monthly report to measure the numbers. As Peter Drucker said “What gets measured gets managed — even when it’s pointless to measure and manage it, and even if it harms the purpose of the organisation to do so”. Ensure you get a Google Analytics report. And ideally have a report created, so that you can see the numbers at a glance.

Conclusion:
As a senior partner you do not need to do all of this work. This is not what you’re qualified to do and could be way below your paygrade. Unless you engage someone who can deliver a high return in the long term and needs to be well compensated in the short term. Get a proper Digital Marketing Plan drawn up.

However, somebody has to do the work. It would be good if you could use some of these tools to see if the person, practice manager or web agency is doing a good job with your investment.
The bottom line is the practice should be kept busy. And ideally be able to recruit enough staff to deliver services. As a senior partner if you allocate a half hour every month to review these basic reports, you will then be in a position to see what is being done on your behalf.

Read the monthly reports from your Digital marketer. And if needs be, have a conversation about what needs to be improved. The Digital marketer will need a budget to do the search engine optimisation or create graphics for the website. And possibly doing advertising on LinkedIn or Facebook or anywhere where your potential customers are hanging out. Without sounding like an ambulance chaser you can have your content found when people do a search for chiropractor or osteopath or bad back or medical negligence. Get ahead of the curve.

How much time, hassle and money would it save you to have any and all advertising done online through your own website by a competent specialist agency?
Also posted here.

You May Also Like…