If You Build It, Will They Come?

Posted by: on Jul 8, 2012 | No Comments

So you have a great site. Now you need an audience.

You Designed Your Site for Your Audience

As part of your web development process, you should have put yourself in the position of your current or potential audience and built your site from their perspective. Part of this process considered:

  • literacy level
  • browsers and devices they are most likely to use
  • the information that is most important to them
  • how you would keep information meaningful and current so that they would return to your site

Get Followed / Get Indexed

There are different ways that people find information. Word of mouth will always be a powerful source of information. People will often trust their friends’ experiences over that of an anonymous referral. But other people will also want to do independent research. Both options are available online.

  • Word of Mouth: Facebook, Twitter, Google+. Say something and let others help you spread the word. And lest we forget, there are Usenet forums like Google Groups and YahooGroups. Indeed, I would argue that because Usenet forums are intentional communities that they in many ways are more valuable as a potential audience source than their social networks. And if you have a customer-oriented business, having positive ratings on Yelp is a benefit.
  • Searches. Google still reigns supreme and others follow. Make sure your site is properly indexed and monitor Google Analytics to verify that the correct people are finding your site. Google AdWords can also be a cost-efficient way of upping your site hits. And quality links to your website will up its search engine ranking.

Create Original Work to Fight Plagiarism and Win an Audience

One outcome of the ubiquity of publishing 140+ characters online in the blink of the eye is rampant, unabashed plagiarism. When all it takes is a couple of key strokes ([copy] + [paste] = “I wrote something”) to create an article,  it’s possibly too much to expect humanity to resist abusing this option.

In researching a subject online, I often come away believing that about 85 percent of what I’ve just read has been copied verbatim across different sites. The repetition is so rampant that it’s nearly impossible to find the original source of a statement or idea.

Use the scourge of plagiarism to your advantage when creating a web site. Excellent, original source material online is a precious commodity. Create information that people trust and reference. While it is true that you may choose specific keywords and phrases to get your site indexed and found online, there are limitless ways to use them in writing. So stretch your imagination: It will pay off.