Making Best Use of the Internet: How to Manage an Online Business Presence

– By Laura Mauney

When a potential customer or client sees a print, billboard or TV ad, reads an article, or hears word of mouth about your wonderful business offerings, what do you think is that person's next action?

Chances are high that a new prospect for any product or service will look up the business on the Internet.

Additionally, traditional desktops and laptops now have younger siblings in the house thanks to the Internet's fastest growing delivery mediums: tablet and smartphone devices.

For these reasons – and these reasons alone – every business should take steps to be found on the web quickly and easily, and in all the right places.

The Internet Offers Three Primary Uses for Businesses:

  1. Online advertising and information about a brick and mortar establishment;
  2. Online lead generation and/or sales via an electronic catalog and shopping cart;
  3. A combination of brick and mortar advertising and online lead generation / sales.

Running a successful business on the Internet, or simply integrating the Internet into a traditional business strategy, requires the same rigor, attention to detail, regular maintenance and financial sensibility as running a brick and mortar operation.

  • Brand comprehensively across all the top search portals and social media sites.
  • Deploy multi-channel, integrated advertising strategies.
  • Make sure the company website deploys the correct technical SEO tactics in the HTML so that search engines can find the site.
  • Make sure the company website incorporates the correct CSS code and viewport meta-tags in the head section of each webpage so the site will display correctly on tablets and smartphones.
  • Stay tech savvy and very current with ever-changing W3 standards.
  • Monitor outcomes using industry standard analytics tools, and tweak strategies for optimization and ROI improvement.
  • Manage expectations realistically.
WARNING: The most critical NON-action is to fall prey to the "get rich quick," "going viral," "huge IPO" mythology that misleads many business owners into thinking they have failed on the internet when in reality no such thing has happened.

The big time success of dominant internet players like Facebook, Google, Bing, and Yahoo, and the massive internet popularity of politicians and celebrities like President Obama, Lady Gaga, and kittens, etal, though fabulous for the parties involved, ranks with winning the lottery in the real world of online success. In other words, runaway online success doesn't happen to every enterprise.

Most Internet Success is Built the Same Way as Good Old-Fashioned Brick and Mortar Success…


  • Diligent Work;
  • A Profit-Based Revenue Model;
  • Quality Offerings;
  • Sound Business Management.

The work of maintaining a healthy web presence may seem hard, but much of what needs to be done requires only the time and labor involved, a minimal investment in quality software, and general comfort with technology.

Small business owners and professionals who are not inclined towards tech DIY can generally get the bases covered by hiring one or two savvy administrative staffers dedicated to the mission. Larger enterprises most likely will require more staff.

Multiple software programs that are easy to master can be used to manage website content, online catalogs, customer data and conversion analytics.

TIP: Cloud based applications that offer continually updated business and creative software as well as unlimited storage are a great way to manage software requirements in a cost effective manner.

If staffers also know-how to design and code, great, but for those who don't, more difficult development tasks in the design and coding arena can be outsourced to one of the many gifted web developers seeking work out here in cyberspace.

At a minimum, every business should have:

If television advertising is part of a company's marketing strategy, post online versions of the same ads via YouTube and other top video channels.

Companies that possess original images or set up promos for products, or that plan to proactively publish articles and promotions on the web, can establish even more far-reaching presence via other popular social media and microblog channels, like Tumblr, Pinterest, and Twitter.

With social media and microblog sites especially, ongoing updates (once a day or every few days is best practice) will keep followers mindful of the business. Product promos and special offers should be posted more frequently to capture the widest possible audience.

  • Run websites like newspapers, keeping information up to date on a regular basis.
  • Don’t make people call for information. Post everything possible on the site. Consumers are more likely to move on to competitor sites when they don’t find what they want.
  • Describe products and services clearly, in a well-organized fashion.
  • Post pricing for products or services.
  • Post insurance affiliations for medical facilities.
  • For a brick and mortar office or store, post the address, phone, and business hours in the header and footer of every website page, and on all social media pages.
  • If a phone number is posted, make sure voicemail answering is set up to take calls or deliver information both during and after business hours.
  • Online forms can be used to build an opt-in customer database, which in turn can be used to send email promotions on regular basis.
FOOTNOTE:’s article, Top Seven Email Marketing Services, provides a solid list and reviews of the most popular email delivery programs used by businesses.

Laura Mauney specializes in organizing and managing online businesses. Please contact her by email if you need that!

About Laura Mauney

Laura Mauney is a writer who thinks she is a photographer. Professionally, she specializes in online marketing, and creating, organizing and managing creative assets and user-friendly information for websites. She is also a mother. Her photo blogs include Flowers in Urbia and Trees in Urbia.

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