Google finally weighed in with its free web page creator tool. Seems that the latest wave of releases from Yahoo, MSN and even Microsoft’s Office Live are aimed at making it free and easy to create web pages.
On one hand, that might seem like a good thing. On the other, I wonder if all they are really creating is buzz and clutter from which to sell more ads. I know that not all of these services have the business owner in mind but they all add to the noise when a business owner is trying to be heard.
Is a small business owner really going to use these tools to create their “real” online presence and build their brand? Most of what has been created using these tools is scores of abandoned test pages and search engine spam sites.
Creating an online presence that helps you stand out in your market, make a statement, generate leads and integrate with your entire marketing picture, isn’t always easy and it certainly isn’t free.
At a minimum, your business should invest in:
- a website with solid hosting and support and a domain name that communicates your brand
- a website with educational based, keyword rich content that is easy to find and surf
- a blog with a platform that allows you to take advantage of the latest community building tools
- a visitor capture system with the ability to automatically follow-up with opt-in subscribers