There is a lot to consider regarding internet presence and for everyone and everything, this has a different meaning. Some care more than others, some markets are more saturated than others and some budgets are bigger than others, just to name a few contributing factors. But there are basics that every can and should do when establishing or maintaining their internet presence.
Your website is only one piece of a very big and complicated web. It is the most important and is the single common resource that everything else evolves around. Just having a website however, doesn't mean you are going to be found. That is where the networking aspect of things begins to play a part. The more you network, the more popular you website becomes, the better it will perform for you.
There is a core foundations to establishing your internet presence.
As with so many other things, your website is only as good as what you put into it on a regular basis. While your website can be custom made, a template or any combination of scripts, it should be clean, neat, organized, easy to navigate and focused on purpose without loosing the interest of the targeted audience.
Your website becomes your base with all other paths leading to it. Such as business listing, social networking and marketing campaigns. All os this should be considered throughout the websites design phase and maintenance to insure you take full advantage of each elements potential.
Your largest investment should be in a quality website design that is effective at achieving your focus and performs well on all fronts. A cheesy website will make anything else you do a waste of time and money.
You can never have to many business listings, but you do want to be careful about where you put them. You never want to be on a link farm or blacklisted website, this can and does have a negative impact on your website. I always suggest that small business owners handle the business listings personally. They can get advise on the best practices from others, but they should not let other agencies handle them for them. Remember, everyone is looking out for their best interests and not yours, so when they manipulate your business listing, it is done in a way that benefits what they are doing and not necessarily your best interest. Such as pseudo website addresses and phone numbers. If the listing uses a pseudo website address, it is not giving the listing link value to your website, it is giving it to whatever web address they are using. If they use a pseudo phone number, what happens down the road when you figure out that this listing method isn't worth the money and you cancel it. In most cases, they leave your listing as is and you have to find a way to correct it. In the mean time, that contact information is not valid for you. A few basic listing that you want to have and keep well maintained are listed below.
The one thing you have to consider with social networking is that everyone and everything evolves. It is not everyone's cup of tea and most small business owners have concerns about interacting with social networking sites at all. Is some cases they even block the sites to prevent employees from accessing them. So, this is different for each small business owner and depends on the potential revenue that can come from it. With that said, I believe it is important to have presence on three social networking environments at minimum. It doesn't mean you have to use them, but your should be found there.
Google Plus is up and coming and is SURE to have an impact on both Google's regular search results as well as Google Plus's search results. Google's old local listings now redirects to the plus side. So by having your Google Plus Business Page up to date, you are taking care of two needs with one listing. Then there is Facebook, which is still popular enough that it justifies having a business fan page. The linking and the ability for others to share information about your business is alone worth having a presence on Facebook. From there you can move on to LinkedIn and then start Tweeting about it. But at minimum, you want a Google Plus and Facebook Page Business Page.
Web site maintenance is important, not just for your main website, but for what I call your footprint. Over the years things change and should be updated. There is no telling how many directories out there will popup and add your information from what may be outdated or incorrect records. If you change locations or even add additional information, this can be quite a task to correct.
So along with properly maintaining your website, I suggest keeping a record of your internet footprint. Where you are listed as well as the login information to update it. You can also do quoted searches for your business and domain name on a regular basis and keep a watch on what is out there and how accurate it is. You'd be surprised at some of the places you will find yourself.