(Editor’s note: This is early version of the WPO model. Here’s the latest thinking on WPO with predictions for its future.)
Web presence optimization (WPO) is the art and science of being found online. As indicated in the masthead of my blog, it has both an explanational definition (The fusion of SEO, search marketing, social media, reputation management, content marketing and social PR) and a reasonal one (Being omnipresent on the web for the search phrase that uniquely describes you or your organization.) It’s the evolution of search engine optimization (SEO), or alternatively, SEO on steroids. It is a structured approach to getting your name, company, product or service found online when people are searching for what it is you have to offer. And getting found is the necessary first step to winning that business.
Graphically, it looks something like this:
Why Does It Matter?
As Vanessa Fox puts it in the subtitle of her book Marketing in the Age of Google, “Your Online Strategy IS Your Business Strategy.” Consider the following points:
- • More than 80% of considered consumer purchases (e.g. for high-value, high-involvement products) now start with search, and more than 90% of B2B purchase cycles begin online.
- • Search is no longer just Google and Bing; the second- and third-largest “search engines” by volume of searches are YouTube and Facebook. The internal search functions of social networks LinkedIn and Twitter also have higher volume than most second-tier search engines.
- • Your web presence is no longer limited to your website and blog (as important as those remain). Prospective customers may first find you on a social network, in a blog post written by a key influencer in your market space, on a content network like YouTube or SlideShare, in an online business directory, in an online news release, or in any number of other web venues.
For many businesses, particularly on the B2B side, if your buyers can’t find you online—you don’t exist. The web presence optimization framework provides a structured approach for maximizing your “findability” online.