Way too many organizations, although they know they need a Website, don't know what it means to establish an effective online presence that brings new leads and customers and effectively nurtures sales.

I can't count the number of times that I've consulted with organizations who have spent way too much money building a site and then wonder why no one can find it. The answer is a simple one, so many people don't understand the very basic principles of building an online presence. This is quite a different task than just having a Website.

So, what does it take to make a Web effort effective and successful and why are so many failing online?

1. Understand that you're wasting your time building a Website if you don't first have an Internet marketing strategy. After all, you wouldn't build a house or a physical location without first having an architectural plan would you? The process of building a Web presence is much the same; you first need a plan.

2.  Don't be mislead by Web "gurus" whose intent is to sell you a bunch of useless services.

3. First, study similar business who have already demonstrated success by doing searches of similar businesses and determine what it is that they are doing correctly. Ask yourself, "what elements of their Web presence are making their efforts successful. Think about it, analyze it and then determine what it is that you can build on that differentiates you.

4. Understand that a successful Web presence incorporates many elements including graphic design, effective illustrations, web design and development, copy writing and online marketing.

5. Understand that an expertly designed and managed Website isn't enough. To be successful your plan must include a methodology that differentiates you. This methodology must include content marketing and a social media strategy. Understand that to differentiate yourself. Ask yourself "what makes me different?" and "what is it that I can offer that others don't?".

After you've developed your strategy then, and only then, begin the process of building your "Web presence".