Something that has drastically changed over the last few years is that the consumer now has a plethora of choices of where to shop locally for any given product. A common thing that many businesses overlook is the value that a well organized and designed website can offer. Not only is it a place to showcase some of your best work, or your sharpest looking products, but if built correctly it can function as a powerful leads generator.
With technology today, a website can do practically anything you can imagine. A GOOD website can do even more. Most importantly, your website needs to act as an extension of your physical store front (or as your actual store, if you only exist online). They need to be presented with all the information they would need to feel confident purchasing from you, but not overwhelmed with too much extra. Your goal should be to make them act on your call to action, the all important “contact us” page. But your website shouldn’t be a sales pitch, because let’s be honest, the days of high pressure sales are dead. Imagine a website that brings your customers to your doorstep, rather than just inform them of your store hours and telephone number. The cost for building a site to fit all your needs could be daunting, but consider it a one time salary for a sales force that doesn’t need a sick day.
The importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Not only only is it important to have a well designed website, but it is also important to make sure your site can be found. The process of SEO is simply telling a search engine, “Hey, my site has a lot of good information on it that can be helpful to people who are searching for (insert your keywords)”. SEO comes in two forms, on-site and off-site. On-site SEO is the process of tweaking your sites content, as well as many parts of the code, to make sure that a search engine can read your site, and know how to appropriately rank you for a given search term. Researching and knowing your companies search terms is important to make sure you come up on a search engine when someone is looking for your services. Off-site SEO is is a completely different process, although the goal is still the same. The most common way to perform off-site SEO is through link building. This is finding sites that where you can link back to yours. But remember, the quality of the links matter, so finding a company who is just going to put your link in 1,000 listing sites isn’t going to help you. Quality is very important when performing this process.
I think it’s pretty safe to say that anyone reading this post right now has probably already used a search engine several times today. Most of you probably never even ventured on to the second page of the search to look for what you wanted to find. Attention spans of your consumers aren’t getting any longer, and if your not easy to find, someone else is going to get their business.
How your blog can bring you business.
A good blog serves many purposes. Not only is it excellent for increasing your SEO rankings, a good blog can help engage your customers. Write about industry news, write about your companies new products, write about how you threw the coolest party for your longest standing employee last week. The most important thing that you can do is continue to post. As is true in any relationships, business included, you never know what you bring to the table that could spark the interest in your consumer. It’s also another way that a potential customer can get to know you and your business. We all love to do business with people who we feel a connection with, even if that connection is as superficial as we both are passionate about a certain hobby. As for SEO, search engines like to see that information on your site is being updated on a regular basis, and this is where a blog and help boost your SEO value.
Making your website work for your business.
A website can bring a lot to any business. Whether you are looking for a sales force, a showroom, or just a place to connect with your customers you should look at building up your web presence. In determining whether or not your site will be successful, you should know that you need to allow yourself about an hour a week to manage the site. This includes writing your blog and updating content. This will ensure that all your information on the site is a current as can be, and continue to boost your SEO value. As a consumer, I know that a company who has a good website and can engage me before I even enter their store, probably has a better chance at getting my business.