Thursday, September 06, 2012

Make Your Business Open For Customers

Make sure your business is visible online
and exciting for customers to visit and feel welcome.

It's a source of astonishment to me that so many business owners have not twigged to the fact that their website not being highly visible online and well laid out, means their business is not highly visible and easy for customers to spend money with them.

That was my comment on a recent Smartcompany article that makes the point that your website is your business. 

Let's start at the beginning. We know that businesses have websites now. We can guess that most business owners and managers probably know that a business needs a website. Some may not really believe it ('We only have local customers so it isn't really something we need'.). Some like the idea of having a jazzy website with lots of Flash animation and sound track that blares when you load the page or maybe even a groovy animated video where someone "walks out" and tells you about the business. Unfortunately the reality of this is often that the fancier the website - the less useful it is. The more fancy the website the less visible it may be. The old saying has never been more true than it is for websites. Looks can be deceiving. 

First Job A Website Should Do For Your Business

Your website is effectively your business online. It represents you just the way a shopfront store welcomes customers to your business. 

So the first thing your website should do ... is be visible to customers who might have a need or a want for what you supply. Just like you decorate your shop windows, advertise where you are and what your specials are, your website should do that too. 

Search engine optimization is the way that you set up how your website is configured to allow the best possible positioning that can be achieved in search. To do this requires understand the current ways that search engines work and working within the guidelines to achieve the best result you can, and be as find-able as possible when someone is looking for a business to buy from. This is especially important for local businesses and there are ways to make this more effective. 

Social Media Should Do This For Your Business. 

While search engine optimization is important to get the best result you can on search, the other way that people find your business now is through comments and recommendations and following on Social Media platforms, like Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and some other specialty sites. 

While you might think your business is not a fit to be on Facebook, that may not be the case. In any event there may be more appropriate sites to use for your business. You won't know what they are unless you are very much involved in social media in order to understand how this works. 

Social media has other benefits over and above getting your business in front of your target market and it is vital to understand the complexities of this new medium and to devise a strategy that lets you harness the advantages that this will give your business. 

Actions:
At the most basic level and before anything else is considered, 

  • Ask friends to look for your business online - NOT using your business name. 
  • Implement a plan to get your business visible for the right things. 
  • Set up alerts to monitor what is being said about your business online
Related
Develop A Strategy For Social Marketing
Check Your Website For Roadworthiness
Think Social Media Is No Use For Your Business? Think Again.
How To Get Your Local Business Noticed Online
Purpose Then Strategy - Case Study Starting Your Website
  Quick And Dirty Business Review



  



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