For some time and more recently I seem to have the same conversation centred around websites and blogs. Questions, opinions, debates, and disagreements, its a hot topic when it gets started. Are websites and/or blogs useful, how will they improve my business? What do you think your customers or clients are looking for and how will they search? What kind of information do your customers need? How will a Web site boost your offline business goals?? Whichever you choose there is merit in applying either as an additional form of marketing.
In my view a website is essential, even if your business is small and sells products or services you don’t think can be sold online? If you have a business you should have a website. Don’t dismiss your product as one that can’t be sold online. There’s very little nowadays that can’t be sold online.
It’s not enough that you just have a website. You must have a professional-looking site if you want to be taken seriously. Since many consumers now search for information online prior to making a purchase at a brick-and-mortar store, your site may be the first chance you have at making a good impression on a potential buyer. If your site looks like it was designed by a bunch of monkeys, your chance at making a good first impression will be lost. With a well-designed site, your little operation can project the image and professionalism of a much larger company. The opposite is also true where many large company websites are so badly designed they are difficult to navigate and they lack professionalism and credibility.In your best interests it s far better to have no website than a poorly designed one that makes your business look uninteresting.
A website is your branding platform. People will get a sense of your company’s culture and business ethics, products, product development and more. Take your branding one step further by setting up a blog and engaging with your clients, keeping them up to date on new products, changes to existing products, special offers and a great deal more.
Your blog is a professional space, your blog is your distribution hub.. It’s the engine you use to drive all that social media traffic … to a space on the web you own and control – your website. In order to do that, you need to have original content that is so attractive that people will want distribute it. You need to become a trusted source of great information, so that people will want to subscribe to you and even trade their email address. A good blog is more than a tool to boost sales and opportunities it is a great place to build relationships.
This is another dimension to marketing your business on line. Social media – Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, Flicrk, YouTube etc – is about energizing social media participants through conversational marketing. Consider using social media to amplify your company’s activities. Set up social media channels with original and interesting content about your initiative/s and make it easy for others to spread it around cyberspace.
When you’re ready, you’ll want to optimize the site so search engines quickly find you. Make sure your site uses the terms, or keywords, that customers will key in when looking for a product like yours.
Seek professional assistance for your website, attend a blog and social media workshop where you can learn and understand this environment.
Most importantly make it fun.
Remember, there is no free ride.
If you would like to know more about this, please contact Geraldine, trainer extraordinaire