3 Internet Web Presence Tips for Business Websites
Topic: Business Management,Growing Your Business,Managing Your Business,Small Business Marketing,Tech Tools,WorkingPoint News | Comments (1)
When I was freelance web developer, many small business owners asked me to help them build a website for their small business. But their fleeting attempt at conquering the internet always fail and here is why:
- Build it and they will come – There are over a trillion webpages on the internet. If you don’t have a marketing strategy for your website, your corner of the internet will be very quiet.
- It’s a website, not a flyer – Websites are not static pieces of printed media, they are an interactive point of communication between you and your customers. You must keep it updated and relevant.
- You don’t work for free, so why would I? – Sorry, your 15 years old cousin’s ability to customize his myspace page does not qualify him to build you a professional business website.
Now that has been said, here is how YOU can avoid making those mistakes:
- Leverage social media – As it has always been since the dawn of time, customers find vendors and suppliers through referrals and word of mouth. The only difference is that in today’s world, referrals and word of mouth are mostly done online. Sites like http://www.yelp.com and http://www.facebook.com are modern manifestations of market squares and town halls. So… If you want people to know about your business, and your website, you must first go to these places. For example, if you are a landscaper looking for new customers, the best place for you to reach potential customers is by having a profile on Yelp or ServiceMagic. These sites are not only useful because they have a HUGE user base, they are also optimized for search engines. When potential customers use google or yahoo to look for businesses to patronage, Yelp businesses will usually be the first results returned by the search engines. Oh, and before I forget, WorkingPoint’s Company Profile is another great resource for building links to your company’s website. Our customer’s businesses are constantly being returned as the number one search result on Google!
- Blog Needlessly – Even if you have nothing to write about, blogging about the daily happenings of your business is a good way to keep customers engaged. What may seem mundane to you, will be a positive first encounter to a potential customer. If you are a photographer, for example, updating a blog with your latest captures, or even keeping an up to date flickr account is an easy way to show customers that you are actively practicing your craft. Being current and speaking your mind humanizes your business and will make a huge difference when customers are browsing for services. Of course remember to keep it professional and consistent with your company’s identity. If you don’t know how to blog, many services offer free blogging software such as: WordPress, Blogger, and Posterous. Even keeping a steady stream of tweets on Twitter and status updates on Facebook are effective ways to keep your business “alive”. I call it the “line out of the door” effect.
- Hire a professional – Good web developers who understands your business needs are expensive, so pick a good one and vet their qualifications. Serious website developers will have an up to date portfolio with their latest work. If you like their style, contract them at a fair price and defer to their expertise. When you visit a doctor, or call a plumber, you don’t stand around and tell them how to do their job. Same goes for web developers. Tell them what goals you have for your website, and let them show you how to achieve it. Do not be a backseat driver. Remember, you may know everything about your business, but you probably know very little about the web, so don’t sabotage your own web presence.
At WorkingPoint we always practice what we preach
- We spent a considerable amount of effort building a community on facebook and twitter. We also have a budget for Google AdWords to reach potential customers.
- Our blog is updated on a daily basis and we have a very responsive support staff. Our product is constantly being refined and we listen to our customers religiously. Speaking of which, have you seen our uservoice page?
- Yes, we love our staff and we invest in the latest and greatest technologies. Our software is important for your business, so we do not cut corners when it comes to making sure that your business information is always available, secure, and easy to use.