Today even if you exist as a brick and mortar business, you need a web presence. Most customers today go to the internet when they need to find a supplier or business for a new need or want. If your business is poorly represented, you’ll be missing out on prospective clientele. You can also use web presence to ensure that you’re keeping ahead of your competition. Here’s a checklist for where to start growing your web presence.
Professional Web Site
You need a web site. And not just any web site. Your site will sell your business and products to your clients before they ever meet you. If your site is unappealing, hard to use and fails to reflect your brand, you may never see the hundreds and thousands of people who were almost going to use you for their needs. Today’s consumers make split-second decisions on whether or not they trust a company once they’ve visited their site. Make sure that the ‘About’ page and the ‘Contact’ page are easy to find and navigate.
Twitter works two ways. You can benefit by tweeting promotions, encouraging word of mouth and just generally getting your business’ name out there. Twitter also allows you to follow those who are working in related industries to yours and to makes sure that you don’t miss news that could make a difference to your company. Twitter also allows you to measure your success by looking back on the response metrics.
Online directories not only lead consumers to your web site online, but they also boost your general online visibility. The more online directories you’re registered with, the more likely your web site will come up closer to the top in a Google search. For example jewelry maker Rudy Mendoza claims that spending $2000 on a third-party hosting service was well worth the money. “I’m very sure we got that much out of it in the first couple of months. We’ve had thousands of hits and we’re getting a lot more calls from those hits.” The list of online directories is endless. Start with the obvious: Google, Yelp, and Yahoo. Then move to directories used by locals. And then search for the best free online directories. Some directories will require you to pay, but there are plenty that are free.
The more locations you host online, the greater your web presence grows. Blogs are a great way to further link to others and to get your clients involved in the day-to-day workings of your company. A “blog” is meant as ongoing news and is meant for clients who are already familiar with your web site. The blog keeps your clients coming back to learn more in a way they wouldn’t with a web site. The blog is also a place where you can further prove your authority on your products. Where you can’t include so much copy in a web site which more meant to help clients find information quickly, a blog can be a place for news, ideas, and more proof that you’re keeping up with the latest info in your field.
Many business experts argue that businesses that don’t use Facebook will not survive for long. Consumers actually spend almost one quarter of their time online in social media venues such as Facebook or Instagram. Facebook is a perfect venue for advertising, but you as Facebook users get wary of advertising on Facebook, advertisers have to get savvier about getting attention there.
The old-school newsletter can be appropriated in new school ways. Collect the email addresses of clients, friends, family members and colleagues and send out a monthly news email that shares accomplishments, findings and promotions. You can even include links to your own web site or blog in the email to encourage more visitors.
Web presence today is crucial. Without a web presence, you’ll remain elusive to your clients and your reach will be drastically reduced. Using all of the web resources above will lead your clients to you.