I was putting together a guide for my clients to help them understand some of the finer points of using their business website to get results. Halfway through I decided, instead, to write this article in the hope that many other people with business websites will benefit. These guidelines go beyond just your own website and the reason for this is something that seems to baffle people.
Most business owners are not internet marketing savvy and expect that once their website is published, the world will be beating their doors down for their products and services. Unfortunately, the internet doesn’t work that way. Websites compete for business leads and like business in the real world you need to do some work, or pays someone, to ensure that those leads find you and not your competitors.
You need to conduct your online business in the same way you conduct business in your location. Your business website should almost be viewed as a branch of your business. It has its own address and you pay rent, albeit a small amount, for your online location. And if people don’t know the address or about your business, no one will visit it. So you need to let people know your business exists.
The World Wide Web, as the name implies, is completely interconnected, and you need to use that interconnectivity to achieve your goals with your business website.
Your Business Website
Before you do anything else you need to ensure that your business website accurately represents your business brand and looks professional. The content on your website serves, in brief, to let people know, who you are, what you do, what products and services you offer, and how to contact you but it can contain far more detail.
Your website is not only a location but also your sales representative for that location. This rep works 24 hours a day and even on weekends. You wouldn’t tolerate a shabby looking sales rep so you definitely shouldn’t present one.
Your website should most certainly be mobile responsive. These day most people access the internet via mobile devices and if your website doesn’t look good on those devices people will simply not take the time to look at it.
Optimising your website and online presence for the search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing is important but is a large subject somewhat covered in the article “Grow Your Business with SEO”. I touch on it very briefly later.
There are a couple of ways to get your business in front of your potential clients and luckily some are free. For this article we will look at using social media since this is the best starting point for a business website
Free Social Media Advertising
Social media is very effective for promoting a local business website, especially a new website that is not ranking on Google. Sharing your business website and blog articles on local Facebook business groups and on your own profile will get you traffic and important social signals that improve your Google quality score.
You need to be careful how you do this. Different platforms have different ‘unwritten’ rules. Post too often and you may annoy people. Post too little and your reach is limited. For example you can post far more regularly on Twitter than you should on Facebook. Social Media platforms are great for brand awareness and generating traffic, but remember that people generally don’t visit social media to search for businesses, they visit to look at interesting content and funny cat videos. Bear this in mind when creating your social media campaigns.
Don’t expect sales from your social media adverts and don’t get despondent. As long as the content that you are sharing is fairly frequent, good quality and interesting, you are creating awareness that improves your credibility and will eventually lead to sales.
If you are running a local business join Facebook and Google+ business groups in your area and share your business website and articles. The ultimate goal is to become known so that, when someone is looking for your products or services on social media, other people will recommend you. Those types of recommendations are gold and convert into sales more often than not.
This article is a starting point for any business website. Regardless of how many clients you have, how long you have been in business, how many staff members you have or where your office is located, having a professional website gives you credibility.
Social media is a great branding tool and traffic generator and can bring you sales. Just make sure that you deliver on your services and post responsibly because social media can also bring a business down.
Traffic to your website will help increase your search rankings. Ranking high on the search engines will bring you valuable sales leads because the people that find you on Google were looking for your products and services. Right now over 60% of all sales in the world started with a Google search. It takes time and effort to get onto the front page of a Google search but it is worth it. In the meantime brand yourself on social media.
I hope this article has been informative and helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.