Bringing Your Business Online
By today’s standards, its extremely challenging to show that you are a legitimate business without having some sort of on-line presence. Many people think that you only need a professional website if you are selling something on the web. This is no longer the case. As a matter of fact, the majority of websites currently on the web are NOT e-commerce style websites. They are not directly selling anything.
Branding Your Business
Today, people are leveraging their websites to provide branding for growing their business. Simply the ability to have a potential client Google your business name, and having a controlled result, is extremely important. Your website is now the place to explain your value proposition and explain why a someone should use your product or service. Your website should stay consistent with your companies branding, with your company colors and logo as well as a solid, well written “about us” page where you really have a chance to define your company.
Social media has taken the world by storm. Regardless if you find any value in common communication on social media outlets, it is all but guaranteed your customers do. It has been proven that most people today would do business with a company that has been recommended on social media before they would be swayed by even the most produced and professional commercial or professional advertisement. That means that not only should your business have accounts on all of the major social media platforms, but you should monitor social media to see if your company is being mentioned. This can be a powerful tool for finding a past client that may have had a bad experience and turning them into a life-long client.
Combining Social Media With Your Website
Social media and your company website should go hand in hand. Not only should your social media accounts promote your website, but your website should let your customers share content from your site as well as follow you. If you find yourself creating new content and posting it on your website, its very important to also share that content on all social media accounts. This gets your blog post read by potential clients and drives traffic to your website.
Automate Your Social Media
Since staying active on social media accounts can be a very time consuming thing, you may choose to look into automating your social media accounts. There are multiple services that let you stack and schedule your social media posts, so you can devote an hour or two a week, get everything loaded and scheduled and let the posts flow out at predetermined times. One of my favorite products for scheduling and automating social media is Buffer. Buffer has options for a free account as well as paid versions if you need to schedule more posts or have a multitude of accounts.
Search Engine Optimization
One important aspect of bringing your business online is the ability for your new website to be found by the major search engines. Search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo are the primary way that websites are found by consumers. Everyone wants to rank on the first page of the keywords that describe their business, but needless to say that cant always be the case. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the art of tweaking your website and implementing certain things that help your website rank well. SEO can be a very complicated process and requires a good bit of technical knowledge. If part of your business model requires being found in search engines, it may be in your best interest to hire an SEO Consultant.
At the end of the day, having your business online and properly promoted on the internet is as important as having a business card 15 years ago. With no one using the Yellow Pages to find a business, people are now pulling out their cell phones and using Google or Siri to find a place to do business with.