6 Ways to Make your Website a Business Tool
It’s safe to say that every business needs a website today. From my experience in the web industry, and working with local companies doing Boston SEO, I have noticed that while business owners know that they need a website for their company, they may have difficulty telling you the reasoning behind why you would need one. How about the fact that there was over 200 billion dollars spent on eCommerce just in the United States in 2011? That would be reason enough for me, and that doesn’t even count all of the leads generated through the internet. Business owners don’t ask themselves one very simple, very important question- “How is this going to make my company more money?” Because lets face it, that is why people go into business, to make more money doing what they love.
1.Having a website is the first, and most basic step to using the internet as a business tool. All websites are not created equally though. A business website should always have a task it wants the visitor to complete, whether it be a contact form, a phone call, text message, or email, these are called “call to actions”. If you are not getting any information from your website, it really is not working in your best interests. You need your main phone number to be prominent on your header and footer of your website so that visitors to your website will never get frustrated because they do not know how to contact you.
2. A contact form is also a good tool to use on your website for the shy inquirers that still want to know more about you, but there are also times when you should not have a contact form. When a contact form- or when ANYTHING -takes away from the look or feel of a well designed website, then it should be excluded. The reason being is that contact forms, if not created well, can make a website look cheap and unbranded.
3. Social Media makes your business available, all the time. Having a Facebook allows you to reach your customers on a higher level. Social media is where people go on their spare time, it’s where they “hang out” with “friends” online, and if your business is liked by them, you’re “hanging out” too. It allows you to be accessible at all times to customers who have questions, people who like what you do, people interested in you, and everyone else! It is a new way of providing customer service. Some large companies only use Facebook for their online customer service, they can respond to issues and it allows the customer to speak freely about you on a platform that they trust and are used to. It keeps you relevant to your customers, allows them to keep up to date on what is going on in your company, maybe you are running a sale? or you have a new product? They can now be told through their live news feed, and its a sale for you. Today there are over 900 million people on Facebook, thats practically 1/7 of the world, it would be foolish to not be a part of that. Link your Social Media to your website and link your website to your Social Media, it will potentially allow over 900 million people to visit your website. Having a twitter and other social media pages is great too as social media is poised to grow throughout the years to come.
4. Having an unfocused website can be a disastrous mistake for business’ looking to use their website as a business tool. When a business isn’t focusing on the parts of the website that drive sales, they are being counter productive. Websites are an investment for any business, and the main goal of any investment is to use it to make more money. To get the most out of your money and time, you must focus that money and time on driving sales and activity on your website, don’t worry about whether or not there is an “Our History” page or not, focus on the money!
5. Check out your competition. Make sure you are competitive online with everything you do. If you are more expensive, make sure that you explain why, and explain well. Make sure that when someone visits your website, they know why you are more or less expensive, or why you do or do not offer a product one of your competitors offers and so on. Play on your strengths online, be competitive, because we all know that some of something is better than all of nothing.
6.Last and probably the most important is Search Engine Optimization or SEO. This is the most under valued and under utilized tool for business’ online. SEO is literally the act of getting people who are looking for your goods or services to your website. Just having a website is not enough for people to find you that are using search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. SEO Agencies will make you show up first for what you do best if they are properly conducting white hat SEO which means not spamming or paying for links to your website. As an example lets say that you are an optician. Search Engine Optimizers will map out a plan that gets you found for keywords that people in your area are using to find opticians on Google, Yahoo, and Bing. They use many different tactics to get you ranked. They even write about your industry, so it looks like you are more involved than you really are! The greatest thing about this is that these firms start at around $350 a month and can range to over $10,000 a month and with SEO you get what you pay for. If you are trying to actively be found online and sell online, you will find yourself paying closer to the $10,000 mark, but on the other hand you get exposure to millions if not billions of consumers worldwide, and if you compare that to a retail location most retail store fronts only get exposure to a few thousand people, yet you pay thousands a month to be there.
In short, people go into business to make money, and today the money is online. Just having a website doesn’t cut it any more, there is simply too much competition online. With a well designed website, good call to action, and a strong SEO Company working for you, your business will be able to grow larger with the times and continue to be successful!
CEO Muv Enterprises LLC