Published: August 30, 2012
How do you make your website work for your business and turn an expense into an asset? Whether you have a business website or are still on the fence about having one, here are the tips to get you started.
Every business should have a website.
The first step to making your business website work for you is to have one. This may seem overly simple, but recent data show that more than 60 percent of small businesses do not have a website.
Maybe, you are relying on a Facebook page as the primary face of your company online. Now is the time to check out what is out there, or to look at hiring a professional.
It is critical to maintain professional website in today’s business climate. There are a multitude of options that will get you started with a great website for less than $10 per month. You don’t even have to be a website whiz to get a great website up and running.
It is important to be found online through search engines.
Having a listing in the local phone book used to be the best way to get business but not anymore. People increasingly search the Internet for location, hours of business and contact information before ever picking up the phone or walking in to a business.
With the growing numbers of smartphone users, this trend will only increase. How customers find you is entirely up to you.
Start by filling your website with relevant content that the major search engines will index. This sounds difficult, but you can simply write out what your company does, the history of your company, your contact information, and hours of service on your website.
Be sure to use keywords that you feel your customers might type into a search engine. Keywords are what organic search engine optimization is all about. Most website platforms allow you to also place your keywords into your site in a designated area built for search engine indexing. Take full advantage of this feature.
Place your business on Google Places.
If you run a barbecue restaurant and a potential customer searches for “barbecue” on a smartphone or computer, a Google Maps listing will show all available results in the customer’s area on the search engine’s map application.
If you are not listed, it is a good chance you will not get found. This is an easy setup and is totally free. Simply register your business, and receive a postcard in the mail from Google and confirm online.
Promote your website through online and offline marketing.
Take advantage of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Always reference your website in all posts that you put on these social media outlets. In your traditional marketing, always include your website address like you would your phone number. Most customers will look at your website before ever calling you or walking in the door.
Analytics simply shows you how many visitors have gone to your website, and where they came from.
Google Analytics is by far the most popular platform for tracking visitors to your site. Google offers this for free, and it is very easy to set up. Simply copy and paste a code they give you into a specially designed area of your site. Every week you will get an e-mail showing the number of hits your site got, and how they landed on your site.
If, for instance, you see that search engines are accounting for a lot of your traffic, you are doing something right. You can also track your hits from other websites like Facebook, or from your ads on other ones.
This information is invaluable to determine where you should put your marketing dollars. Tweak your marketing plan until you are getting the results you want.
If you take one thing away from this article, be sure to realize a Facebook page is not enough.
Get a real website and watch your revenues and customer base grow. Turn that monthly expense into a real business asset with search engine optimization and you will not regret the effort.