In today’s digital age, any company that wants to succeed needs to have a robust online presence. A beneficial and robust web for your business can be a daunting task for small businesses, especially those that are too small to afford a marketing department. Here is how to build a viable web presence for your business.
Before tackling the world of online business, every entrepreneur should learn what the process of taking your business online involves.
Business Website Design
Your website exists to attract the attention of visitors and convert them into paying customers. Because of this, every element of the site must be chosen carefully. The home and internal pages should have a simple layout and be easy to navigate for first-time viewers.
The landing page should not be overly filled with high-resolution photos or auto-playing videos. These elements can look impressive, but they can also take a long time to load.
Additionally, some people find animations and moving images distracting and annoying, making the landing page hard for them to read. Videos should instead be put on other pages, with links leading to them. Content management solutions are also available to speed up the loading of your website.
The landing page must be kept updated. If the company is running an advertising campaign or offering special products or promotions, the landing page needs to match that respective messaging. For example, if you own a dental practice running $99 teeth whitening ads on Facebook, then the page that they land on, after clicking that ad, should display that deal.
Poor quality stock photos can make a company look both cheap and unprofessional. Pay extra for high-quality stock photography, or capture your own.
Additionally, people tend to think emotionally before they think logically. It is, therefore, a good idea for website pictures to evoke emotions that make people want to buy the product or service being offered.
Most potential customers view testimonials as a significant factor in making their purchasing decisions. The best customer testimonials should be featured prominently on the company website. Video customer testimonials maybe even more effective.
Prospective customers should never be presented with long lists of choices. They tend to make people feel overwhelmed. A business website should only use shortlists of simple choices.
Any keywords that are used in company advertising should also be used on the company website. It makes the company easier to find online, and also makes it appear more professional.
Because most customers use some mobile device to get online, a business website should be optimized for mobile device users. Images and menus and such should be small enough not to require a lot of scrolling or resizing.
The website should be extensively tested before it is made public. Different people, who had nothing to do with creating the website, should try to use it. Delaying a launch to get the website working perfectly is better than rushing out a website with serious bugs.
When Building a Business Web Presence, the Blog Design Matters
The company blog is not a place to put advertising. Nothing will repel prospective customers faster than seeing that the company blog is nothing more than a platform for advertising. Blog readers want more than ads; they want a blog to have some kind of added value. This is an important part of modern online business.
The blog should give readers useful information, and even content that is meant just for fun. It should address topics that prospective customers care about. This will draw first-time readers to return over and over again, and draw them into exploring your site further.
The idea is to create a community centered around the blog.
Some of the blog posts can involve products and services that the company offers. However, this should always be done in the context of telling the customers a larger story, perhaps about how they can solve a common problem, or even something funny that happened.
Blogging is a long-term investment of time and effort.
It takes dedicated time to develop a large body of high quality, original content. It also can take time to develop trust with the blog readers. However, with some persistence, the company blog can become a major revenue booster.
Steady blog readership means a steady percentage of readers going from the blog to the company website and making purchases. Web content never sleeps; it is at work 24 hours a day, drawing in prospective customers and turning them into paying customers.
No programming skills are needed to start a company blog. There are a lot of free blog hosting sites online. They are usually easy to use, and it’s easy to link to them from the company website. A minimum of one article should be posted to the blog every month.
Setting Up Social Media for Your Business
Social media presence can also increase sales, blog readership, and web traffic, and even build up a pool of positive reviews.
Before your social media presence can be established, however, one or more sites must be selected for it. The various potential social media sites that are under consideration should be researched thoroughly.
Both individual and company profiles and pages should be read, particularly the comments. Every social media site has its own culture and set of customs.
Some kinds of behavior are considered acceptable there while others are not. The proper etiquette should be understood before anything is posted.
A business social media presence should have some depth to it.
There needs to be more information than can be found on the company website, something that can engage potential customers. This is the place to give the company something of a personal touch, something to make potential customers care. A business social media site is a place for the business to engage with people on a social level.
Who will manage our online presence?
There needs to be at least one person (maybe yourself) whose responsibility includes managing the company’s social media accounts, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok. A company social media site is a place where customers will go to ask questions and make requests.
Engaging with these questions and complaints quickly and professionally will make the company look viable.
Commenters should be engaged on any reasonable topics they discuss. They should be given assistance and useful information even when it is not directly related to sales.
Questions should be asked when appropriate, to make the company seem friendly and interested. Every post should be examined carefully before it is made, to make sure that it does not accidentally offend anybody, or make the company seem foolish, unprofessional, or antagonistic.
There are three primary strategies for advertising online: search engine optimization, pay-per-click, and content marketing. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a way to improve the company website’s search engine ranking in search engines such as Google.
Most users never look past the first page of results when looking for a place to shop. This means that it is important to get ranked on Page 1 for the keywords that matter to your bottom line. SEO is a critical long-term strategy for any business.
PPC or pay-per-click advertising uses keywords to determine which ads viewers see on search engine results pages. In other words, when people enter specific keywords, paid ads related to those keywords appear on the results page.
These ads are paid based on the number of people who click on them. It is a viable way to generate immediate sales if executed correctly. Setting up the ads is typically requires the services of a professional or agency to maximize ROI or return on investment.
That digital marketing company will optimize every facet of the campaign, including A/B testing and running experiments on different channels to find what converts the best. Jay Nanda has written about A/B testing in “A scientific approach to better digital marketing” for the company oshyn.
Content marketing involves creating quality online content that is designed to send traffic to the website.
Creating a site with quality online content that brings traffic to your site can involve blogging and events.
For example, an online hobby store could create a web resource about model making, including tips, pictures of popular or well-constructed models, instructions for painting, and even a model discussion forum.
The point of content marketing is to create a valuable online resource that anyone with that interest will want to use all the time. When descriptions of the products needed for the interest are mentioned, they can be company products that link back to the company’s product pages.
Content marketing tends to be a long-term strategy, as community building takes time. The significant advantage of this approach is that it requires little money and can be developed when convenient.
The internet is a critical tool for all modern businesses.
The process of getting a business online should be commenced sooner than later. Your competition may already have a 10-20 year head start on you, so be patient, it may take some time to build properly, but the rewards will be there for your business in the end.