You run a successful business that flourishes in your storefront location. Business is booming all year long, but for whatever reason, you can’t seem to get any traction on your Web site. You never thought it would be important because you’re a local business, you have loyal customers and everyone in town knows about you. That’s what keeps your business running.
Think again. The digital era is ever-changing, always moving forward, and if your business doesn’t have a strong online presence, you will be left in the dust. People could be searching for your business as we speak, but they’ll never find your site if you’re not running it correctly. Not sure how to maintain and build your website to keep up with the changing Internet? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Hire a Killer Designer
First and foremost, take a look at your site’s appearance as it is (assuming you have a website to work with already – if not, hurry up and get off your butt and build one – now!). Is it visually appealing? Is it overly laced with way too many ads? Is the theme comprised of inviting colors? Is it easy to navigate?
These are all questions that need to be answered before you go any further. Once you figure out where your site can be improved, hire an awesome designer who can help you lay out your plans for your site and make them become a reality. Play with your company logo and see what you can come up with for themes and backgrounds. Redesign the site navigation if it is at all confusing. Add images, videos and content explaining what it is you do and what you sell.
A designer is probably more creative than you are, so if you lay out your ideas, your designer can go the extra distance and then make them happen. Your designer is in charge of your site’s appearance, so make sure you hire a good one – unlike books, websites do get judged by their covers!
Use Social Media
Now that you have a beautiful website, show it off to everyone you know! Create a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ account for your business, flesh out a profile, and keep it updated with the goings on of your company and your website.
Consider offering up online promotions or sales to people who “like” you on Facebook or “follow” you on Twitter. Maybe you tweet that you’re offering a 20% off sale at your online store for the next 3 hours, and anyone who goes there from Twitter gets the discount. Build a professional networking web with social media, and make sure you share the link to your business’ website as often as possible.
Get Some SEO Work Done
While many business owners choose to do their SEO (Search Engine Optimization) work on their own, you could save a lot of time and effort by hiring a professional, and you’ll likely see better results.
Professional SEOs have all of the tools necessary to get your website seen more easily in the eyes of search engines, Google in particular. And the more the search engines see your website, the more people will see your website when they’re searching for services or products like the ones you provide.
A professional SEO team will build a huge link profile for your website, getting your domain name out there all over the Internet and helping your site be seen more easily. After all, the goal is to bring traffic into your site. The more traffic you get, the more chances you’ll have at making sales online. A professional will also have the tools to research exactly what people are searching when they find your website, so they know what words to use on your site itself and around the Internet. They can optimize the content of your website so it is found more easily based on this information.
Bottom line: SEO work is worth the money.
Keep a Blog
You’d be surprised at how much authority search engines put into blogs. By keeping a blog consistently updated on your website, you are not only getting the attention of the search engines, but you are also giving your readers more info and insight into who you are as a business owner, what it is you do in your business, and things that are being updated or changed to either your storefront or your web site or even your broad industry.
Blog posts can be on any relevant topic, and they give business owners a great chance to be themselves and create an online personality. The best part? It’s easy to link your blog posts to your social media outlets, building your links to your website even more!
Once you start increasing your online presence, it’s important to continue to maintain it on a daily basis. Yes, every day, even if your storefront is your main focus, you should be updating your social media outlets, your blog, the products on your website – anything, really, that will keep your site fresh and moving and constantly growing.
It will take a lot of work at first, but eventually you’ll be so blown away by the results and how well your website is doing that it won’t be a chore. Start investing the time now and it will seem like less work in the future.
Every other business in your industry has a website that is being maintained and evolved, and if you don’t, you are going to be left behind. Create your online presence and maintain it easily with these few simple tips we’ve listed for you here.
Sara Stevens is a freelance writer who works closely with Maintenance Partner, a business specializing in maintenance management software. She knows her company has a strong online presence and can’t stress the importance of having a killer website enough, so she hopes that every business considers amping up their online style!