Your website is one of the primary factors that will make or break your online business. At its most basic, your site serves the same purpose as a sign on the outside of a brick and mortar business, but you shouldn’t stop there. Your business website should serve as a portal through which you can have an ongoing conversation with your customers, handle customer complaints with poise and inform the public of the products and services that you offer. It may be less expensive to set up a quick, static site for your business, but doing so could have serious repercussions.
Search Engines and Your Website
A simple reality of the Internet is that the largest, most popular search engines love fresh content consistently being updated on your website. You can use this to your advantage by setting up a blog, and updating it once or twice a week. Keep your blog posts focused on your business, but don’t maintain an overly serious tone, and never, ever stuff your posts with an over-abundance of keywords. By engaging in a real conversation with your customers, a conversation in which you encourage your customers to speak their mind, you may gain a better position in the search engine results as well as improve your image.
Perhaps more importantly, even if you aren’t updating your site with fresh blog content, you can bet that your competitors are doing so. Every time a potential customer views one of their blogs instead of yours, you risk losing any business they may have given you. Customers commonly prefer businesses that have a face and a voice. Be present, be warm, be positive and be vocal.
The Influence of Social Media
As soon as you update your website with fresh, useful content, you have a great reason to link to it from Facebook and other social media sites. This content, if useful, well-written and engaging, can serve as a magnet to your website. Participation in social media results in participation in your site as well, and can lead to an increase in traffic all around. Social networking integration with your business has becomes one of the best ways to promote your services as well as your website in 2012.
Note that there are several types of media that you can post to your site. For instance, you can create promotional videos and Flash presentations, and then upload them to sites like YouTube, or share them in webinars and podcasts. With YouTube, you can embed videos into a page in your site and list the video on other websites as well.
The Perils of Stale Site Design
Another harsh reality of the Internet: sites with dated designs drive potential customers away. If your site looks like it just fell out of the Wayback Machine, you’re losing money. Needless to say, customers must feel comfortable before they’ll spend money online. In the mind of a potential customer, your site’s design speaks volumes about how many customers have patronized your business before. If you make a lot of money, the reasoning goes, you should be able to afford a brand-spanking new site design. Customers make assumptions, and whether valid or not, those assumptions add up to a sale, or not.
Even more potentially damaging is the fact that old designs often come with old coding under the hood. If your site isn’t compatible with the latest versions of HTML, PHP and CSS, there will come a time when it will lack features that customers will demand. There’s only one place they’ll go when this happens: to your competitors.
The Bottom Line
Digital distribution of your company’s services and marketing assets is necessary in this digital age. A dynamic, updated website is critical to maintaining a competitive edge in internet advertising. Competition grows every day, and customers who routinely use the Internet for seeking business services are some of the savviest out there. They have high expectations, and it only takes a second for them to hit the dreaded back button. Take your time to strategically plan and execute your eeforts to market your company online and distribute your marketing assets digitally.
This article was contributed by CD Technical digital distribution services.