Many businesses are well aware that they need to have an e-marketing campaign to be successful these days but they are not quite sure how to do it. Essentially there are two pieces that make up your online presence. To be successful you will need two things.
- A good looking, professional, conversion oriented web site
Having a professional looking website is important because today it is your first impression. You want to convey your business in a well organized, great looking manner to the people that are looking for you. If a consumer goes to a website that looks like garbage then they are going to expect your product/service to be garbage, and that is a recipe for failure on the web. If you are failing on the web you are probably failing as a business. With that said, there are a few ways that you can go about having a great website.
- Hire a professional company to do your website for you. Be sure to have a budget set aside for the project because a good looking website that captures the essence of your business can be expensive depending on what you have built into it.
- Staff someone that is a developer or can use a do it yourself service and make something look great. Obviously over time option #1 is more ideal because it will save you money.
The site needs to be highly convertible. You can accomplish this by doing a couple of things. First you need to make sure that your contact information is featured on all pages. Also, you may want to have a short form (name, e-mail address and phone number) on all pages located strategically in the same place on each page.
A great looking website with no traffic being routed to it is really pointless. People coming to your great looking website is just as important as having a good looking website. I will say that it is much easier to have a great looking website than it is to get tons of traffic but there are things that you can do. There really are only three ways that you can market online to generate traffic to your website.
- SEO (see previous blog post)(All Businesses)
- Directory (Just businesses with a local market)
- SEM (pay-per-click, AdWords)(All Businesses)
SEO(Search Engine Optimization) is the most desirable of these three services. Over time it is going to bring you the most traffic. The only drawback is that it can take 3-6 months to see the results that you desired when you set out on your SEO campaign. I wrote an article explaining SEO in a previous post. Please feel free to refer to that article for more information.
Directoryis going to get you on the map section of the search engines (ie. Google Maps, Yahoo Local). This is a great, cheap service for local businesses. The drawback is that there has to be a geo-modifier put into the search box of the search engine (“Denver Web Design” instead of “Web Design”). This is great for plumbers. attorneys, electricians, etc.
SEMis going to be found in the “sponsored links” section of the search engine’s results pages. This is a good way to advertise for people that have high dollar items (real estate, heavy equipment, etc.). There are a few drawbacks of these types of advertisements. Only 20% of search engine users actually click on the “sponsored links section”. Though the search engines have cleaned up these advertisements, half the time they have nothing to do with the service/product that the consumer had originally searched for. This is dejecting and discourages people from visiting them. Also, people/competition can constantly click on these ads and run up your bill to be quite steep.
Where to start
All companies should have SEO done to their site. It is the best and most cost effective way to market online over the long run. Although it can be costly up front, my experience is that it always pays off in the end. Really, a combination of all three is the best approach, and that combination is going to be unique to each and every business. Need a professional to take a look at what you have and where to go? Give us a shout, we would be happy to help with no obligations! Check our website out for additional information at http://www.webforce-1.com !
Partner & Sales Manager
Web Force 1