If You Build It Right, They Will Come

Written by Kim Chapman, Senior Account Executive

Our TWO Sense: If You Build It Right, They Will Come.
Our TWO Sense: If You Build It Right, They Will Come.

When it comes to running a business, some owners could be missing a crucial aspect. They may have stellar employees, a great product, and a beautiful storefront, yet, the sales aren’t flowing in. Sometimes, the solution may be as simple as shifting their focus online.

The importance of having a strong web presence should not be underestimated. For anyone who still doubts this, ask yourself when last time was you used the yellow pages to search for a company.

The foundation of web presence starts with a company website. This should be used to promote your company as a whole; to show its style, personality, capabilities, products and services. (Don’t use a Facebook page as your company’s primary face to the online world. Having your own site ups your credibility and will give you more control.)

In addition to showing off what you’re all about, your company website can be used as an important tool for many other things:

–          Capturing customer information: Give customers the opportunity to submit information that will help you better market to them. Information such as email and postal address, and customer preferences/tastes can be stored in a database and put to great use.

–          E-commerce: So many people buy products online; some even buy more online than off. If e-commerce is not something you want to offer right now, consider at least showing the current items you have in stock. (This would be useful for clothing/shoe stores, where appearance is so important in the customer’s decision to buy.)

–          Customer login: Give customers the ability to create an account so that you can better track their activity on your site. Using tools such as “favorite” buttons or “wish lists” will allow both the customer and you to keep better tabs on their likes and dislikes.

–          Outbound linkage: The more links within your site, the better your organic search ranking. (As long as the sites are relevant.)

The next layer to creating a powerful presence online is embracing social media. Social media is important for a number of different reasons. Here are a few big ones:

–          It’s your opportunity to truly interact with your customers online in a dynamic way.

–          It’s pure viral marketing. (Spreads on its own from person to person.)

–          It’s a way to see what people are saying about you, and respond accordingly.

There are 100s of social media outlets, but some good ones to try are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Putting all this effort into your company website and social media sites will only be worthwhile if people can find you. So make sure they can with search engine optimization (SEO.) Here are some basics:

–          Keywords: Include text in your website that will help people find your site when doing a search. For example, if someone is looking for a women’s shoe boutique in Soho, you would be amiss not to put the words “women”, “shoe” “boutique” and “Soho” on your site, along with other strategic words. And don’t forget to put key words in the title, URL, meta tags, and anchor text.

–          Outbound and inbound links: Make sure your site has links to related/similar sites, and vice versa. (Your social media sites will come in handy for this.)

–          Cornerstone page(s): It’s easier for a search engine such as Google to find out what your site is all about when your keywords are distributed correctly throughout your web pages. If you have 3 pages that all have the same content, Google will get confused and not know which page is the most relevant. So make sure your important content is on a single page, or that that the important content is not duplicated on multiple pages.

A strong web presence starts with these 3 essential elements. Build it right, and watch your customers come through your doors.

If you’d like to learn more about how to have a commanding presence online, email me at kchapman@twochicago.com.



Originally posted August 20, 2013