So you’ve done all the exhausting groundwork; you’ve created a company that provides an in-demand service, or one that sells quality goods. You’ve checked all the boxes, dotted all the “i’s”, and have finished laying down a solid foundation. Now you’re all ready for clients and customers to come flocking…
…but where is everybody?
You know that what you’re selling is quality, so people should be running to your company…right!?
Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple. People need to hear and learn about your business first. White Page listings and traditional forms of advertising used to do the trick, but things have greatly shifted in the digital age. Those simple tried-and-true mediums are no longer getting it done when it comes to getting your business noticed. You need to create a web presence (or possibly hire a web design firm), and start virtually spreading the good news about your company.
One of our favorite clients, Capital City Garage Doors, is a great example of how powerfully effective a web presence is for business. Since embracing web 2.0, the Austin garage door company started having their phones ring off the hook. Creating a web presence, like we did for Capital City Garage Doors, is not necessarily harder than traditional media, but it does come with its own set of challenges. There are a few specific things that every company should make sure to do when working to establish a web presence.
Tip #1 – Presence is More Than Just Being There
We listed this first, because it is the most important thing to remember when you are working to establish a web presence. In fact, most of our other advice builds off of this notion. Just because you have a website that exists, doesn’t mean that its efficient and helping your company get more business. In fact, if not done right, a poorly executed website (and social media accounts) can even deter potential clients. Don’t just exist — interact and update regularly. Have a message and stick to it.
Tip #2 – SEO, SEO, SEO
…did we mention SEO? We talk about Search Engine Optimization all the time, because it is one of the most important things you can do for your website. Think of how common it is to turn to Google when looking for a new service. Now think about how much business you could potentially gain by coming up on the first page when your service/good is searched. SEO is an art, and always changing. Our advice is to first identify target words that you want to rank in search engines inquiries, and work to make your site’s pages rank for those specific words. For the more competitive search terms, we recommend working to rank in local searches first. This also helps keep business inquires relevant, especially for local businesses.
Tip #3 – Get Social
If utilized right, social media reminds your customers (and potential customers) that you are human too. It also keeps your business fresh on people’s minds when you post regularly. The must-haves are Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and usually Youtube and LinkedIn as well. There are also some industry-specific social media outlets that are a great idea to look into.
Tip #4 – Offer Online Specials/Social Media Contests
It’s no secret that people love free things and good deals. Offering online specials, virtual coupons and that chance to win something for free via social media keeps people coming to your website or social media accounts. If done right it can also help your business gain a lot of exposure.
Tip #5 – Consistency is Key
You need to remain consistent on all of your companies virtual outlets, from blogging to social media, to the website itself. We recommend taking the time to sit down and think about what you want your company’s voice to be, before pursing the creation of an online presence. This will help you remain consistent in the future. If you have more than one person posting on behalf of your social media pages, or blogging for you, we suggest that everyone has a clear understanding of the company’s voice beforehand.
We know that your schedule is loaded when you start up a new company, and often times the last thing you are thinking about is the Internet. We’ve seen the success of a strong web presence time and time again, and can assure you that you will be thankful you invested time and money into it when the clients are flowing in down the road. If you’d like to discuss how we can make the web development process easier, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line.