Okay, this is a question that we get all the time... First, there is no stock answer and there is a lot to be considered but generally there are a few things that every business should do. In today's world, you need a website. Even if your business is supported by local shoppers, studies have shown that over 80% of local shoppers do some online research before making a purchase. So, if you don't have a website those potential customers could be led to go somewhere else.
Just having a website is not enough though. I've always tried to explain to my clients a website can either be like having a storefront on 5th Ave or it can be like having a storefront on some dead end street behind the rail road tracks where no one ever goes. In other words, if your website cannot be easily found by search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, Duck Duck Go etc) then your site is worthless. On the other hand, if your site comes up on page one of Google for your desired search terms (or keywords) that site is like having a storefront in a prime location.
I've seen business owners who spend a small fortune on building an amazing looking website and then they are left with no money to promote the site or to optimize* it. You're better off, if budget is an issue, starting with a small website that is optimized for search engines so that you'll be found by people searching for your product or services. (* See sidebar for an explanation of "optimize"). Once your site is up and running and is properly optimized you should start seeing "traffic" (ie visitors) coming to your website. If you have no budget for advertising and marketing then make sure you have a blog on your website and you commit to writing articles at least 1-2 times per month. Set up a Facebook page for your business and share the articles on Facebook to generate even more traffic to your website. If you can't write, hire a writer.
Content is King
In today's world, people spend more and more time online. If you have good content on your site, and by good content I mean things that your readers/customers will be interested in, then your site is more valuable to them. When they value your site they will visit more often. The more they visit the better chance you have of turning them in to customers. People who appreciate the information that you share will share it with their friends.
So that's it for our recommended "First Step"... Soon we will look into things that you can do once your site is up and running and you're ready to get more aggressive in your marketing.
If you have a website and need it analyzed, we will do that free, simply contact us via the form on the right side of the page. If you need a website we can build one for you, please click here for more information mention this article to get any new website for 1/2 price.
If you just have questions, feel free to contact us. Marketing and advertising is a passion for me. We welcome questions.
What Does "Optimized" Mean?
Search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and others use algorithms to determine how "relevant" or useful a site is in relation to a specific search term. So, for example if you search "Plumbers in NYC", you want Google to find plumbers in NYC, not car dealers or carpenters. The more accurate the information brought to a consumer from a search engine, the more the consumer will trust that search engine and keep using them, so it's in the best interest of the search engine to find the best websites in relation to the searched term.
Therefore it's in your best interest as the owner of a website to make sure that your site is "optimized". There are a lot of steps involved in optimizing a website and this article is not intended to teach you how to optimize your site, but just to let you understand if you search for your product or service in your area and you don't see yourself in Google or Bing, you can be pretty sure that you site is NOT optimized correctly.
We offer a free analysis of your website. If you want us to check your optimization score fill out the form on the Right. This is a free, no-obligation service for a limited time.
I'm George Louvis From 1997 - 2008 I owned a radio station and a newspaper/magazine publishing company. I've sold millions of dollars of advertising and designed campaigns that have generated millions of dollars of revenue, and thousands of new customers for my clients. All the advice here is free. If your sales are not what they should be, if your marketing isn't working or if you just want to talk please call 973-220-6859 for a free 30 minute phone consultation. I love helping and there is no obligation.