If you have a small or medium-sized business and are looking to expand your market, reach out to more consumers, or boost your sales, it’s time for you to put your local business on the Internet.
Having a good web presence can really help your business grow.
Especially nowadays when most people aren’t reading the newspaper or browse the yellow pages the way they used to, making your business available online is the sure way to get noticed by the public.
“What’s your URL?”
“Can you give me your website address?”
“Are you on Facebook?”
“What’s your email address?”
These are the questions you get from potential customers. When I’m looking for someone new, I check out the internet first. Second, I look at the yellow pages. Do I hunt through the newspaper? Not out local weekly, I don’t. People want to get to know your products and services but the most convenient way for them to do so is via the Internet. They can check you out any time of day, any day of the week.
Everybody and everything is online now. If you’re not on the Internet, you’re losing a lot of good opportunities. Basically, you need to be on the Internet for two very important things.
Increase your visibility.
You introduce your company and your products or services. People discover or find you on the web.
Once they know you’re there, you have to maintain a good relationship with these potential customers. Your website is a great place to stay interacted and connected with them. Updating your website contents, sending emails, promoting specials, and posting testimonials by satisfied local customers can keep people interested with the things your business offers.
The more people interact with your website, the more involved they become with your business. Here are two simple techniques to involve your readers.
- Have guests sign up on your site. Get their names, email addresses, and if you need them for product inquiries, contact details. Now you can send them updates of your products and services.
- Have a place where customers can post and leave testimonials on your site. Consumers trust fellow consumers. Knowing that other people like your products or services can give potential customers that feeling of ease. This will give them more encouragement to buy from you.
Let Social Media Do All The Work
If you’ve been living in the current world, I’m pretty sure that you’ve heard about social media sites at least once.
The social media is a very powerful communication tool. Aside from dissemination information, social media is great for communication and interaction between groups and individuals. Being connected to one or more social networks can increase awareness for your business.
This is a fast and inexpensive way to make initial contact and boost your market reach. People in social media also group together in terms of their common interest. This is a perfect way to find your market niche and potential customers.
The Social Media Websites Your Customers Know And Love
There are a lot of different social media websites. There are social news sites like Reddit.com and Digg.com, social photo and video sharing sites like YouTube and Flickr, and the most famous sites, the social networking sites such as Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, and more.
If you have decided to put your business on the Internet, make sure your brick and mortar online presence includes having business sites in the same name as your website on the right social media sites. The most basic social media sites that can help you are:
- Facebook. Almost everyone is on Facebook. Even my grandmothers have an account. This site can help you know your market better and vice versa. Increased awareness can definitely boosts your chance to get more customers.
- Twitter. You’ve seen the # symbol on your TV screen. This is the symbol for feeds from the micro blogging site where users get to send and read short text messages called tweets. You can send updates to all your contacts at once.
- Google Places. According to Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. Google Places can help you get found fast. You’ll surely stand out from your competitors with the help of this site.
An Example To Consider
Here is a local business that is a great example of what you can do with a website to promote your bricks and mortar business. It is Sawbucks Pub in Surrey, B.C., Canada. Take a look at this list of features on their site and see what will work for your business:
- About Us
- Hours of Operation
- Upcoming Events
- Easy to follow top navigation
- Pictures of top products (Steak! Beer! Wings! Entertainment!)
- An offer and reasons to get on the email list
- Where to find Sawbucks
- Contact Information
- How to connect through FaceBook, Twitter, and through their RSS feed
All of these things are easy to do with some planning for your specific business. ShopWPThemes is here to help you get started on the internet and to optimize your website. Read our posts, keep coming back for updates, and you’ll have plenty of information on How To and Where To Go to create your own local business website.