A Scenic Tour of the Online World

Is Your Website a Business Card or a Business Tool?

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Your business card – no matter how much time you spent fretting over fonts and layout – has never won you any business. It might lose you business, if it’s printed poorly or you’ve been crossing old phone numbers or inking in a Hotmail address, but it will never win you business.

Is the same true of your Website?

A nice Website, like a business card, is a bare minimum requirement for making a professional impression. But nice is not enough to help you grow your business any more than a business card is.

Here are a few ways to go beyond nice and turn your Website from a business card into a business tool.

Build It SO They Will Come
A nice site might attract a great deal of traffic accidentally, but chances of that aren’t good. A site that’s optimized to attract traffic, though, usually will. So it’s important to think about your site not just in the terms you think about it internally, but in the ways that people who are searching for what you offer are likely to think about it – and search for it. Keyword optimization helps the world find you via search engines. Optimization should include other improvements on the pages themselves as well as things you do off the page.

Expand Your Audience
Social media is another great way to help people find your site. Make the site the hub of your digital marketing efforts by linking things you post on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn back to the site. Your email newsletter can be sent in digest form, with teasers linking back to complete stories – and related info – on your site.

Make the Site User Friendly

Be careful to balance SEO work with usability so the site is still attract and reads well for the real, live visitors you’re hoping to attract by being attractive to the search spiders. So, for example, resist your overzealous SEO expert’s idea to “optimize” your Contact page link with some keyword phrase. People expect to find a Contact link on a site. Give it to them.

Improve Your Message
Most important of all is to make sure the site offers visitors information worth reading. You have to go beyond marketing copy that some many consumers automatically tune out. Give away some of your expertise, paint a picture that lets prospects envision what they’ll achieve if they buy from you, and you’ll make a much bigger impression than the same generalities your competitors are claiming.

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