These days, you need more
Your website is essentially the star of the play. However, the show generally won’t go on if the ensemble and supporting roles aren’t there to help.
It’s great that you have a website, but when was the last time it was updated? Do you have social media accounts that are linked to it? How has the traffic been on your site? These are all questions you need to ask yourself when it comes to your website.
Maybe in the 90’s it was okay to just have a website, but today, it’s pretty much irrelevant without a real online presence. “What’s the difference between having a website and being an online presence?” you may ask. A true online presence has a website that is constantly updated, is linked to social media pages, and is available 24/7. Let’s dive deeper into this:
Update your website. Your website needs to be refreshed on a regular basis. Let’s face it, our information changes and isn’t relevant over time. Our copy becomes stale. That doesn’t necessarily mean changing the font and color scheme every couple of months. It means add a blog and publish a new post once a month. Your tech gets stale as well. Are you using Flash? That’s a tell tale sign your site needs to be redesigned! It’s also a good idea, depending on your business, to have a portfolio-type section of your page to show potential new customers who you have helped. Update these as you tackle more and more clients. Keep this going until your followers and customers are aware of when a new blog post will be published so they know when to visit your page for new content.
Social media pages are crucial these days. It’s expected to see Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks’ buttons somewhere on a website. Having social media pages that link to your website makes the online presence more personal and provides extra information. A Facebook page can provide reviews, comments from clients, pictures, and more. It is also a great platform to publicly communicate with your clients.
Finally, your website and social media pages should be active 24/7. An online presence doesn’t work a 9am-5pm job; it is available at all hours and every day. Because of this, updating is very important. You don’t want a potential client to visit your website or any of your social media pages and see that it hasn’t been updated in a few months. This just makes it look like you’re either not a business anymore or you have other priorities.
With that said, your competitors also have websites, correct? Look at theirs and compare it to yours. They probably look a bit similar but neither one really stands out. You have to remember that a website is more than a virtual brochure; it’s a tool. Your website should act as a tool for your clients as well as yourself. Two tools that can be used within your website that will benefit you include Google Analytics and a Google My Business profile.
Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. Having this tracking coding on your website will allow you to see how many people are viewing your website, what they click on the most, how long they stay on your page, and where they leave your site. All of that information will help you figure out how to make your website better and more appealing to all audiences.
Google My Business is a free and simple tool for businesses, brands, artists, and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. You’re able to verify and edit your business information and give your customers that little push to find you easier and get a better glimpse into who you are.
Aside from your website being a tool for clients and customers, there are other new trends that will make your website and business that much better than your competitors’ websites. For example, make sure your website is formatted so that it is a new and pleasing experience for PCs, tablets, and mobile phones. Most people today will look up websites on their mobile devices or tablets. If your site is formatted to fit all devices, it’ll make your clients happy knowing that they can access it from anywhere.
Another fun and new marketing tool is an app. Most businesses these days have their own apps for smartphones and tablets. Once you’ve gone through the process of creating one, promote it on your website and social media pages. Most of the time, if a client sees that you have an app, they’ll leave your website and download it. Apps seem to be an easy, accessible way to visit your business. You can have the same amount of information or more and it all fits in your clients’ pockets. Depending on the business, you can include coupons, special deals, and a virtual membership. For example, if you own your own consulting company, you can have app-owners-only discounts off their first consultations. Apps are a great way to get your name out there and market to the world.
What about videos? Start a YouTube channel for your business. Record a video either talking about your business and what you have done so far each month or make them educational and talk about each part of your business. Videos are fun and a more personal approach to marketing to your clients. Some people don’t want to read paragraphs. If they see a video, they’ll most likely watch that and subscribe to your channel.
Lastly, plan an email marketing strategy. This allows clients and website visitors to sign up for your business’ email updates. You can make it so your website can’t be accessed without signing up for the emails, or display the sign up section so it is noticeable for those who are interested. Email newsletters will fill your clients’ in on news you wish to share with them, exciting events, or even just a simple constant contact for holidays and birthdays. It’s nice to show appreciation to your clients and make sure they know that you’re always thinking about them.
Again, you don’t just want to have a website that doesn’t include social media links, email access, and any other new marketing technique. It’s important to have an online presence and continue to update your virtual business world. With all that we can do these days, a website just isn’t enough.