Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tips on Optimizing your online Presense

Expanding Your Online Presence is a Must for Your Business!

Joelene Wickens-Orlando

Publishing and launching your website alone does not guarantee that your presence will be known by many online. Promotion and marketing efforts play such a vital role in the development and success of your web site. The reality is this; some businesses fail to appreciate the revenue potential that the Internet has to offer, and simply don't put the time and effort beyond the development of their websites. With technology steadily making improvements in a blink of an eye, and showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, the Internet will continue to grow at an alarming fast pace as we move forward into the next century. Business owners need to get serious about taking their online presence to the next level, or find themselves left behind in the dust. There will come a time when business owners will be hanging their heads down low, just for the fact that they didn't use an aggressive approach with their online marketing tactics. Unfortunately, for many businesses, that day has already arrived. Let's hope that you're not among those statistics.

The objective of the Internet is to maximize your exposure and to increase your potential reach that you otherwise wouldn't be able to achieve on the basis of having a storefront. Setting up shop alone will not increase your revenue opportunities or get people there. Having a great website will not do the job as well, but with a website, applying the logic and creativity of the purpose of expanding your online presence will get you far. Join in with millions of others who are taking the high road on the Internet to generate the profit margins they're seeking for. Check out some ways you can do to maximize your online presence.

Traditional Marketing Materials.
You should have paper products and materials stating your URL, contact information, and hours of operation. The more the information is displayed, you improve your chances in getting recognized or noticed. Implement your information on your fax cover sheets, stationery, business cards, brochures, purchase orders, invoices and billing statements, voice mail, and specialty items such as t-shirts, pens, baseball caps, license plate frames, magnets and coffee mugs to name a few. If you're already getting these things printed, add as much information as you can to give your potential customers different ways in reaching you.

Email Signature is a must.
All external email should include a signature block with the company URL, contact information and what not every time an email is sent out for whatever reason. Keep them short and simple so that the user can capture the information within that signature quickly.

Promote, Promote and Promote your Website.
The efforts you put forth with promoting your website will be the determining factor in how often your site will get seen. Getting listed in the most popular search engines and web directories is the key in gaining the attention of people searching the web for a particular item or service. There are many other factors in getting a good ranking within the various search engines and web directories such as using good key word destiny, finding out what mechanism each search engine or web directory uses that gets you a realistic ranking, and registering your web site to the top seven largest and best-known search engines and directories. Granted, you've got your work cut out for you, but it will be one of the best 'time' investments you can ever make when it comes to promoting your website.

Trade links and get traffic to your site.
For many sites, the best way to attract traffic is through reciprocal links with other related sites. Just remember that once you trade links, you need to monitor them after the trade to insure they are active, and that the other website is holding up to their end of the bargain, since you're doing them the same favor of posting their link on your site.

E-mail Etiquette.
One of my biggest pet peeves. When people don't respond to my emails. You must commit to answering all emails directed to your site without delay. There are no excuses. With the nature of the Internet culture, where people are used to prompt and immediate action, and are notoriously impatient. Timely action will keep people coming back to your site.

Stay in the loop with Forums, Newsgroups and Discussion groups.
Your website should have at least one of these communication communities available to your users. What's nice about these communities is that you can view what others are saying about your business, and also give you an opportunity to participate is some conversation with your customers. It shows that if you find time to talk with your customers, that you really care about what they think and have to say.

A worthy company newsletter never goes unnoticed.
If you have a good customer base, and a good newsletter with a good dose of valuable information, your customers will appreciate reading your company newsletter. By implementing a company newsletter sends a very positive message to your customers that you are a business owner who likes to stay on top of trends and issues in your field.

Maintenance of your website.
Things quickly change and as your business evolves, your website may grow a bit bigger. It's imperative that you check your pages for functionality, change your keywords to keep your ranking at bay, change content and information periodically on your site, and keep the speed of your download as fast as possible for your website as a number one priority.

Keep stats and records of traffic, profit margins and what not.
Be on top of this crucial information so you may make necessary changes within your marketing strategies to improve in areas that need it. That's why those numbers are available for you to see and to help you gauge your current position in terms of where your business is at today, and where you want to be tomorrow. Use that information to your advantage.

Keep up with online trends.
Stay in touch with what's happening in the online world at all times. You may find that you will need to change your website, refocus your demographics in reaching your target market, as well as making marketing choices in improving your bottom number. Remember that the landscape of the online world changes dramatically by the minute, so you need to adjust to those changes just as fast.

Take advantage of the wealth that your online presence can offer.
In simple terms, think of your online presence as the ability to reach thousands of people in a given time, that your storefront could never possibly beat in comparison. Everyone else online is doing exactly that, and you need to be a part of this marketing wave taking the Internet by storm.

While there are many other important factors to help maximize your online presence, these mentioned are just a few to get you started. Keep in mind that your website represents you, your products, and more importantly, putting your customers needs first. Customers always come first. Nothing else matters. If you don't meet the needs of your customers, they will take their business to your nearest competitor. And without customers, you don't stand a chance. Go ahead, and expand your online presence, or miss out on a goldmine of potential customers!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very nice blog Anne!!!