As a 'grey-haired' business development and business coaching expert, I spend most of my working week helping my clients and promoting their businesses. Whatever time I have left I need to make sure I spend it on promotng myself! Here are my own tips on why busy business owners need to maintain their website and wider digital presence and a few (obvious) tips for doing so.
Your 24x7 Sales Person
Websites promote you and your business around the clock. Even your top employees will find it hard to do that! Often your potential buyers are researching you and your services outside core business hours when they get the time after a busy day or week. Your website is your constant, always-on shop window. It is often the first impression they get of your business. First impressions won't be good if it is clearly not maintained or looks neglected!
Mobile & Responsive
With the proliferation of mobile devices, both phones and other, your customers just expect that your site will work on whatever device they are using. Talk to your web developer about making sure your website is responsive to as many devices and internet browsers as possible.
Stock photography can be a cost-effective way of adding some style to your site. If budget permits look at purchased your own images so they have more originality on your site. Consider getting a stock of your own photographs taken by a professional photographer. This can be a more cost-effective way to get unique, relevant images for your site. They also come in handy for social media to get your company personality across.
If you are too busy yourself, make someone responsible for maintaining your digital real-estate. This can be an internal resource or outsourced provider. Consider getting an outsider - ideally a target customer - to do a review of your website and strategy. A fresh pair of eyes usually brings some invaluable insights.
Your site might look great but if the content is not up to scratch you won't capture your audiences attention. You have a few seconds to grab attention so invest in your content and copywriting. Fresh, updated content is also good for organic search results.
Organic or Pay?
If you can do both even better! Search engines love original, unique content but fresh content obviously takes a lot of time and ongoing commitment to produce and publish. Paying to come up the top on Google, Bing and other search engines can be great for brand awareness and to increase traffic to your site but for some small business its can be expensive depending on your keywords, services and sectors. Worth exploring both as an option.
If you don't have the time to manage yourself or the budget to outsource your social media account, then don't be on it in the first place. Like a website that is not updated, an abandoned social media account isn't doing you any favours. Select the social media platforms that make sense for your target audiences. Better to do one really well rather than try to be constantly on everything!
If you want to project the local image, use the local domain name i.e. .ie for Ireland and .co.uk for the UK. You can also purchase other domain names such as .com and .net to protect your brand online if your plotting international expansion and world domination down the line.
Call To Actions
The website is just your shop window. When you get visitors in you want them to do something. Make it easy for them to contact you, submit an enquiry, download a brochure etc.
Digital Marketing as a discipline has exploded over the last few years. From Google Analytics to identifying site visitors, there are a plethora of tools to measure the effectiveness of your website strategy. Understand what you want to get out of your website and be realistic given your own budget and resources.
On that last point, you need to have a strategy before you start measuring whether it’s working!