Improve Your Internet Presence
Businesses don’t really exist without an updated e-commerce siteFebruary 1, 2010 By Carl Mandelbaum
You may think a traditional Web site is sufficient, but it must incorporate Web 2.0 tools and platforms and used in conjunction with available marketing tools. In the early days of taking businesses online, using a basic Web site and email was acceptable and often enough to draw in prospective clients and customers. But today the average customer surfing the Web is savvy and can spot a static site a mile away. Your site has to be an extension of your brand, easy to navigate, and readily found.
Web 2.0 refers to using the Internet to facilitate interactive information and data sharing. Social networking and blogs go a long way to attract and keep customers coming back to your online services. These Web applications that do more then just serve up static data offer you new ways to market and communicate with your clients. Today's Web sites make changing content fast and easy. The approach of giving control of your Web content to non-technical staff makes sense and saves money.
Not only will embracing Web 2.0 encourage clients and customers to get a sense of who you are and what you do, it will invite prospects. The more you can draw them in, the more likely you are to make a sale. In addition, you are more likely to have those new customers spread the word to others.
It is far more convenient for potential customers to research your products and services online as opposed to driving somewhere to ask someone or phoning an impersonal call center. They can visit your site whenever they like and give it their full attention, without the stresses and distractions that exist in the "real world."
Add Value and Satisfaction
Your Web site can add value and a higher level of customer satisfaction by featuring advice, tips and general interest content as a means to entertain and inform. It will also help them to remember you better.
The Internet never closes, so customers have access to your information any time they want. You may even consider selling your products online using a cost-effective eCommerce solution.
Just having a Web site will improve credibility with many consumers, but it also gives you the opportunity to tell them what you're about, why you deserve their trust and confidence, and why they should purchase your products or services.
Promote Your Brick-and-Mortar" Presence
Show pictures of your store and provide a map for those who want to visit. Once they're in your storefront or experience center, you can form that personal relationship that will help make a sale or promote word-of-mouth advertising.
Two-Way Communicative Marketing
You can set up a part of your site so that customers can easily give you feedback on your products and services. The positive comments can be used to market your business, while some comments may give you a chance to make improvements.
Inexpensive Market Research
You can use features such as visitor polls, online surveys and Web site statistics to find out what your customers like more and how they feel about certain aspects of your business. Furthermore, Web tracking and analytics show you how much traffic your site receives, how the visitor got to your site, where the visitor is from, and more.
So, whether you opt for a simple splash page that includes a paragraph about who you are, what you do and your contact information, or a multi-layered site that features a gallery of your work and in-depth information on all your services, you must have an Internet presence. You business doesn't really exist without one.
Carl Mandelbaum is president Almond Tree Marketing.