How long has it been since you’ve used the Yellow Pages for something? Not the Yellow Pages website, but the actual book itself, chunky and inconvenient as it is? I know the last time I used it was to chock up the leg of a table that had broken. Before that, I can’t remember. With Smartphone technology, wireless Internet everywhere you turn and the ubiquity of laptops, the solutions to any of our business queries are but a mouse-click away.
As a business, not having an online presence is tantamount to drawing an invisibility cloak around your entire offering. To put it bluntly: if you’re not online, you’re not in the game. Conducting internal communication as well as communicating with consumers is highly efficient and effective in an online forum. All you need is a good IT support service, a decent website designer and an understanding of how best to use the Internet to your advantage!
A Well-Designed Website
Just as you would pay attention to the layout of your store or restaurant in order to make it consumer friendly, a website should be easy to use and even easier to navigate. Investing in a good web design company is a very smart move, and making sure you have an easy-to-operate content management system (or dedicated site managers) will ensure it remains up to date and relevant.
Simply setting up a website and leaving it for months is hardly better than not having one at all–consumers are increasingly savvy about web design and a poorly-maintained site looks unprofessional and unappealing. This would be like Microsoft not having a Windows 8 to release because of a lack of planning. Even before Microsoft launches something they have a ‘testing’ phase where you can get Windows 8 downloads to try out.
Another way in which your business could benefit from having an online presence is e-commerce. This is the process of buying and selling online, and you will find that if you have the capabilities to offer online sales you will reach a much wider consumer base.
In terms of visibility on the Internet, Google uses a complex algorithm to rank sites in order of relevance to a person’s entered search term. Keywords and search terms, as well as links back to your site all contribute to the way Google determines your relevance. SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the name given to the process of improving your site’s relevance by making sure that the appropriate keywords appear in your site and that there are plenty of links back. An SEO expert or Web Marketing company can help you achieve this through carefully crafting your site in certain ways.
While getting your business online may seem like a daunting task, there are professionals out there to help you along the way such as web designers, hosting services, IT services and content managers. It’s not a question of whether your business can afford to be online; it’s a question of whether it can afford not to be.
About the Guest Post Author: Kushal Tomar is a freelance writer and journalist. He writes extensively in Australia, Canada, Europe, and the US. He’s published more than 500 articles about various topics.