How To Start And Run An Online Business
Article: 15. Building Your Online Business Website Part 5
Creating and Keeping Your Web Content Up To Date/Content is King!
Market On The Net:
You might have the best product or service to offer in its class, but it wouldn't do your business much good if your prospective customers do not know of your existence. In this day and age, where technology rules the roost, businesses in every conceivable sphere are trying to make their presence known on the World Wide Web.
A world within our world, the internet has people looking for some form of service or product at every given moment of time in some part of the world or the other. Given the innumerable number of businesses offering similar products and services, it should come as no surprise that a majority of the people who are looking for businesses do so by conducting a search on a search engine, and then picking results from the results.
In designing the content for your business' web site, it is imperative that you keep certain things in mind. First and foremost, you must remember that content is king. Keyword rich content on a business' web site can be used to market an organization's products/services, increase visibility, and completed sales, etc.
Keyword Rich Content:
In designing a web site for a business, it is important you look closely at the text that is to be part of the web site. When a user enters keywords in a search engine, the search engine would only search the words within your web site, and not the meaning they convey. Simply put, if your web site does not contain the words that have been entered in the search engine, it will not show up within the results.
Search engines also compare the sequence of words in various web sites and the results are displayed as per the relevance. Therefore, the creating of a web site's content is not only important from the perspective a person conducting a search, but also from an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) perspective.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
SEO is basically used to get more visitors to come to your web site, and this is done through the help of various search engines. The more commonly used search engines include Google, Yahoo!, and MSN. When a word or a group of words are entered in a search box, the search engine goes through its database of web sites which are related to the entered word/words and a list of web sites and their links which contain the entered words is shown in the search results.
The lengths of these lists can be very long in cases of commonly conducted searches, and it is only natural for a user to pick one of the web sites that is higher in ranking assuming that it would be more relevant to the entered query. Simply put, higher ranked web sites get visited more, thereby resulting in more profits.
Search engines also recognize when the content of your web pages gets updated and this also adds credit to the ranking of your page. Therefore, it not only helps to have relevant content, but it also helps to have your content constantly updated with fresh and relevant content.
While it is important that your web site should have key word rich content best suited for Search Engine Optimization, it can only help in getting the internet user to your web site. What matters then is what the web site actually contains. Make sure that you have descriptive content on your page which puts across your offerings in a concise and crisp manner. While descriptions should be explanatory, try not to stretch the content unnecessarily. Also, while preparing content, expect it to be read and understood by a nonprofessional, so refrain from using industry specific terms.
Besides being able to get new visitors to your page, the content should also encourage the visitors to return to the page (for periodical updates, seasonal sales, specials, etc.), and can also offer educational material. You can also get referral links that can direct visitor traffic from other web pages to your page.
The Overall Design:
While content is one of the most important things on a web site, an effective web site must also pay attention to the layout, graphics, and user friendly navigation. This should enable the user to easily be able to search and go through the web site's contents, and get to the desired information. In accomplishing this, you will ensure that the visitors will return to the web site for future requirements.
The overall layout of the web site should be visually appealing and easy to understand by the visitors. Having SEO content is not enough, the content should be useful for the visitor in providing the right information in an easy to understand manner. You should also take care in selecting the graphics that are to go on the web site. Make sure that the graphics are appropriate, and remember that if your web site carries too many graphics, users with slow internet connections might prefer to stay away. Also, try and ensure that the navigation between pages is easy and fast.
The Advantages Of Having A web site (And Keeping It Updated):
There are many advantages that an online presence could give to your business. Listed below are some of the ways your business could benefit through a web site.
- A global presence: Through the internet, you can now reach a customer base anywhere in the world. Through your web site, you could sell your Italian fare in China, or offer your Indian services in the U.K. Through the internet, the world truly is your playground.
- Creating awareness about your product/service: One of the main differences between marketing your products/services in the virtual world vis-à-vis the real world is that on the internet, when a user reaches your web site, the user is already interested in availing your services. By creating and increasing the user's awareness about your brand, you increase the likelihood of the user buying something from you.
- Used as a marketing tool: You can have your web site function as an efficient tool to market your products/services. Have your web site custom designed keeping in mind your client base. Since marketing online differs considerably when compared with marketing the more traditional way, getting someone proficient in online marketing to do it is always a good idea.
- The 24/7 factor: Once you have a web site in place, you can make your services/products available to your customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the year. Since there are an increasing number of people who are getting prone to taking care of all their needs online, a web site where orders can be placed round the clock is always a welcome move.
- Enhanced customer service: With the widespread usage of the internet, everybody likes to deal with a business that can be contacted online. This gives your customers the flexibility of getting in touch with you at anytime, from anywhere in the world. It does not require research to know that providing good customer service always helps the business grow, and an online presence is now one of the most basic requirements in providing customer service.
It is not enough to have a web site in place and expect your business to grow. From time to time, you would need to evaluate the efficiency of your web site and also update it to meet customer needs. You can evaluate the web site's efficiency by tracking the sales that your business makes and finding out if sales other than the online sales also originated due to the web site's presence. You can also have visitors fill out feedback forms that you can refer to while updating your web site. Keep tweaking around with your ad copy till you have the desired effects in terms of a visitors to buyers' ratio.
Outsourcing Your Web Site Designing:
If you are the kind of person not inclined to learn web design, and would have to hire an extra employee to take care of your web site development and maintenance, you might want to consider employing the services of a web site designing company. This could result in your business saving money because it would mean one less full time/part time employee. Besides taking care of the designing aspect, these companies also take care of the maintenance and periodical updates of the web site.
Web site designing companies have trained professionals, who, in conjunction with your requirements, would design the web site to have optimized efficiency. The web sites they make keep in mind factors such as the type of business, the intended purpose of the web site, the target audience, etc. In going through a web site designing company, all the aspects of the web page (layout, content, graphics, easy navigation, etc.) will be taken care of at one place.
While it is important for any business today to have an online presence, it is also important that the presence is not merely for the sake of being present. It is important to have a web site that is informative and constantly updated. And if you ever have doubts about any stage of the process, never hesitate in taking the help of a professional. For the growth of your business, it shall be money well spent.
15. Building Your Online Business Website Part 5.
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