We have noticed a recent trend in businesses winding back traditional advertising and even going as far as closing down traditional shop fronts in order to concentrate on running their businesses from their websites.
This makes sense as after all, a website is open and running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and allowing you to reach local, interstate and international clients. The costs of maintaining a website are minuscule compared to a traditional shop front or office in in these uncertain times, a well designed and promoted website can help you climb above your competition and compete in a much more efficient and cost effective way.
We have compiled the following list of things you can do to really harness the power of your website and ensure you continue to grow and prosper through 2009..
It is important for all web site owners to understand search engine optimisation to ensure they are doing all the right things to maximise their traffic. Often it only requires a little effort and understanding to make huge improvements on your website traffic.
Check out our SEO articles at http://findmywebsite.com.au/category/understanding-search-engines/ for some great information and resources.
Also, why not go straight to the source at Google and read their guidelines for ranking well in Google. You can access this information at http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769&hl=en
Many businesses that have a web presence underestimate the power of email to attract existing and potential clients to their websites (and therefore their products and services).
'Build it and they will come' may work if you have a baseball field but will not work for websites.. You can have the most powerful, interesting and entertaining website with an easy ecommerce facility and great information but what is the point if you can't attract visitors? Even if you do attract them, how are you going to make sure they keep coming back to you?
Time is short and people like to browse the internet until they come across something interesting.. What if a potential client is looking at your website and they have to leave suddenly or don't have the time to browse through everything? What if a potential client is viewing your website just days before a new product launch that they would be interested in? What if your website covers an industry or product that is community based?
How do you keep people coming back? The answer : Mail Lists!
That's right.. This often overlooked, underestimated and misunderstood marketing tool is actually one of the oldest and most widely used applications of the Internet (even more that 'surfing' the internet with a web browser).
Check out http://www.mantismail.com for more information on this incredibly easy and cost effective marketing tool.
Learn more about where your visitors come from and how they interact with your site. You'll get the information you need to write better ads, strengthen your marketing initiatives, and create higher-converting websites. Google Analytics is free to everyone and is highly recommended as a way to keep an eye on how people are using your site so you can continue to refine content and discover what people are looking for.
For more information, go to http://www.google.com/analytics
Usability testing is an essential tool for ensuring your website is easy to use and that your target market can find what they are looking for without hitting hurdles or getting lost in your site. Often website owners can be 'too close' to their businesses and may not see the problems that their potential customers experience.
By using friends, family and work colleagues to 'test' your site and provide constructive feedback, you can identify ways to improve your website and refine it to make it easier to use and therefore result in more customers, sales, etc.
We recommend you do this at least twice a year to pick up on any issues that may have cropped up as time goes on and more content is added to your site. If you would like a professional opinion on your website, please contact us.
Hopefully this information has given you some ideas to get started in 2009 and really tap into your potential for growing in 2009. For any questions or further information, please feel free to contact us at any time.