Everyone knows that website development is important to the success of almost any business nowadays. Unfortunately, however, a lot of local businesses (especially small local businesses) are left wondering what that even means! Most business owners know that the internet plays a big part in modern business, but a lot of people actually don’t know where to start.
I was recently listening to a podcast called “Coffee Talk”, and on this episode James Martell was interviewing a guest named Don Campbell. Don is the president of a company called ‘Expand2Web’, a company that helps businesses by providing them with the tools and training that they need to succeed online.
In this interview, Don actually brought up a few good points about how the Web is different today than it was ten years ago. When it comes to helping business owners in their efforts to expand their web presence, there are actually a lot more tools available today than there ever were. In fact, web tools that used to cost large companies thousands of dollars can now be utilized by smaller companies for pennies… or even for free in some cases!
Of course, this does not make your web presence any easier to develop if you are not sure how to go about it. In fact, Don made a point that I found very interesting during this interview regarding that very subject.
“The thing I notice the most when I talk to business owners is that they are really busy… they are so busy just trying to run their business that they struggle just trying to figure out ‘ ok, what should I be doing online?’. They know the opportunity is out there, they hear about it, they see it on TV and they hear other people talking about it… but they are just not sure where to start, or how to take advantage of it for their business.” Quote by Don Campbell, President of ‘Expand To Web’
This is so true, in more ways than one! Business owners are extremely busy anyway… but if you factor in the economy, the rising fuel costs, and the increase in what it takes to run a business, you see owners working more and more overtime to try to make ends meet. This leaves even less time for business owners than there used to be to figure out how to develop a web presence.
How Do You Get Started?
Don actually covered this subject in the interview. Here is a quote about where he says is generally the best place to start.
“I really think getting a website is the first step. When I talk to business owners, I like to get them to think of building their website as the hub of their online presence. So, their own domain name with their own website that they can control as a starting point. That allows them to start taking control of the conversation online.” Don Campbell
You’d be surprised how many people turn to online merchants to do their shopping. Even getting personal checks online, isn’t uncommon these days. This is why optimizing your website, and properly advertising your services on a local and national (or even international) level are all huge steps that you should take to increase your web presence. If someone is looking to buy online, you want your business to stand out to them. Once you have increased your web presence and have properly optimized your website, you will start to see a few very positive things happen for your business.
- You will start to see more hits on your website, indicating that more people are finding out about your business.
- You will start to see increased sales, both online and through your doors.
- You will start to build a community of followers who becomes more aware of what is going on at your business, which will lead to increased sales and more word-of-mouth ‘buzz’ about your business.
What Tools Can You Use?
There are a ton of tools nowadays to help you develop and grow your online presence. Google + Local is actually a very popular tool right now for getting the word out about your business to your local community. WordPress is a fantastic platform for building a simple and functional website that you can use to keep customers in the know about what is going on, as well as to serve as a hub for the rest of your online development.
Of course, utilizing social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter can equal a huge influx of web buzz, something that every business could use to increase sales and awareness!