Small Business – You Have a Website, Now What?

If you are like many small businesses, you have paid a hefty price to have your website designed by a professional and are quite proud of the beautiful representation they have given you online. You can’t quite figure out why you have not seen any business generated from such a lovely looking site. Isn’t the internet supposed to be the way that smart businesses grow their businesses these days? Why isn’t it working for you?

Unfortunately, that is the way a great deal of business owners think. If you are asking yourself these questions, the answer is yes; it is the smart way for people to grow their business and compete in today’s market. The reason it isn’t working for you yet is because you have only completed the first step in creating an online presence but there is much more to be done before you are successful online.

Your next step is to take your pretty new website to a search engine optimisation (SEO) specialist to ensure the search engines can find your website. Yes, your web designer may have said they included SEO in the design, but the truth is that most web designers do not have the knowledge about search engines to do the job properly. It is similar to going to a doctor for a tooth ache, they are in the same health field, but only a dentist is specialised enough to actually fix the tooth. The same holds true for SEO. Only an expert will give you results.

Once your site is at it’s best for search engines, you next need to look at effective ways to reach your target market and get traffic to your website. This is the key factor. If you don’t have web  traffic then you can’t make sales. There are many ways to begin building an online presence.

These are what I consider to be the five most important ways to get traffic.

  1. Article Marketing. Writing articles and submitting them to article directories has many benefits to your business and is a very effective means to get traffic to your site.
  2. Building Inbound Links. This is often referred to as Off Page SEO because it is an important factor that search engines use to determine where your website should appear in the search results. It is very difficult to get to page one of the search results without a great deal of inbound links.
  3. Social Networking. In order to get more business, you need to go where the customers are. These days, that is FaceBook, Twitter, Hi5, etc. You need to establish yourself in those sites so people who frequently use them can find you. There are millions of customers all gathered in one place. It is a very powerful marketing medium.
  4. An Active Blog. Building and maintaining an active small business blog on your website will go a long way to bringing targeted traffic to your site. You can add fresh content daily that you can use to bring more visitors to your website. If you think of your website as a gun to shoot at your target, then you must consider the blog as your bullets. You won’t hit the target without them.
  5. Advertising. This is an optional way to speed up the process if your budget allows. There are a number of advertising services available to you. PPC (pay per click), banner ads and email solo ads are just a few ways you can pay for visitors to your site, but they are not 100% guaranteed for results without an experienced person managing the campaigns.

Action and Consistency. This is not a technique, but it is a very important factor. This is where most small businesses fail. In order to really succeed online you must do all of the above on a regular and consistent basis. Taking action in one area for a short time, then jumping ship and doing another area for a time before jumping on to the next will keep you feeling like you are working hard but getting no results. You must make a concentrated effort in all areas to get results. If you do not have the staff to do this, then you must hire an expert who can handle it for you. The return on investment will pay off in the long run.