WEBSITES & THEIR IMPORTANCE
- The Lifeblood of Commerce: It has been long-established that small business entities continue to be the living, breathing life force of local, regional, provincial or state and national economies. Small business accounts for in excess of one-half of a country’s employment, a reciprocal value in terms of national sales revenues. Those very same small businesses are the force that builds and sustains communities across nations. There has been a substantial increase of self-employment startups nationally, a key indicator of economics-driven commerce yet to come.
- Business Dependence on the Web: Small business enterprises have, over time, become increasingly dependent on the internet through their website marketing. Stores and new apps development is an integral part of the online equation. This total web dependence clearly illustrates the unquestionable importance and value placed on a website today. Nearly 100% of all small business revenue is now derived directly or indirectly through the internet medium. With the advent of e-commerce apps, the direct revenue stream through online and even inter-website apps has afforded business entrepreneurs that fully independent operational status all the more clearly and effectively.
- Virtual Services-Based Business Delivery: Since websites became essentially a fully independent and functioning entity, especially where a business is service-based and has no physical product retail or walk-in customer services requirements, the totality of the independent online business has further become a reality. There is a host of cost and logistical savings factors which make online business ventures so appealing.
- Industry Disruption: The onslaught of online business entities has had a significant and growing impact on the industries they are attached to. The means to remain competitive for non-internet based companies has been a tremendous issue for industry proponents to deal with. On the negative side, staffing is downsized dramatically, thereby creating challenges for those individuals displaced by the new business realities of today.
- Consumer Value: A website is an essential part of doing business for today’s business entity whether a small startup or a large corporation. The benefits are many for not only the business but also for potential customers or clients who are searching for what a business has to offer. Immediate access to a business online around the clock has become an increasing aspect of a host of consumer demands as a viable services contender.
- Website Functions: A website incorporates relevant product and/or services information platforms and serves as a marketing strategies vehicle. The business website is the ‘hub’ of all online marketing and advertising traffic channeling and backlinking.
- The Website Advantage: Websites are a cost-effective means to get the business’ story out to the masses through a medium that is always accessible online where potential customers can browse at their own preferred time of day or night. Today, with technological advances, potential customers can access the internet even when they are out and about over the course of their day through any public location which has Wi-Fi internet services; coffee shops, cafes, libraries, even outdoor parks. Mobile phones are now a major mode of internet access even to the extent of requiring major web design considerations to accommodate the greatly reduced dimensions of the viewing screen.
- Online Customer Testimonials: Customer/client testimonials on websites are a solid trust-building way to gain a potential new customer/client’s confidence in contacting the business owner to find out more.
- Expanded Market Reach and Share: Websites affords a business greatly expanded, global customer reach beyond only local customer potential. The more potential customers that a business can reach online, the greater their capacity for increased sales volume through scale.
BLOGS & CONTENT MARKETING
- Customer Reach through Marketing Strategy: Affords visitors brand exposure and recognition through personalized content that is informative, entertaining and meaningful. The blog should be designed to provide content and perspective that will be of interest to the blog writer/company and the potential customer or client.
- Brand Exposure and Recognition: The business owner can establish their own brand voice and personality through blogging. This aspect of marketing strategy is priceless as it builds trust and gains a business invaluable traction in terms of positive engagement of targeted customers.
- Social & Pro Media Outreach: Share original content to social and professional media platforms through linking back to the original article (website) location. From there, the blog content can also link to other relevant blog content as a means to further enhance the visitor experience. Linking to other pages on the website which further support the blog topic is even further value-added engagement for blog readers.
- Importance of a Blog: Is a blog really that necessary for a business? The main challenge is the time factor involved in effective research and writing of effective blog content, especially for a sole proprietor who does not have the staff to delegate this task to. Writing skills are a critical aspect of blogging. Can you effectively reach out and communicate in a way that informs and develops interest and the desire to find out more, to become a customer or client? The short answer to this question a resounding yes! A business blog attached to the business website is an essential component of the content marketing strategy as the singular vehicle to convey product and/or services essentials to a carefully targeted online audience.
- Effective Blog Functionality and Purpose: Whether a small business startup or a large corporation, a blog is a website and business essential that establishes a level of authority or expertise and provides visitors and subscribers with valuable and readily usable information relative to the business’ products or services. A blog is an essential element of online marketing strategy.
- An essential point of destination for visitors through the marketing funnel process, thereby channeling increased traffic to a business website.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Through effective blog content search engine optimization, including headings optimization, there is an opportunity for enhanced visitor engagement to attract new customers and increase conversion to sales.
- Effective blog SEO helps to increase search engine page ranking and positioning in search engine results pages (SERP’s).
- Lead Generation and Sales Conversion: A powerful tool for developing company brand recognition, lead generation, and sales conversions.
- Provides an opportunity for potential and existing client relationship building through their engagement and interactive processes.
- The Sales Funnel: Link back to your business website by linking your blog posts to all social and professional media platforms.
- Add blog subscribing for convenience to your followers and also to establish a mailing list.
- Blog content SEO helps increase exposure and interest through search engine results page listings.
- Search Indexing and Site Visibility: The greater the amount of quality, informative and useful information a blog has, the greater the amount of indexing and search visibility your blog will generate and in turn the greater the amount of organic site traffic back to your website.
- Blog Frequency: It is essential to update your blog with new articles on a consistent, scheduled basis. Subscribers come to anticipate new blog posts with regularity and a blog can help build brand loyalty through that ongoing informational connection that many subscribers grow to depend on.
- Return on Investment: Businesses have done research on Return on Investment (ROI) from the blogging process and have found a conclusive and direct correlation of increased customer business activity in the way of purchases when quality blogging resources are consistently available and shared to its awaiting readership.
- Inbound Link Generation: Online content marketing is a powerful way to attract quality, authoritative backlinking by industry professionals who develop an appreciation for a business’ blogging initiatives. Such inbound links is a key element of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This type of ‘referral traffic’ back to your website is invaluable in terms of increased web traffic and the trust and confidence visitors will have upon arrival to your site; they are warmer prospects for doing business with.
- Long Tail Search Queries: Blog titles are automatically incorporated as an extension of your blog page URL (web address) which provides an immediate identification of a blog’s content for those using long tail search terms or ‘semantic’ queries as is increasingly popular today.
- Increased Leads: Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between blog post length and lead generation. The more value-added a blog article is, the greater the perceived value to the prospective or targeted market that engages with those articles and in turn the greater the business activity that ensues.
- Valuable Engagement and Conversation: Because blogs include the ‘Comment’ feature for readers, those comments, in turn, provide an opportunity for the business owner/writer to engage directly with each individual who is commenting. That is a powerful form of consumer engagement that is not found anywhere is in business marketing. That engagement further develops trust and confidence in the consumer and furthers the sales funnel process toward a decision to buy.
- Content Freshness: Google loves fresh, highly informative content. This is the basis for their overall page/website ranking formula. The greater the search engine’s perceived value of the blog and site content to the benefit of the consumer, the better the page ranking and search engine results page positioning a blog and/or website will have.
- Brand Differentiation: The whole name of the game on the internet today is how companies represent their brand in a way that differentiates or elevates them as a distinctive and better choice for the consumer. Through the production of original and highly meaningful, usable content, a business will realize increased search query traffic, prospective customer recognition, and trust and ultimately increased sales. There is a level of intrinsic value placed upon linking to authority content of other professional websites, however, to infuse highly topical, trending and informative, immediately useful information through blog content publication has value second to none.
Connect with Customer Focus & Inclusion
In the final diagnosis and perspective, it is clear that the website and blog both have their equal and deserving prominence as essential tools in the business marketing process. From a new business startup and small business perspective, those two elements are the most effective means of audience connection and meaningful dialogue.
Above all else, remember that the current trend in business marketing today is to STOP the long-standing marketing approach of “Buy me, Buy me, and yet again buy me”. Our potential customers are sick and tired of blatant and unrelenting in-their-face selling. Our potential customers will NOT be treated like ‘targets’ and ‘prospects’ to be pushed or manipulated into a purchase.
Treating our audience with the respect and appreciation that they deserve is our first and ongoing priority. Let’s remember that we need to gain their respect and maintain that respectful confidence on an ongoing basis; after all, the life of a business is dependent on customer satisfaction and loyalty of repeat business.
The most significant burgeoning trend also addresses the matter of customer interaction. Talk to your ongoing and potential customers. Gain friendship and comfortable interaction. Show them through demonstration that you have the answers, the ‘solution’ to their problem through your product or services. AND, show them why they should pick you over all your competitors, why your solutions are better for their needs. Differential yourselves as exceptional with what you offer; don’t just say it, say why!
Before you take your pitch live, remember to do extensive on and offline research. Study your website analytics data carefully; know your targeted market’s likes, dislikes, and needs, understand their problem and be absolutely sure of the ‘distinctive’ solution(s) that you offer to their problem. The next marketing solution is to present your product or services solutions as they are most relevant to your awaiting market.
‘Personalization’ is all over the internet at the moment as a key element of the sales equation. Take that time to know and understand the problems that your prospective consumer is faced with and you are already halfway to the solutions. Skip the preliminary research and understanding at your company’s peril.
Inflection of the Human Touch
Above all else, friends, in order to effectively connect with your marketing audience, shape your marketing content in a personal, human conversational format that truly speaks to your audience. Inject some humor into it! As long as you effectively deliver your message, why not put a smile on their face. That kind of emotional personal response is worth gold to any business owner and marketer and for the potential customer that feeling is the first step towards trust and a comfort level that says “let’s do business”!