We all understand that we really should be online, but for those of us who start out with a knowledge point of zero when it comes to all things internet, that doesn’t really explain why it is important. When we plan out our stores or restaurants we always know the why. Why this colour furniture, why this pricing, why this location. I know when I first started an online presence for my business, I didn’t really know why I was doing it, and getting that knowledge was the key to helping me get it right.
The most obvious reason that most people spend their entire lives now connected to the internet. In many ways, the internet has started to give you as a business owner the same benefits that word of mouth used to, but with the added bonus it being far more immediate and having a much wider, potentially global reach. Whether it is you doing the marketing yourself, or just some big fans of what you are doing who share the word themselves the potential reach is vast and the knock on financial benefits clear to see.
Targeting and Presentation
Once you buy into this concept the best advice I can give you is use the knowledge you have of your customer base and target market to fill gaps that you might have in your internet knowledge. If you are creating a website, don’t just go for a stock standard layout that you could get anywhere. Go back to the original business model that you had (obviously if you have been around then look at how it has evolved as well) and use that knowledge of what you have to determine the look and feel of what you are presenting.
Take it to the Next Step
However, the best advice I can give is don’t stop at creating a website, because that is the number 1 sin that internet novices make. I know this, because I made it. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a new industry and there are lot of companies out there who will ask about managing your website etc. to keep it at the top of the google rankings which is really what you want. Whether or not you decide to use them or just bone up a bit on your own knowledge is up to you, but this is a blog about “why’s” so whichever option you take you need to do something. Think of your website like a pet: you need to keep feeding it to keep it alive!
A website will wither away to nothing without new content. Whether it is regular blog posts about your events and ideas or incorporating your Facebook page updates (yes…you are also going to need to get up to speed on Facebook and Twitter and everything else as well!) the more you invest in it the stronger it will become and the more value it will continue to add to your business!