- by Trish
If as a business owner, you have passion in what you do and you’re not afraid to show it, a well constructed website CAN help you grow your offline business.
What do I mean by “well constructed website”, you ask? I mean that you need to follow the proper ways of constructing a website and not just have your teenager throw a few things about your business online.
- You need to have a relevant domain name. To help you figure this out, let me ask you this question: what would your potential customer put into an internet search engine in order to find YOUR business?
a) Scarborough Dentists
b) Ajax dressmaker (or tailor) … or …
c) Pickering plumber, etc.
You can (and SHOULD) definitely use your business name on your website. Setting your domain name up like this is one of the easiest ways to help ensure your business gets found in search results when potential customers use your keywords when searching
- A local website hosting server would be YOUR best option. For more details on this topic, I recommend you read the benefits of hosting your website local.
- Then you need to decide whether to use HTML or a content management system (CMS) to create your website with. If you are NOT a coder (which MOST offline business owners are not), than I would highly recommend you install and use WordPress as your CMS. Once everything is in place, updating your pages or adding a post to your blog will be a ‘breeze’.
- Given the popularity of mobile devices now (tablets and cell phones) you will need to use a mobile-friendly design. Again, I can highly recommend that you use a responsive designed WordPress theme.
A responsive design is a flexible layout that will make your images flexible; a design that detects a website visitor’s screen size of the device they’re using, along with the orientation, and then changes the layout accordingly.
Why I suggest this option is that Google keeps changing the rules: website must now be mobile-friendly or your website rank will suffer.
- You also need to make SURE your website is browser compatible. “Seriously?” you ask. Yes, seriously! For full disclosure on this issue, please read why your website should be browser compatible. After all, what would be the point of having a website if it will not display properly in all browsers?
- I’m betting you have heard the saying that ‘content is king’, right? Well, that’s because content really IS king, providing your content is unique. Know this: Google HATES duplicate content, so NEVER copy others’ information, and always offer relevant information that relates to YOUR business. Then your website will be loved! And, your visitors will be more apt to share your website address with others on their social media accounts, which could bring you even MORE potential customers. If you believe you can just build a website and they will come – here’s the key!
- Once you have addressed the above six issues, it’s time to consider basic SEO as your next necessity. For more details on this option, understand THIS: SEO is NOT Dead
Now that your website has been populated with your business contact information, along with a map showing your location, consider offering random discounts or coupons to your website visitors. Your coupons could be shown to you (or your staff) on your customer’s mobile device when visiting your establishment or they could bring it to you printed.
Your website truly CAN help your offline business grow. Check out your competition and see for yourself!
The most important secret to growing any business, offline or online, is passion. The public admires talent and is drawn to business owners who are passionate about what they do. Billy Joel once said it perfectly; “If you are not doing what you love, you are wasting your time.”