One thing that small business owners tend to overlook is that the web doesn’t work like they expect. Business owners successfully deal with customers every day and they know what to do (and what results they want to see.) Unfortunately, the web is like the stock market – it makes you money indirectly, you have to do some extra work and appeal to people in order to maximize your returns. Further, things are always changing and you have to be smart about where you invest.
But how can you apply these lessons to your business and it’s web presence?
Unfortunately, you can’t always go directly to a sale on the web. People on the web expect some wining and dining before the hard sell. Some are just looking for something interesting. Some are just looking for specific information about the topic that your business deals with. How can use you use this tendency to your advantage?
That’s why small businesses with websites are encouraged to cover not only the topics that directly deal with their business but also ancillary topics. If you sell shoes but you have a blog post about the best brands of moccassins (which you don’t sell) – well guess what the customer is going to remember about you?
That’s right. They will recall that you are the one to go see when they want any shoes. Even if you don’t sell them, you are a valuable resource within your business. And if you understand that, surely you can see how related but indirect website content can bring people to your business and you’ll see your sales increase.
This is what Google and all the big internet companies do, as well. Google makes its big money off search ads but has lots of other ways (Google News, Google Docs, Google +, Google Images, etc.) to get you on their website. And that’s why Google and Facebook are always buying smaller companies to add to what they offer you – for free, to boot.
Things are in a state of change. Video game companies will eventually have to abandon the computer and console. It will all be on your phone and your home entertainment center – except it will be called something else. Your entertainment center will feed all your TV screens with cable or satellite stations, video games on demand and subscription, your music and your social media, email and all your other computer functions, automatically translated and driven by voice command instead of a keyboard. Naturally, you will be able to access all of this on your phone/PDA/tablet/iPad and whatever other gadget they invent in the meantime. The question is – how will this affect your particular business?
Things change really fast. Some ask if Google and Facebook will even be around in five years. Do you depend on Google to send you traffic? The only way not to be dependent on search engines is to make sure your website is a resource. Promote yourself and your business judiciously and expect to be in it all for the long haul.
They say you have to be a long term investor to make the best use of the stock market. You have to put the work into your website as well. Anyone who tells you different isn’t concerned about your long term results.