As a small business marketing professional, I can assure you there is no more important aspect to your business than your website. Today, more people will visit your website than will meet you in person. If you want to sell, and you should, you have to start on the Internet.
Is having a website enough? It’s a good start, but an ineffective website can be a waste of potential marketing opportunities. Follow these five simple steps to get started.
Step 1: Have a Goal
The first thing your site needs is a goal; you must have a concise, clear vision for what you will present to the world. This is where you can use your creative side. Pick a color scheme, enhance your logo, choose your fonts. You are creating an image of your business, and that image should be thoughtful.
Step 2: Use a Programmer
Yep, you heard me. Hire someone. Today, there are a number of excellent programs that allow you to design a website even with little experience or computer knowledge. Your site may look great, but everything going on behind the scenes can be a real problem. The stuff behind the scenes, that technical code, is all the information a search engine has to point people to your site. So, if your code doesn’t do its job, people won’t find you. Did you know search engines don’t do a good job reading Flash? Flash is the language that makes beautiful movies on the web. Because it is so pretty, a lot of people use the language despite the fact it can’t be found. This is the trick you need a programmer for. Find someone who can talk you through the steps to create a site that has good search engine capabilities.
Step 3: Update your Content
You must make your site dynamic to attract visitors more than once. Which sites do you go to every day? Elephant Journal? If you do, you likely come back to see new content and new articles. Offer this same benefit to your clients and potential clients, and you will find your website is very popular.
Step 4: Broadcast Yourself
When you create good content, take the time to share it! Social media offers many creative ways to broadcast your work, and email marketing is a very effective tool to do the same. Take the time to put these tools to work for you.
Step 5: Capture Information
You’ve done the work to get people to your site, don’t you want the chance to know who they are? All websites should have a contact page where you can capture information from your visitors. It helps to have a spot where they can sign up for your newsletter, follow your RSS feed, or find you on Facebook, Twitter and other sources. If nothing else, make sure you request contact information.
You may notice none of the above steps have anything to do with yoga. A good website is cross-industry. The same great strategies that make an insurance website successful will make your yoga website successful. Learn from the best, and don’t be afraid to put your business in the same category as these others. While your goal may be simply to spread yoga to more people, you can accomplish that goal with more efficiency through a good business model.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at expanding these steps into something greater.