So You’re Online…Now What?

December 12, 2012 in , ,

You have spent hours upon hours writing a well thought out and thorough business plan, invested your time and money into a fancy website that pleases you both functionally and aesthetically, and…you sit there. Time passes and you pluck out a few gray hairs (don’t fret, they are inevitable), refill your water bottle, and even take a long three-hour lunch break, but still nothing.

Sometimes having an online business can feel like a bad day fishing. You sit there all day long in the middle of a huge lake in your sleek new fishing boat with all of the proper gear and apparel…and not a single fish bites. You catch nothing! Not even an old shoe!

So how do you avoid the dreaded uneventful day on the lake (that seemingly drags on for hours on end), and catch a nice, pretty bass?

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Here are some tried-and-true ways…

  • Confirm that your hyperlinks are useful… and aid people in finding helpful content where applicable. Have you ever been to a site and clicked on a link only to be led to…nothing? Avoid that.  Before clicking publish, test out every link and button on your site and make sure that it leads you to the intended destination.
  • Ensure that your site is fast-loading… just like most internet-users, Google digs speed. They value sites that load quickly and easily. Sites that load slower get pushed to the bottom of the totem pole and are difficult to discover in search engines. Ensure that your images and content are able to load quickly and that they don’t slow down your page’s speed.
  • Evaluate the titles and tag lines of your blog posts… and ensure that they are relevant and something your target audience would be searching for. And make them interesting, too! Generally, people are not too hasty to read a blog post that does not have an attention grabbing headline. And remember that people skim! Keep your post short and to the point!
  • …and update the tags, too… tag each one of your blog posts with pertinent keywords that apply to the post and your industry. Brainstorm all of the possible relevant terms that apply to your posts, articles, and site and begin to tag away.
  • Create a LinkedIn page… and use it to connect with potential customers, partners, investors, and drive traffic. It is kind of like Facebook for professionals and will help you to cover more bases on the Internet. If you do not already have an account, get on there!
  • Encourage happy customers to write reviews… Yelp, Judy’s Book, and Trusted Places are all sites where your customers can rave (and rant) about you. Encourage customers to review your business…especially the happy ones.
  • Check if your keywords are beneficial… what do you think your potential customers are searching for? Play a word-association game and brainstorm all the words that could potentially be linked back to your site. Be thorough! Ask your current customers, friends, and family what they think too! Update your keywords to fit their needs.
  • Publish articles… you can do this on sites like Wikipedia, CNN, and Delicious. Write about happenings in your industry like trends, advice, and how-to’s – be creative and be consistent. Remember to always link back to your site! (This is also an excellent time to show off your company’s personality and flare)
  • Start a Google+ page… Google loves Google. Which makes sense, right? Therefore a good, relevant Google+ page can only help.
  • Create an educational video on YouTube… about something in your industry. Perhaps you are an expertise on how to clean your car’s windows? Maybe you have tips and insight that are worth sharing? Create a few each month and always link them back to your site.
  • Activate a Twitter account… and Tweet about happenings in your industry, link to other articles, and start a hashtag for your company. Post your URL on your profile and connect with potential customers.
  • Create a Facebook page for your site… and link it back to your site. Push your relevant-content on to your page and update it frequently.
  • Be deserving of a high rank… If your site is top-quality and publishes useful relevant content, you will eventually wind up on top. Eventually. Strive for professionalism and create your website for your customer…not for search engines.

In summation, be big. The bigger you are, the more likely people are to see you. That makes sense, right? Cover your bases on the Internet, like Yelp, LinkedIn, and Facebook, and you are more likely to be noticed by potential customers.

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