With the rise of social media, smart devices, and connectivity everywhere, a professional web presence is a huge asset for business owners. While it’s still possible to grow a business without a web presence, it does become more difficult for people who want to connect with you online and learn what you’re all about. It also makes it challenging for people who love your product and want to get a hold of it from afar. It’s hard to know where to start, but these four essentials will help you present yourself and your company professionally to any potential customer, client, or vendor.
Your brand is part: what you say, what you look like, and how you behave. Let’s clarify that for a moment. What you look like would mean anything from the colors on your website to the type of logo you choose. It also includes the appearance and design of any tools you create including e-books, printables, and courses. A consistent brand should look and feel like your business no matter what materials you create.
Another aspect of a brand is what you say. This includes how you communicate on your website, how you communicate through email, and how you talk to customers over the phone. Think about the distinction when someone says, “my pleasure” after you order your food in the drive-through. It makes you feel better than just hearing, “you’re welcome.
What you say then feeds into how you behave. Do you say one thing and then do another? It’s important to have integrity such that your words and actions match. Creating an online brand is all about consistency.
Having a good-looking website is great for your brand. Do you know what’s even better? Having a website that’s easy-to-use. Do you know how frustrating it is to go to a website to struggle to find things like the contact page, the page that describes the products and services, or even the pricing? Take away the frustration from visitors to your website and make them easy to find. People want to know what your prices are. They want to know who you are and what you stand for.
Make it easy on the people who land on your page. Keep your top links easy to find. Make the most pertinent information front and center. People will appreciate the simplicity and will reward you with more business in the long term. The cost to building a website can vary, but you’ll need at least a domain name, hosting, and a way to design something on your hosting service.
This one is up for debate but having an email that is branded to your website gives you more credibility than using your Yahoo or Gmail accounts for business. While you can easily forward all your emails into a Gmail inbox, having a branded email is better for sending emails. Spam filters often look for emails coming from generic accounts, and that can mean your emails might never get seen.
In addition to making you look professional, a branded email can also communicate to the recipient exactly who the email is from. Seeing a Gmail isn’t as easily recognizable as seeing some from @yourbusinessname.com. Branded emails more easily direct people back to your website. If they see an email with a promo code, they might come looking for more information based on your website.
Additionally, as your business grows, it’s easier to add professional emails for everyone on your team that all originate from the same place. Customers don’t have to worry as much about getting scammed when they know who they are talking to from your business because all the emails will have the same domain at the end of them.
Not all businesses are on social media. However, for building your web presence, you need to think about social media and how it will impact your business. Don’t get social media accounts that you let fall to the wayside. Pick one or two types of social media and focus your attention there. Just once or twice a week on each one can make a big difference. The key here is to show up consistently and to brand it well. You’ll notice some key distinctions about how different companies talk online. Make sure the words you use to go along with your brand. You can then use your social media to help with digital marketing efforts as you build your business.