Make Winning Business Online the New Year Resolution for Your Small Business

As one year ends and another begins, it’s a good time to review what went well and what needs to change within your company. As you make your plans for 2012, give some thought to your website. Is it attracting new business? Is it engaging and retaining existing customers? If the answer is it could do better, resolve to improve your online presence in 2012.

Some small businesses worry that a website will not generate much business for them if their products or services have a local focus. Statistics suggest otherwise. Google reports that 20 percent of the searches conducted on its search engine have a local focus. With over a billion searches on Google every day, it’s clear that millions of searches are carried out by users looking for local businesses. In a study by Kelsey Group and ConStat, 70 percent of households said that they searched online and purchased offline.

Clearly, there is tremendous potential for local businesses to win and retain customers with an interesting and engaging website. However, the internet also gives you the opportunity to expand your business beyond your local area. If your product can be shipped, you can acquire customers from across America, or even worldwide.

There are three key factors for online success:

[message_box]Website Design

Your website should be easily recognizable, branded with your logo and company colors. It should allow customers to navigate easily around it and it should make ordering or booking simple.[/message_box] [message_box]Unique Content

Include interesting and informative content that customers will want to read. Include clear photographs of your product range, with detailed descriptions. Include a blog or articles about your products and related activities that will encourage customers to return. Use subscription-based emails to keep customers up to date with special offers and new products or services.[/message_box] [message_box]Search Engine Optimization

To attract visitors, your website must be visible to search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo! Ensure that your content includes relevant keywords that customers will be searching for.[/message_box]

Getting online need not be expensive and can pay dividends in new and returning customers. Contact us to day to find out how we can help boost your online profile during 2012.

Co-founder of SMB ENGINE and passionate about growing Small Businesses. Previously aConsultant For Apple, Inc., Cisco Systems as a Small Business Consultant. Through his experience and strategies Chris has been able to facilitate the growth of thousands of small businesses.

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