Friday, January 29, 2010

Starting up your own business and getting people to your website is a tricky task. If you are an established business and looking to get noticed in the online world, or a new business wanting to get an online presence, experimenting with something differe

Sharon MacNay is the owner of Hair Beauty Australia, which teaches Certificate and Diploma courses to budding hairdressing students. MacNay estimates that 99% of her students and potential clients have gone online to find out about her business Hair and Beauty College Australia, and what it offers. Many of our Students are international, so we rely on our website to attract people.

Sharon used Online Business Results to help build a web presence, where she could be found online quickly and easily by potential new students. Online Business Results provides business owners with everything they need, from building your website if you need one, to getting your business ranked on the front page of Google. “I quickly came to realise that most people do not search past the first page of Google for their requirements, which is why I sought professional assistance” MacNay says.

By enlisting Online Business Results, she was able to implement all the correct key words and strategies to increase her website traffic. She was also shown how to use social networking tools such as Face book, Twitter and YouTube to upload student hair parades and link them back to her business/website.

“The biggest challenge is people finding you. You have got to keep spreading the word both online and offline every day. Social networking has worked for us because we have got quite a young audience. Without the help of professionals, I would never have been able to do this or even known about it, and the best part about it, is that it really works!” says MacNay.
Business owners should not be afraid to ask customers for feedback on their website to help determine what is useful. There is a lot of trial and error involved, especially in the early days. It's a good idea to update the content and change it around to make it work best for your business and customers.

“Getting the right web developer is a key component to your online marketing. With businesses going online, you should investigate who your web developer is going to be and the features that you would like to have on your website. Ask about their background and what services they offer.

Designers, online marketing specialists and copywriters are different professions. I wanted to go with someone who had a team of people that could do it all, so they could all communicate and coordinate the job effectively” McNay says.
Owners should also do some research into how websites work and if the web developer owns the domain name or you do. Whoever you choose, do not be afraid to ask questions. A good web developer will encourage questions and want you to have the knowledge.

Another sign of a good web developer is someone who is totally transparent and can answer your questions promptly. So make sure you know who you are dealing with and ask for testimonials.

Going online, is a fantastic and modern way to do business these days. It is like having your business open 24/7, especially if you are selling goods. Having a successful website has become just as important as ensuring customers are walking through the door.

Ways to spice up your online presence

Karen McDonagh, co owner of Online Business Results, offers some helpful tips for businesses going online.

* Do not put too much copy on your home page. Present your message succinctly and have nothing more than a paragraph or two of text.

* Use testimonials where possible. Customers like to know you have a good reputation

* Use Video and use yourself. Some of the most successful sites we have built have had a personal video message on the home page. Alternatively, use industry related videos. A good example is Sharon’s Hair Beauty College Website. Video is an effective way to get people interested.

* Put an ‘opt in box’ on your site, where you offer a free downloadable report. This is a great way to capture leads as well as providing some free, content rich information. On our website, we currently offer a report on how to get a free website built by us. We get a lot of response from those just starting out and need that kind of leg up and at the same time it builds our database. Think about what you can offer to help someone else’s business.

* Use keywords. Google has a search-based keyword tool that gives online businesses an idea of what words consumers are using to find details on their products or services.

* Get other websites to link to your site. Google search is all about popularity and the more links you can get to your site, the better.

* Constantly update your online content. Include tools like a Twitter feed that links to your site or a news page where you provide interesting information about the business you're in. For example, if you're a gardening or fashion business, you may want to provide a tip of the day.

A lot of it is common sense. Putting interesting information on there will help attract visitors back to your site.

Information supplied by:
Online Business Results

You can find Online Business Results in the following categories:

Business Services > Marketing
Business Services > Search Engine Optimisation
Business Services > Business Building
Business Services > Copywriting