In the mid-90s the internet was just starting to take off, but most people still did not realize the potential for commerce that the internet provided. By the turn of the 21st century the internet had become the backbone of commerce and more and more people are turning to online sales over traditional retail purchases. For businesses this has meant a change in the way that they do business and a paradigm shift in customer acquisition and retention. To succeed in the modern Digital Age, companies must do three things if they want to stay competitive.
First and foremost, they must have a website that people want to visit. It is not enough to just list products or provide pictures of things that they wish to sell; customers have become more savvy and they want more from the sites that they visit. The site has to be intuitive, flowing from page to page and product to product in a way that makes sense to the end user. Menus have to be clear and concise, and the search tools for the site need to be able to provide the potential customer with the guidance that they need to find the items they wish to purchase. At the same time, the site has to look good. Customers want to visit sites that have good graphics and a solid color scheme, without overloading the customer with data. A good website will help to sell the product and create a brand that customers want to be associated with for a very long time to come.
Next, companies must realize that business is about more than just selling the products and providing access to services online. Customers want to visit their favorite sites again and again, even if they do not plan on making a purchase each time they visit. Companies who keep their sites updated with blog postings or articles that are related to the products that they sell will see an overall increase in the amount of traffic to their site. The more often customers come to the site, the more likely they are to make a purchase, even if their intent was not to make a purchase on that visit. With constantly updated content, customers will come back every day or every week just to see new things.
Finally, the site has to be visible to the virtual world. Constructing a site is not enough, as most people will not be able to find the site without going directly to the address. Most customers find the companies that they do business with through some kind of search engine or social media, and companies that do not have a solid web presence will be left behind. Search engine optimization, or SEO, creates a web of articles and links to the site that raise the rankings on the major search engines and make the site more visible to potential customers. At the same time, companies need to make sure that they have frequently updated Twitter and Facebook pages for the company so that customers can get constant, small reminders about what the company has to offer them. The Digital Age is all about staying in contact, and social media keeps customers locked in to the products and services that companies provide.
As recently as fifteen years ago companies could count on traditional foot traffic to drive their business and make profits, but the reality of the new business climate has changed all of that. A company must be able to engage with customers online, or the company will lose out on potential sales. With the right digital strategy, companies can see their businesses grow and compete in the Digital Age.
I am Lauren Ross, and I have been a small business consultant for three years. I have told my clients constantly that they have to develop a whole business plan that includes a strong online presence, if they want to be successful. A SEO firm, like WebTekCC, is an important partner for small businesses and Webtek helps to ensure business success. I highly recommend Webtek to any internet startup or established company that needs a little help adapting to the new business world.