To most business owners the thought of having a website is both exciting and intimidating. It’s not enough anymore to just have a simple functioning website. Now it seems everything is interactive with pop up windows, chat functions, electronic forms, and blogs. The upkeep of these features can also be time consuming and you might wonder if it’s really worth the effort for your business.

A web presence isn’t necessarily about the flashy elements. The most important part of developing a web presence is how different tools can boost your marketing plan and, in turn, grow your business.

First, be smart about what you incorporate based on the type of customers you have now and will have in the future. Gone are the days when people would simply open up a phone book to find what they are looking for. The generations that are entering the work force, and are now starting to get more of a footing in industries, have been trained to go to the web for information first. So when evaluating what to tackle first for your digital marketing plan keep these topics in mind:

  • People will first go to a search engine and will pick from the top 3 links that appear in the results. Look into ways to get your business into the top 3 results. Believe it or not you can help improve your ‘search rank’ even as a smaller business.
  • After they find you, your website will do most of the business selling for you. Think of your website as a sales staff member, you wouldn’t pay your top sales member the least amount of money. Don’t skimp on this tool, you don’t need to have all the bells and whistles but usability is very important. Take the time to test your website and get feed back. Make sure that it is working the way it should to make information intuitive and easy to get to.
  • Online advertising is everywhere. Banners, radio ads and other methods are a great way to get new customers or direct your current customers back again and again.
  • Social media probably sounds like the most time consuming but it can be one of the fastest ways to get news out to followers. Plus it’s free and can be one of the most fun advertising tools you have access to.
  • Emails are another way to communicate and you don’t have to be a web programmer to do them either. There are many sites that have email templates designed for anyone to use.

Not every business will use or even need all of these possibilities. Each company has a different level of digital marketing needed from beginner to more advanced. If you can’t do everything then focus on the first two points; the others can always be added later.

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