We had a prospective client contact us the other day lamenting that they weren't getting very much business AND they already had a website. Well, just "having" a website isn't enough. What are you doing to promote your website? How do you expect customers to find your website? Is your website set up in such a way that, if customers do find it, they're easily able to get to the information they need or are able to purchase what you're offering? Is there a need for what you're selling? You can't just "build it and hope they will come." Your website serves a specific purpose: to inform or educate, to refer, or to sell. It is only one part of your marketing strategy, or back to my horse analogy, just one item, albeit an important one, in your horse's tackroom.
Marketing a business requires a multi-level approach, you need to advertise and promote your site both in print and on-line. You need to promote your business in person at appropriate events, even if it's just a matter of a shirt on someone's back at a local horse show or event. In today's world it's necessary to promote your business in every way possible. Not just build a website and hope for the best. You have to reach and target your audience in every way possible.
When you acquired your first horse, you likely didn't run out and purchase everything you needed all at once. You probably started out with a few key items like feed, basic tack, modest housing and grooming supplies. Over time you added more specialty items and upgrades. Think about where you were the day you brought your first horse home and where you are today. Treat your business the same, start with core basics, but be sure to steadily add, change and upgrade from there:
- Review your business to make sure there honestly is a need or desire for what you're offering, if not change your offering to meet today's demands.
- Keep your website up to date, with both relevant information, appearance and use of technology.
- Make sure search engines can easily find you. Adjust your key words, etc. as necessary.
- Link with appropriate sources & partner with appropriate opportunities.
- Budget to promote and advertise your site/business.