If you and/or your business has a website, you need to have strategy. Black Enterprise presents “How to Really Work the Web” with an expert panel providing some great tips to build a successful online presence.
Adrienne Graham, Founder & CEO, Empower Me! Corporation
Chris Curtis, Director, Web Business Ownership, LLC
Moderator: Sonya Donaldson, Editor-at-Large, Black Enterprise
- In today’s business environment, most businesses need to have some type of online presence. It doesn’t mean that everyone will be your client, it provides a larger demographic for your target market.
- Your website should have a purpose. The purpose should not be what you want but what your customers want to see from you. You need to think about what you want them to do and use tools like Google Analytics to figure out if you are accomplishing your mission.
- Know the difference:
- Web Designers take your information, make it pretty and put it online. They are not concerned about driving traffic to your site or it’s functionality.
- Web Programmers don’t care about the looks of your site. Their job is to make the site more functional for your visitors to use. At this point, it is imperative that you know what you want your visitors to do and see once they arrive at your web address.
- Internet Marketers help to drive traffic to your site. They don’t care how it looks or how it functions. Their responsibility is finding ways to improve your viewer statistics.
- Make sure that you avoid typos and poor/generic web design. Having a site that is overloaded with Flash component is also a drawback. Not only does it take a longer time to load the webpage but Flash is not viewable on many touch screen mobile and computer devices. Although Flash is beneficial in some industries, businesses that provide information should avoid using it. If you are unsure about your site’s functionality, try loading the webpage from a mobile device and different types of computers to ensure the information your customers are viewing is what you expected.
- A question was asked via Twitter whether social media management should be outsourced. The panelist agreed that doing so has the potential damage your brand because it can cause you to appear inauthentic to your audience. It is better to use applications like HootSuite.com which allows you to manage several social profiles (Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn and WordPress) from one site. The program also allows you to schedule posts so that you can consistently promote your product/service without having to dedicate excessive hours to the project.
- Both of the panelist agreed that WordPress.org was a great site for those wanting to create their own website. There are many templates available within WordPress that can give your site the look of a blog or the look of an information site. You can also visit other sites to purchase templates.
- Email marketing tips: create a permission based list by having a sign up box on your websites and/or ask for permission when collecting business cards; send out coupons, discounts and special offers that recipients can share with others