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It Has To Be Good

May 31, 2008
I was talking to a client the other day about the complexity of building a compelling web presence. I was explaining that it was not just about design of the web page itself (which has to be good) or about the quality of the content (which has to be good), or the way it is promoted with blogs, articles wikis and other social media links (which has to be good), or the strategy which is followed (which has to be good). It isn't just about the Search Engine optimization (which has to be good) or the management of the Pay Per Click advertising campaigns (which has to be good) or the keyword density and design of landing pages (which have to be good). Or even the way in which the various elements are stitched together in a coherent whole with a clear message (which has to be good).

It is all of those things and more, and they all have to be good. "But that's not fair" she said, "...how is a small business supposed to do all of those things and do them well?"

I explained that that is the new Web 2.0 paradigm. Having a snappy web site is not enough. The old idea of your web site being a sort of electronic brochure is long gone. Today you must not only be visible on the web but your presence has to compete with the very best and come out on top (i.e. at the top of page 1 for any given search). And what is more, having achieved the no.1 slot you then have to have the mechanisms to convert enquires to sales before you even know that the prospective customer is in the market. This requires a whole new sales approach and methodology.

Another acquaintance of mine has been resisting the idea of having a web site because his business is very much about a very specialized, personal service. I had to explain to him that the brutal reality is that not having a site was actually suspicious and that it was as much a business pre-requisite as a phone or a supply of paperclips.

Today you are competing on a global scale even if you are a one man micro business. It is not just the competitors you have always known who are threatening you. It is the big boys in your industry who have the wherewithal to construct a compelling proposition to two words typed into a Google search performed by one of your target customers. Just think back to the last bit of information you needed about a product or service. Did you phone around, go a directory or look for an advert in your local paper or trade magazine? Of course not. You typed 2 - 5 key words into Google and made your decision from there.

That is the way of the future.

Is it fair? No.

Will your customers make allowances because you haven't got the resources of a mega corporation? No.

Can you stick with the old way of doing things and hope to get by? No. Sorry.
About the Author
Perry Burns specializes in showing companies how to upgrade their sales in the light of Web 2.0. A former director at Ernst & Young he now provides soft skills training, resources and strategic advice.

Contact : perry@sales101.co.uk
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