Today’s economic times demand pragmatic spending. Businesses need to find innovative as well as practical solutions to help them attract customers and maintain brand awareness in this competitive market place.
Your company’s website provides such a practical solution. With the tight budgets and limited resources in today’s business environment, organizations are forced to closely evaluate spending, especially when it comes to marketing. A website, however, is a tool that all businesses can leverage to help increase brand exposure, expand their target market and help grow their business.
Today, India has more than 81 million Internet users1 and more than 1.9 billion2 Internet users exist worldwide. With the bulk of the online population growth coming from Asia, being part of this ever-expanding digital world starts with your website.
Your website can be a cost-effective way to help promote your business to various target audiences and communicate your business strengths. Think of your website as a calling card or an elevator pitch. It can easily convey your company’s offerings, and allow interested visitors to buy your products or services quickly. It also boosts your credibility to consumers, promote your competitiveness to potential investors, and serve as the first introduction to potential employees you want to hire.
Like most things, building your website into an effective marketing tool starts with the basics. It needs to be easy to use, branded appropriately to suit your company image and have customer service response systems in place.
A domain name represents your company’s brand and identity on the Internet. To help boost your presence on the Web, your domain name should be simple, easy to remember and something that people can associate with your company.
Selecting the right domain name helps increase your visibility on the net. A .com domain name is a good choice, since it is one of the most popular domain names on the Internet today3.
If the domain name you want for your company is already taken, you may want to consider similar words or names, an interesting tag line, a product or service name, or consider a “Hinglish” option. You can also search for available names using a domain name suggestion tool that’s available for free on most .com registration sites.
Also consider registering multiple domain names to increase the chances of your potential customers finding you online, especially if your domain name has a common misspelling. These name domains, along with variations of your main domain name, can be used to redirect your visitors to your main website.
A key factor to an effective website is good content. This requires proper planning and presentation of information based on an understanding of your customers’ needs. Determining your target audience is critical, so do your research before you build the content on your site.
Good navigational design is essential to your online business’ success because it’s the roadmap visitors use to maneuver around your site. Keep in mind that consumers need to know three essential things: where they are, where they can go, and how they can get back to where they came from.
Helping people find your website on the Internet is equally as important. You should promote your domain name with every opportunity, from business cards to office stationary. This helps introduce your company to businesses who aren’t familiar with what you do but have a need for your services and products.
In addition, you can register your domain name on one or more search engine websites, since many Internet users utilize these websites to search for companies and services. Also utilize search engine optimization (SEO) to make your site for “attractive” to search engines so your website ranks higher on search result pages.
Having other links on your site and vice versa is another effective way to promote your business. To do so, locate quality websites that complement your own and contact the owner to see if they would like to link to your website in exchange for you linking to theirs. If you sell accessories on your website, for example, you can set up a link exchange with another website that sells apparel or shoes.
In today’s economic environment, a business with limited resources does have choices. By leveraging their website, it can prove to be a cost-effective marketing tool to help increase brand exposure, expand their target market and grow their business.
Welcome to the Internet world!
1 www.internetstats.com, June 30, 2010
2 www.internetworldstats.com, June 30, 2010
3 During the fourth quarter of 2010, the overall base of .com and .net domain names grew to reach a combined total of 105.2 million names, according to the Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief (Volume 8, Issue 1, February 2011)