Your Online Presence: What is Your Customer Looking For?

Your Online Presence: What is Your Customer Looking For?
Rhonda R. Savage

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Your website is the cornerstone for marketing your business. It’s a value added tool and it’s actually an internal, external and interactive tool, if set up correctly. We’re all in a service industry so customer service needs to be a priority. If you don’t believe me, just listen to a commercial for Angie’s List: “The number one trusted resource for carpenters, plumbers and dentists!” 

Let’s do a bit of diversion and talk for a moment about marketing with Angie’s List. What’s the demographic of your best client? If you don’t know, we should talk. The demographic of Angie’s List is as follows: 

Angie’s List is word-of-mouth advertising reaching the local clients you want: 

  • Income +$100,000
  • Married
  • College educated
  • Homeowner
  • Age 35-64 

On average, these are people who can pay for your services. The reason the income demographics are so high is because people who join Angie’s List have to pay to be on there. This type of marketing is about your reputation. Quite frankly, you’re either “on” Angie’s List or you’re on it! I’ve got nothing to gain by touting this online format. The intention and goal of this article is to increase your marketing awareness. If you’re not working at being at the top of the page on Angie’s List, you don’t exist. 

The same is true for your website. Let’s talk about some website ‘rules’: 

1.     If I meet you and I Google your name, will I be connected with your website? 

2.     I should not have to search for your website. If I know your name, I should find it in a nanosecond. If not, your website designer has not done his or her job. 

3.     Is your website about you or for the client? It’s an odd question. Really, the website is about you, but for the client, and the home page needs to reflect this. 

4.     Does your home page have a “you, you, you” focus or is all about “YOU”? 

5.     The opening words should be: 

  • “You will experience …”
  • “Your family will enjoy …”
  • “You will benefit by …”
  • “You will be assured …”
  • “You will appreciate …” 
  • NOT “I, or me, or our, or my” 

6.     The home page should have warm colors and happy faces. You’ve got six seconds before someone moves on to another site. Impress them, quickly. 

7.     Video, photos, testimonials and Facebook: All these tools personalize a site. Do you have any? 

8.     Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) needs to be optimal before you focus on Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Am I talking a foreign language? If yes, you’re not alone. Your website pages need to be set up properly to reflect your services. 

Work with a professional on this, unless you’re skilled in this area. How will you know if you’re set up properly? Well, one simple test: If I Google portable restroom operators in your area, do you pop up on the first page? Second test: Are you personally, by name, connected to your website? 

9.     SEM: Pay Per Click or Pay Per Impression. I recommend working with a pro, and unless convinced otherwise, always Pay Per Click. Don’t bother with these ads if your SEO is not where it should be. 

10.  After the home page, what do people look for? They’ll look at your biographies, photos and staff pictures. 

11.  If they go further, they’ll look and research a particular service. Make it about them, in language they understand. Remember, the site isn’t about impressing you or your colleagues. It’s for the client. 

These are some basic online tools for your business. Your online presence is actually an internal, external and interactive marketing. Interactive marketing is your Facebook presence. 

Do you have a contest platform or special offers on Facebook? Facebook is like a cocktail party; it’s little snippets about your business but it can be much more. Facebook personalizes your business. Even with a one-time business transaction, people want to know whom they’re doing business with: As an example, if I refer you, research shows that people will still check you out online. 

Also, if I refer you, you’ll think differently about a business without a website or without a well-done site. Your website is your cornerstone. Customer retention is higher, even with existing customers, if you have a good Web presence. 

If you have the ability for a customer to pay their bill online, through a secure client portal, or have the ability to request an appointment, they’ll be more likely to remain your customer. You’ve just said, “We’re current with the times, we’re professional and we understand what you want.” 

The world has changed; people would rather click than call. How is your online presence? 

About the Author
Rhonda Savage, DDS, is a motivational speaker on leadership, women’s issues and communication. Visit www.milesglobal.net or email rhonda@milesglobal.net



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