by Nathan Denny, Aplus.Net
Slowly but surely, the lesson has hit home: Small businesses can no longer afford to ignore the Internet. Traditional brick-and-mortar stores aren’t enough in today’s marketplace—success demands an online presence, and an effective and dynamic one, at that.
But with a glut of online competitors in almost every field, a simple web hosting plan is no longer enough. Websites must be user-friendly and attractive, but also proactive, actively promoting and driving traffic.
The problem is, the typical small business owner already has a full plate and a busy schedule that prohibits spending countless hours mastering the finer points of website marketing. After all, successful search engine optimization and effective eTraffic tactics require expertise, and that takes time to learn. Finding the right host for your website also takes valuable time.
The Five Pillars of Online Success
San Diego-based Aplus.Net, one of the nation’s leading hosting and Internet solutions providers, sees the big picture. Their “Five Pillars of Online Success” cuts through the confusion by sorting into five distinct categories all the products and services needed to establish and maximize a website’s effectiveness.
Pillar 1. Design and Develop an Effective, Professional Website
From content and image management to interaction and navigation tools, Aplus.Net can provide every service and tool needed to easily build an effective website. What’s more, they also have the ability to put clients’ sites in the hands of experienced, in-house professionals seasoned in creating effective and attractive web pages. Many competitors choose to outsource this vital function, and risk harming themselves and their customers when that chain of communication breaks down. After all, one simple mistake in the layout or logic of a website and customers will be quick to move on to the competition.
Pillar 2. Driving Traffic, Getting Attention
The importance of driving traffic to your site cannot be overestimated, for obvious reasons: The more people you reach, the more your customer base grows. And the best way to drive traffic is through search engine optimization. If your website is to be truly successful, you must dominate the search engine results in your market—both the “real” results (natural results that depend on the relevancy of your site to the keywords being searched for) and the paid results (search engine placement that’s specifically paid for). To this end, Aplus.Net offers a stunning variety of eTraffic and search engine tools, from the simple to the Google-customized, and can offer advice on which will work best for any given website.
Pillar 3. Sell, Sell, Sell: Engage Customers with Effective Sales Tools
After ensuring that your site is easy to find, the next step is to make sure that nothing prevents a straightforward, satisfying, and informed purchase for your visitors. Aplus.Net can help build consumer confidence with “Customer Getters” (Live Chat, Push-to-Talk), “Customer Keepers” (online forms and mailing lists), and eCommerce Tools (such as shopping carts and links to well-known sellers like Amazon and eBay).
Pillar 4. Analyze and Improve: Keeping Your Site at the Top
Imagine being able to track the physical movements of your customers—what store they went to before yours, which one they’ll visit next, and which one earns their money. Traditional marketing formats like print media and TV can’t offer this kind of tracking power. The Internet, however, can. From visitor profile tools to Web Analytics, Aplus.Net offers plenty of alternatives for those businesses that can’t or won’t hire a $100k marketing director to analyze customer buying patterns.