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Small businesses typically ask this question. Especially if their products or services are a bit out of the norm. So let’s take a look into why you would need a website.
How much money are you missing out on because you don’t have a website or your current website isn’t effective?
You’ve worked hard to grow your business and build relationships with your customers. Now it’s time to take your business one step further. Total U.S. e-commerce sales for the 1st quarter of 2011 were $38 billion. Your business needs to be a part of this trend!
Do I really need a website?
Yes, absolutely! If your business doesn’t fit the mold of a typical online store, your customers, potential employees, business partners and investors will be able to quickly and easily find out more about your business and the products or services you have to offer. Here are a few suggestions:
- Your location and contact information
- List of your products and/or services
- Special promotions
- Schedule appointments
- Chat online with potential clients
- Tell about your business in depth
- Drive new customers to your business through search engine optimization
A website is the most cost-effective means of advertising!
Websites are extremely low cost when compared with conventional advertising. Search engines, linking from other areas of the internet and the ease of customer referrals provide volumes of foot traffic above that of a typical store.
Plus, your website can be as dynamic as you want. Changing it as your business changes.
- With a well-designed website, you can project a small business as being just as professional and capable as a larger organization.
- Having an online presence for your business is key to reaching an ever growing population of customers and tapping in to those billions of online sales.
- Whether your business has one employee or thousands; if you don’t have a website, you are losing customers to those businesses that do.
With that being said, I want to stress that having a website needs to be in addition to your existing advertising and marketing campaigns. Don’t expect to make millions of dollars by putting up a website alone.
Check out our web hosting plans at Crimson Fuse! We can customize a plan just for you if one of our existing plans doesn’t fit.
What is the one area of your business that you use the most to connect with others digitally? Most likely it is email. Many businesses have websites, but it’s much more likely that you reach a greater number of people with emails. The importance of having a quality email signature should be obvious by answering the following question. What is one of the first things you do each morning? Check email.
I have been using WiseStamp for over a year now and absolutely love it. I have it integrated into my Firefox browser and use Gmail as my email client. Any time I compose a new email or reply to an email, my WiseStamp signature gets placed automatically. I have a nice image of my logo that links to my website, as well as buttons linking to my blog, twitter, and facebook pages, and just recently added an option that pastes my most recent tweets. WiseStamp makes it easy to add social media links which makes generating conversations with current and future customers incredibly easy.
Here’s what my email signature currently looks like:
Spam. Everybody hates it, yet we all have to deal with it. There’s no way to totally eliminate it, but there are ways to minimize it. In a nutshell, what I do is run all of my incoming emails through two separate spam filters.
Here are the steps I have taken to get a 99% spam free inbox:
1) Sign up for email hosting or web hosting from Crimson Fuse.
Crimson Fuse uses a very powerful spam filter. Not only does it filter for incoming spam, but it also blocks viruses. Our system is incredibly effective plus there is no software to install and no hardware to maintain. It gives you the option to receive daily quarantine digests where you can see what was blocked and deliver any that were mistakenly blocked.
2) Sign up for a free Gmail account from Google and have your emails filtered a second time through Gmail’s filter.
- Log into your Gmail account.
- Go to mail settings.
- Select Accounts and Import.
- Under the Check mail using POP3, click the Add POP3 email account.
- Fill in the information as requested.
At this point, you will have set up a system that will pass all of your incoming emails through two powerful spam filters. Enjoy your practically spam free inbox!
Additionally, you can setup Gmail to send outgoing messages as your personal address instead of the Gmail address, or you can setup a separate email client such as Windows Mail or Outlook to manage your inbox (note: this requires that you enable POP Download in Gmail).
Here’s a link to an article that some of you may find useful. http://timothyward.netfirms.com/ruinwebsite.html
5 Surefire Ways to Ruin Your Website
1. Make Your Website As Cluttered As Possible
2. Never Update Your Website
Read more by visiting the authors link above!
Crimson Fuse utilizes one of the most powerful anti-spam and anti-virus appliances in the industry. You can access your quarantined e-mails by going to http://protectedmail.t6host.com/
The live quarantine system allows you to safely view any e-mails that were quarantined. You can then deliver them on to your e-mail account or delete them. You can also subscribe to receive a daily digest of the quarantined e-mails and/or subscribe to an RSS feed.
If you don’t remember your login credentials, send an e-mail to email@example.com and request assistance logging into your live quarantine.
SiteBuilder is a tool offered by Crimson Fuse for you to use in creating your website. You can choose from hundreds of templates to get you started.
Access SiteBuilder by going to http://sitebuilder.t6host.com/Login
SiteBuilder tutorials and a manual can be found by visiting the links at http://www.crimsonfuse.com/help.html
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the ranking of your website in search engine results.
Why is this important? The ability for your customers to find your website on the internet can be compared to the value of a business’ physical location. What about the radio ad or internet ad or magazine ad that I placed? Ads are great at reaching specific markets, but you still may be missing a huge collection of prospective customers. That’s where SEO falls into place. A person types a few words into a box, clicks search, and your website and description show up on their screen. One click away from another customer.
So how do I get my website listed in the search engines? First, you need to place some descriptive words in a special location in your web page. These are called meta tags. I have included a link below that describes the two that you need to focus on. If you are using our Site Builder tool, you will want to enter the information in the two relevant boxes on the Step 4: Edit page on the left hand side of the screen.
So how does the search engine itself rank my website? Most search engines make use of programs called spiders, crawlers, or robots that traverse each website to analyze, archive and index them. The actual methods they use to rank your website are closely held secrets, but placing relevant information in the appropriate meta tags and having descriptive text on your actual pages are top priority.
Refer to this link for meta tag elements (scroll down to keywords and description attributes): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meta_element
Refer to these links to submit your site for review in the top 3 search engines: