If you talk to bricks and mortar business owners and suggest an online presence, their first reaction is often, “why, I don’t have the resources to sell online as well”. It can be difficult to point out the advantages of an online presence as a pure marketing tool, especially when you then need to encourage strong search engine optimization and social media marketing programs.
There are thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, of businesses that are brick and mortar based, yet have an online presence that is purely advertising. There are far more that have developed both offline and online businesses.
Using the web as a marketing tool can be very effective. A simple blog that looks good and contains plenty of useful information can be a good start. Blogs can be easy to optimize for search engines, provide an opportunity for two way communication, and are easy to promote in social bookmarking and social networking circles.
If a blog is not your style, then a well designed website with links to content that visitors will find useful. Products reviews, store and/or personnel reviews, and maps to your bricks and mortar business are ideal subject matter. However, it doesn’t matter how good your site looks, or how good the content is, if people cannot find you, they won’t see it. This of course involves effective search engine optimization strategies designed to get your site as close to the top of the search rankings as possible.
When you think about an online presence, don’t just assume product sales. The internet has become the second home to millions of people around the world, this is makes it the perfect environment to market your business. However, just because you are not selling doesn’t mean you don’t need a strong search engine optimization program.