Nowadays, a website is pretty much essential for any business but as I said last week, today's business operators need more than just a website if they're going to successfully reach their customers AND beat their competition - they're going to need knowledge. Some of the variety of options to consider as part of a complete online web presence include:
- Google and its huge range of products such as Adwords, Adsense and Analytics.
- Online marketing.
- Search engine optimisation.
- How not to get slapped with a lawsuit because you've breached somebody's copyright.
- And of course the latest in buzzwords - social media, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
If the Internet is not your core business, you could be forgiven for finding all of this quite overwhelming. Where do you start, and what do you do next?
If your company is large, you could probably afford to hire someone like me, full-time, to handle all this online stuff for you, but small business operators usually don't have the budget for that. That leaves small business operators with a few choices:
- Do It Yourself (which can take hours away from your core business if you don't know where to begin).
- Get your 16 year old nephew to do it for you (chances are he may understand the technology but probably not the business perspective).
- Pay a consultant (quite likely to get done properly, but may end up costing a lot if you don't understand what's required in the first place).
- Pretend that this whole "Internet" thing just doesn't exist, and ignore it (not recommended).
Provided you're considering one of the first three options, it never hurts to come to the table armed with some basic knowledge. Unfortunately there's just too much information on the Internet now, and sometimes one page directly contradicts another, so how do you know who or what to believe? Who has the time or the inclination to sit there scouring through all that information anyway?!
Well, as it happens... I do. :-) During my years on the Internet, and in IT management, and setting up and running my own small business, and studying Internet Communications, I've picked up lots of interesting ideas and learned many tips and tricks on the best ways to get things done. So please consider this blog my gift to you. :-)