SCORE Small Business Blog

If You Build It, Will They Come to Your Website?
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In the movie “Field of Dreams” a farmer heeds the instruction “If you build it, he will come” and builds a baseball diamond in his cornfield.  So if you build a website for your new business, are you also guaranteed to attract the visitors you want?  The answer is… maybe.

There are lots of people online pushing tactics that they say will guarantee that your site is at the top of the search engine results page.  But many of these involve shady practices that, if discovered, will cause your site to be blacklisted by the major search engines.  So my advice is: don’t try to trick the search engines.  Instead, use your resources to create content that potential customers will find valuable.  Next week I’ll focus on the basics for making sure that people who search for your startup can find you.  In the meantime, here are some ideas that will ensure that your site is interesting and engaging – and will keep people at your site once they find it.  Pleasing potential customers should be your main objective – achieve that and the search engine issue will resolve itself.

  • Tell great stories about your business, including what inspired you to start your company and how your organization can help your customers solve their problems.  Always let your passion and purpose for what you do shine through!   Everyone loves a good story and posting content that people want to read is the best way for startups to attract attention to their website.
  • Your startup’s website has just seconds to get customers’ attention, so include a compelling visual on every page – pictures really can say more than words.
  • Add a blog to your startup’s website — it’s a good way to encourage users to visit you often.  Be sure to update your blog often, ideally on a regular schedule so readers will come to know when to expect a new post.
  • Post photos, videos, webinars, infographics, and powerpoint presentations on your startup’s website.  Different people respond to different ways of presenting the same information (that’s why educators often lecture, write on a white or blackboard, initiate discussion, and have students read about the same topic) so use as many different ways as you can of communicating the value your startup offers.
  • Include tips, advice and links to relevant articles on your startup’s website to make it a go-to destination for people in your industry.  Don’t be afraid to reprint content that exists elsewhere – just make sure you ask for permission first and always offer a link back to the source.

Remember that you can’t just build your site and forget it.  Make sure you are updating your site all the time with information about new products and services, success stories from grateful customers, press releases and anything else your readers would find useful or interesting.  New businesses can find tips for improving their web sites from free publications like Website Magazine; from web hosting companies like 1&1, GoDaddy, and Register.com; and, of course, from SCORE.

Bryan JaneczkoFounder, Wicked Start
Bryan has successfully launched multiple startups. His latest venture, Wicked Start, provides tools to plan, fund, and launch a new business. Also author of WickedStart: Guide to Starting a New Venture with Passion and Purpose, Bryan is committed to helping small businesses grow and succeed.
www.wickedstart.com | Facebook | @WickedStart | LinkedIn | More from Bryan

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