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How To Put An Offline Business Online And Why

It doesn’t matter what industry, niche or even sub-niche you operate within, if you aren’t online, you’re business is dying a slow death.
And no, a business page on Facebook is not going to cut it.
Operating from a small office, you have limited business. When you reach your production capacity, you need to hire staff and increase your overheads with no guarantee of increasing sales revenue, because of geographical restrictions.
he only way to guarantee revenue growth is to open up to an entire new league of doing business and that’s to sell online and offline. Only by using both methods are businesses usually able to thrive.
When a customer gets in contact with you, do you know where they heard about your business?
The online landscape is different though. That is for those of you sensible enough to have your own website and not just be slapping up a Facebook business page, pretending to do business online. Be under no illusion with social hype. Social media sites are information distribution outlets.
Effectively, they are hashtag structured focused discussion groups.
For businesses, they are there for leads, and not for sales. If you know of anyone to have made a direct sale via a DM on Twitter, do let me know in the comments below. I’m sure me and others reading this will want to know what they’re doing that we’re not.
Online business is a different league. You have analytical tools that give you consumer driven data.
Some advanced tools even let you combine all the big data you collect into one central source giving a bird’s eye view of your customers’ actions.
You don’t need to use advanced tools but you need to at least be using basic analytical programs. Google Analytics is the most popular because it is free. No matter the analytic service, you need to comply with the cookie laws, aka EU privacy law.
You need that data because that is what drives growth. The caveat: You need your own website and that brings with it complex problems that most non-designers can’t comprehend.
Brand logos, trustworthy colours, typography, layout, navigation, and most important of all is
USE-Ability. (FYI: I’m not dumb – it’s a deliberate typo for emphasis)
If prospects find it difficult to use your website for what they want to do, you have lost a potential lead. That is how critical it is that you get the web design part nailed.
Anchoring your core pages
With the design part down, the next element you need are your core pages. These will be prominently displayed across the entire site, because later when you add more and more pages and posts to your site, the core pages are the only ones that really matter to you. The rest are doorway pages into your sales funnel.
The five pages you need to have are:
‌• The home page/welcome
‌• Your about
‌• Your Services/products
‌• A contact page
‌• A blog or news section
All those pages will be static, as in; they will not change unless you update your services, or change your contact details.
Your blog or news section
These are basically one of the same, however, you can find out what other businesses in your niche are using online just by looking at similar websites.
It depends on the purpose of your updated content area. And you do need to update your site, otherwise people will have no reason to come back and your return visitor rates will suck! You need return visitors, because it takes about seven interactions before someone warms to the idea of doing business with you.
The way you set your page up depends on the style of content you’re going to be updating it with. You need to have a clear purpose before you set this up.
Why use a blog page for business blogging?
This is for community building and social engagement. Blogs perform better for business owners looking to engage with an audience, converse with people and provide them with valuable content related to your business.

blogging

Our Top Notch Content site uses the blog term because the service here is consumer driven. It’s tailored to the needs of clients.
This set up gives direct feedback from customers. This is where crossover between your offline business plan and your online marketing plan becomes one of the same.
The market you are in serves you analytical data. That’s purposeful in the way of letting you know if there’s people buying what you’re offering. What it cannot do is get people to buy what you are selling.
With a blog, your customers can express in the comments section of your posts what problems they’re experiencing, any worries they have, questions about things you have the answer to or can create a solution. Your blog makes your online website customer driven.
If you make scented candles, then share your tips on your processes. You aren’t giving away your business freely you’re only demonstrating your expertise and process. People buy your products for convenience, and not always because they can’t make the things themselves. It’s easier to buy and often more cost effective too, because you’ll be buying product in bulk.
That only applies to non-commodity based businesses though. If you’re only competing on price, you will need to take a different content approach to demonstrate expertise and establish credibility with your audience.
Or you could take the non-community approach…
Why use a news page for business blogging?
A news section can be found on business websites where the word blog would appear to be amateur and go against the style of material published on the blog.
News sections are more corporate. You will find that accountancy firms, solicitors and non-profit organisations opt for this style of updating content as they need to portray a business image and they do that by titling the blog page ‘News’. That’s it and the content that goes in that section of the site can be the same style of content you’d put on a blog, only written for a different readership.
A blog post would use the word you throughout, like what you’re reading here. If I were to have a News page on this website, I could have an editor or a UK freelance writer take care of the content and insert statements like this…
Steve Hill, founder of Top Notch Content defines blogs as being community centric, while news pages are targeted to B2B blogging.
Now, this is where this site would differentiate because corporate clients, while we have and do create stellar content for some, it’s not the core of our client base because that’s not what we attract. We attract local businesses, around the Birmingham locale that need to bring their business online. It would be interesting to see if a page name change and some content tweaks would attract a different demographic, but the setup works as it is so there’s no point fiddling with it.
The writing takes a different style, and there are usually more people involved in the management of news related publications because obviously that must be kept up to date with the latest news. Otherwise, new readers may think the entire team has disappeared and not bother with any CTAs in the content.
Taking an offline business online is a simple process:
‌• Web design first
‌• Core pages to sell your product or service
‌• An about page
‌• A contact page
‌• A blog or news page
The blog is the simplest way to leverage content marketing and you can title it blog or news, depending on your target demographic.
From there, it’s all about content creation and providing other social media users with extremely valuable content to share.

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