This is paraphrased from a recent phone call, perhaps you will recognise the sentiment behind it.
“I don’t get it, why do I need these accounts online? I just want a website!”
My reply when faced with the inevitable question about using the web for business, is always…
“Why do you want a website?”
The responses vary. In brief, they boil down to some common facts.
You want a website to
- work for you,
- get new leads,
- bring you new business,
- increase your sales,
- grow your business
- and other things that involve ensuring your business survives the recession.
Oh and you want all that NOW and preferably free or at the very least cheap as chips.
Time to burst the bubble – or the balloon in this case.
Building a website without getting involved with all the promotion stuff that surrounds it is much like going to a network meeting, leaving your business cards on the table and hiding in the loo.
You hope that someone may pick up a card and give you a call, but you know it isn’t going to happen. Well I know anyway, been there and done it – I am not a network meeting type of person.
More than a website
So, you don’t just want a website. You want a website that…
- gets found and
- encourages people to click, call, buy or whatever your focus is
…and you do need a focus.
SEO is dead, long live SEO
The get found thing is where people get hung up. They hear about all this SEO stuff and think it’s some magical solution that only experts know the secrets to. So, some will charge you £99 per month on the cheap end to furiously build links to your website (well they don’t tell you that, but that’s what they’re doing) and your problems are solved right?
I won’t bore you with the bursting balloon again.
SEO has two parts.
1. Making your website search (and people) friendly
2. Getting people to talk about your website, link to it, share it – basically get your website out into the wild web
What happens out in the wild is far more important than any on page fixes, title tags, keywords and anything else you do on your website. That’s always been the way.
Here’s the but…
SEO is no longer about building as many links as you can back to your website. The wrong type of links can get in trouble. The £99 per month SEO “experts” will be building the wrong type of link. Trust me if they were the right type of link they would be charging more because that takes TIME and isn’t automated.
The thing is, the techniques the £99 quid guys use did work, and work well. It doesn’t now. That doesn’t take away from the fact that links are STILL necessary.
Time to go Social
Social signals are important. That is people (real ones not bots) talking about your business and sharing your content.
It’s not just me spouting this out either. Here’s a graph from Search Metrics recent study of online ranking factors in the UK.
As Search Metrics are keen to point out, correlation isn’t causation. But here’s the interesting thing.
Once you start getting involved with the conversation and making the contacts online, you stop being dependant on search rankings – and that is a good thing!
The easiest way to get other people talking about your business and sharing your stuff is giving them information they want to share and by sharing it yourself.
That is why you need “all these accounts” online and not just a website.
There’s no need to join every social site online, you’d never have time for anything else! Focus on sites that are important for your business, the ones where your potential clients and their influencers are.
My post “7 Questions to Ask Before You Build a Website” earlier this month has a mind-map that you can download that will give you an overview how the online world works. Pop over and download it.
Over to you – are all these social accounts really necessary? What do you think?