Reprint from Ventures Magazine (Charlotte Chamber of Commerce)
Create a Multimedia Web Site That Works
By Lou Amico
As technology moves forward and more people become adept to the technology, the way we do business and capture attention for our business changes. The Web is the number one tool for information gathering. Whether looking for a place to eat or for a product or service, information gatherers want all the information at their fingertips. According to Public Relations Tactics, more than 90 percent of business people use the Internet to research major business decisions. However, simply having a Web site is not enough. Driving people to your Web site (and keeping them there) is more important than ever.
Utilizing Web Site Optimization
It is estimated that roughly 80 percent of us use Internet search engines to find a product or service, and 55 percent of us make a purchase as a result of an Internet search. When a person is searching for a product or service that you provide, you want your Web site to be at the top of the search pages for the search terms they enter. This can be achieved through Web site optimization.
Web site optimization increases the visibility and ranking or position of your Web site on the major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, AltaVista and MSN, among others. In essence, a Web site can be designed and positioned to be found on the first couple of pages of search engines for industry key words without paying for position.
An easy way to do this is to submit your site to search engines and directories. Our company uses specialized software to submit all the pages of a company’s Web site to hundreds of search engines and directories automatically. We also use software that provides us with site ranking reports on what page and position a Web site is located for specific keywords on any search engine.
Another component is to update code in the site and improve content so that it is friendlier to search engine spiders. Your Web site should say exactly what it is you do and include words that people would use to search for your company, product or service.
Establishing Yourself as a Credible Resource
You can go one step further in establishing yourself as a credible resource. Create search engine-friendly public relations and marketing materials. Include hyperlinks and key phrases in your press releases that link back to your Web site. When these releases are posted on other PR and news sites, it provides another link to drive people to your Web site and another source the search engines will pick up related to your company. When a potential customer types in “Widgets in Charlotte,” your company Web site along with other Web sites that have promoted your successes will come up on their search. It’s fantastic when your potential customers can see your company listed favorably in the media when they do a search for your product or service.
The Use of Video
Once you have driven traffic to your site, you need a reason for them to stay and be engaged. People tend to remember 70 percent of what they see and hear, opposed to 20 percent of what they read. And they will retain the information for a longer period of time if they are actively involved in getting the communication. Video is a powerful tool to use on your Web site. It provides a controlled, interactive method of visual communication to demonstrate your company mission, proposition, product and service.
A good quality video does not have to cost a lot to be effective. Promotional videos should last three to five minutes and concentrate on the benefits and unique features of your product or service. Videos should tell a good story, follow a logical path and be targeted to the right audience.
Lou Amico is founder and president of LA Management Company, a multi-media marketing firm based in Denver, North Carolina. He can be reached at 704.560.6274, or visit www.lamanagementco.com for more information.