Building an Effective Web Presence - Step #1 – Define Your Ideal ClientSunday, January 16, 2011
Building an Effective Web Presence
Step #1 – Define Your Ideal Client
In today’s online environment, having just a web site doesn’t usually cut it. As a business owner, your ultimate goal should be to build an effective web presence by integrating your website, social media, and other online interactive media or applications. There are many options and you have limited resources, so it’s important to define what elements of a web presence will provide the best return on your investment of time and money.
The most effective way to begin this process is to clearly define your “ideal” client. It sounds very basic, but this step is often overlooked. As you build your web presence, you want to target all of your activities around this ideal client. If you don’t, there’s a good chance you’ll waste time and money.
Defining your ideal client will not only help you with your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts, it will also focus your energy in the right places, help you allocate limited resources appropriately, and will be a win-win for your company because it increases your referral business … the BEST kind of business!
When you define your ideal client, be as specific as possible. The more specific you are, the better your results will be. Initially it can be difficult to narrow down the “ideal” client. It can be easy to say that your ideal client is anyone who will pay you for your services. But is this really true? I know it isn’t for me!
Try this exercise to help. Think about your FAVORITE or BEST client from the past few years. What is it that made them your favorite? What are the specific characteristics that made them best? Write down the traits that make them stand out. Next, think about your worst experience with a client and write down the traits that made that experience stand out. You will rapidly be able to paint a picture of the type of client your business LOVES to work with and profits from the most.
Think about it … isn’t working with an ideal client a win-win? They love working with you and you love working with them. They are not just happy about your product or service, they cannot live without it! They tell their friends about you, who in turn become your new clients. Referral business is the best business and building your web presence (as well as other marketing efforts) around your ideal client ultimately yields a better return on investment because of this.
Once you have clearly defined your ideal client, use these practical applications for your business web presence:
First, focus on getting found online by your ideal client. Organically optimize your website for the very specific search terms your ideal client would use to try to find you. As an example, let’s say you have an auto repair shop at the Lake and ideal client is a luxury car owner. Think about the difference in your chances of ranking #1 in Google for the general term “auto repair”, versus “auto repair Lake of the Ozarks”, versus “BMW repair Lake of the Ozarks”. Yes, the number of searches for the latter term will be fewer, but if this is your ideal client, your conversions will be MUCH higher because your organic SEO efforts are built around that ideal client!
Next, find out where your ideal client “hangs out” and interacts online, then make sure your business is there! Use Facebook ads, Pay per Click, or other social media avenues to get your business in front of that ideal client when they are online. Capture their information by building fans and followers across the social platforms. This enables you to engage with your ideal client and build credibility with them in real time online. It also gives you a free venue to regularly announce deals, sales, specials, and events to your ideal client!
In the following months, I will continue to offer concrete and practical tips that you can use to maximize your web presence and increase conversions from your website.
Remember, if you start by defining your ideal client up front, you will have much greater success in your journey through the web!
Sandy Waggett, Owner
MSW Interactive Designs LLC ~ We put the web to work for you!