For almost two years now the economy has been pretty awful and because of this so many small businesses cut their advertising and promotion budgets. In addition, as I walk around both Jersey City and Hoboken, I see many stores have closed and new ones are not opening so fast in their place.
There are so many different reasons this is happening, but what I’d like to discuss is why these stores need to stop thinking about the local business and foot traffic and start thinking globally. There are so many little stores that don’t even have a website, the most basic one-page of here’s where we are and this is what we do. If you’re a hair salon, restaurant or shoe store, you’ve got to have the most basic of a web presence.
Most people search via the internet now, and very rarely ever pick up that yellow book. If you’re not listed in the directories of Google and Yahoo, as a business, no one is going to know you exist. Just because you might have a website, doesn’t mean you’re listed in the business local directories, so if you haven’t done this, do it today.
So many of my clients who I’ve built websites for, haven’t touched them lately, adding new content or galleries. Even if your website has tags, and keywords, if it’s not current, it’s listed way, way back in the search engines. Google and Yahoo are only interested in displaying the most current information on a particular topic. That’s why blogs are most successful, because bloggers write often and keep adding more content and tags.
Through social media, especially Facebook, you can reach millions of people. As you develop contacts, or “like” pages (companies or causes) you gain strength in who you know, and who they know, and so on. You can advertise to send people to your pages, & you can write on company’s walls, which others can see and if curious, look into who you are.
Most of this is free or very inexpensive and can really grow a business when the economy is down. So stop thinking that all your business should come from the neighborhood where you are.
Case study: Goehrig’s Bakery, Central Avenue in Jersey City, NJ
About 18 months ago we launched this bakery’s new website. Before that, the bakery did not have a website or any pages on social media. Since launching the bakery’s e-commerce website with a custom cake builder application, their revenue is up by approximately 15-20%. The orders are coming in from across the country and abroad. (Not just Jersey City). About 4-5 months ago we established a Facebook company page and a Twitter account and now Goehrig’s Bakery is broadcasting his latest and greatest work, and growing in reach.