Last month I talked about your home base and how relying on social media, especially Facebook groups, can be risky. This month, let’s talk about ways your site can become your real home base. After all, your website is the only thing that you can control. Why not make it the hub of your business?
Real, solid content with threaded commenting
If I type “content is king” one more time, I might scream. But it’s true. The search engines, Google in particular, want informative, helpful content. Not something you copied off another site. Not some stale piece transcribed from your business brochure that’s gathering dust in your storefront. One subject per blog post, with good, HELPFUL information for the person who may read the page. That’s what’s going to get you found and also set you apart as someone who knows what she’s talking about. That’s how you’re going to get more business.
What’s threaded commenting? This is when a person comments on your post and then another can comment on that comment. WordPress makes this super easy, so don’t sweat the details. I can show you what it looks like if you comment on this post. 😉 Allowing people to comment on your content allows them to have a conversation with you and with others. You are engaging people and giving them a reason to come back to your site.
You can create a forum on your site. Back in the day, they were known as bulletin boards or message boards. They work in the same way: You have multiple discussion topics (categories) and customers can ask you questions. Say you sell your very own line of paints. You might have that line as a discussion topic and customers (and prospects!) can ask you and your staff questions about that paint (Can I use it on plastic? What’s the best sealant?) or just show off what they created with it. A customer can follow a discussion topic on a regular basis and be informed via email if there’s activity on a discussion she’s following.
Here’s where you can answer Frequently Asked Questions. If you add a feature where customers can rate if a FAQ question was helpful…that’s engagement as well!
Now that your site has some meaningful content on it (and the above are only a few ideas of what you can use on your site), go back to your Facebook group, Twitter, etc., and post links back to your site. Not all at once, of course, but if you see someone post a question in your Facebook group that’s being discussed in the forum, you can link them directly to that discussion. While that person is at your site, she’ll see you have a mailing list, or that paint line is on sale this week.
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about these tactics and I’ll be happy to answer them and elaborate further in future posts. (See what I did there?)