In today’s business world, reaching customers from around the world can be just as easy as reaching those who are down the street. A thoughtful online presence makes it possible for brick-and-mortar businesses to reach a wider public and to build their reputation. Art Fried, the owner of Ketubahs by Art Fried, shares his business expertise for entrepreneurs who want to expand their presence on the Internet.
Building an Online Presence
Building a business presence outside your local area can be an important source of new revenue. When your small business builds a well-made website, you can attract customers from far away and from close by. Since the Jewish population in any given city is relatively small compared to the total population of the country, drawing business from a wider geographic area is a smart move for businesses like Ketubahs by Art Fried, which caters primarily to this small ethnic niche.
An online presence is also necessary for local businesses to reach their customers who do live in the area. The way that people find new businesses has changed dramatically. Frequently, customers look for a business by using “near me” functions in a search engine or mapping application. If your business does not appear on this list, it’s likely that you will lose a large fraction of new customers.
Make sure that your website is always up to date. Out-of-season content that has not been updated will make your business look unprofessional. It is best to stay on top of changes to your website and to avoid letting it stay stagnant for too long.
Search Engine Optimization
New businesses may not know how to give themselves a high placement in online search results. The way to do this is through a process known as search engine optimization or SEO.
SEO ensures that your business comes as close to the top result as possible. It begins with ensuring that you have the proper meta tags and keywords associated with your website. Then go through and decide what key phrases your customers will use to search for your business. Put these keywords in your site using content like blog posts and product descriptions. Finally, consider using videos to promote your site. Video content can enhance your searchability as well. If you have a website designer, talk to them about SEO.
Social media is another great way to build sales and to establish a reputation. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram enable companies to keep in touch with their clients and to keep their finger on the pulse of the customers’ needs. In particular, artists’ businesses can benefit from posting on Instagram and Pinterest. These sites present an aspirational view of your product to their visitors, making them want to experience these artworks for themselves.
Be Careful with Reviews
When you are building your online reputation, it is crucial that you monitor review sites and Internet searches. One bad review can pull down the reputation of your company. Do your best to combat these bad reviews by offering to make things right for the dissatisfied customer. Responding angrily to bad reviews can only make matters worse for you and will create public relations problems.
One area where online business excels is in customization. A customer can work directly with the artist, drawing up plans for their work. Online, an artist can show examples of his or her best work, offering templates for their use. A template can be used as a starting point to create a unique piece of art for the customer.
Entering the realm of custom artwork sites like Etsy is another useful tool for the online artist. Customers can request work based on your examples or can contract with you directly to produce unique work.
Ensuring Your Online Presence
A niche business like Ketubahs by Art Fried can grow and flourish if it expands its market reach through online sales, reviews, and social media. Make sure that your business appears in as many local directories as possible, like Yelp and Google. Ensure your business’s search placement using SEO. Join all relevant social media sites and keep your content fresh. Be cautious with reviews. Take advantage of websites that play into your business’s strengths.
When your business has a flourishing online presence, you will be positioned for success at the local level as well as around the country.