Increasing Your Online Presence

July 7th, 2014

Are you working with your Marketing departments to find the best providers to increase your online presence?

Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President and COO at SafeSourcing.

Last week it was announced that Kroger Company had agreed to buy the online health and vitamin provider, Vitacost, so that they could add a new selling channel for additional nutrition and healthy-living products.   In the move they will be able to leverage the technical and logistical expertise Vitacost has developed to improve its online presence against a slew of online retailers who are cutting into Kroger markets.  While not every company has $280 million to improve their online presence, there are a few key areas to focus on that will help internal departments source products and services to help accomplish the same goal.

Strong web content – There are a few things to look at when creating a strong site for customers.  The first above everything else should be the ease with which customers are able to find what they are looking for.  The content needs to be fresh and current to keep customers coming back to the site and customers need to be able to conduct transactions at all times.  This may not include every type of transaction but if an online version of the company is going to exist it should be useful to customers even outside of business hours.  Finally, the content should be packed with several industry key words so that the site will continue to be included high in search engine results.   Many web development companies can assist with keeping this updated regularly and many will guarantee results for the most important key words.

Mobile, mobile, mobile – Take a trip to any restaurant, bar, retail outlet or other social establishment and one of the first things you will notice is that everyone has a phone, and many of them have their noses frequently buried in them.  This is not a trend that is going to go away soon and will likely get worse.  People are attached to their phones and use them for bank transactions, dinner reservations, making purchases and many other types of activities so making sure a site is mobile-ready to get information and conduct business is critically important.  Once that is established, developing smart-device specific applications that leverage other capabilities of the phones is something virtually every company will need to do at some point.  When people walk into businesses, they EXPECT to have the capability to do things with their mobile devices that take advantage of technologies like Wi-Fi and GPS.

Create goals and measure progress – Part of knowing the success of changes to an online presence is to set goals for each of the pieces being adjusted and includes changes that may not be made directly to the site itself.  Areas such as the messaging being sent through social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook may not be a part of the main website but their message and what customers are responding to is very important and need to be measured as well because they affect the overall strategy.  Google Analytics is a great tool to begin using to help track the activity but there are also many 3rd party companies who can help remove some of the trial-and-error process many companies face when they try doing it on their own.  The beauty of online marketing is how quickly goals can be measured and how easily they can be adjusted if the initial plans do not work as expected.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help your team find partners that will increase you online presence or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

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