- Go to Google
- Search for “how should I backup my data”, “what’s the best way to work remotely”, or “how many servers does my office need”
- Search for “it support phoenix” (or better yet, go to maps.google.com, which is where a lot of people go when looking for a specific geographic area, and do that same search)
Like your business, more than ever people find us, contact us, and do business with us as a direct result of internet search engines. On the global level, it’s pretty mind-blowing. I simply write articles and put them on my website. A month or so later, I’m suddenly THE world-wide expert on the question “how many servers does my office need?” according to Google. In response to that article, I’ve helped out people from as far off as Dubai to reduce costs and improve performance & reliability. In response to “what’s the best way to work remotely”, I’ve helped out people as far away as Australia with remote connectivity issues to achieve a better telecommuter experience.
If you don’t have a blog, seriously consider starting one. It didn’t cost me any money to be proclaimed the authority on these phrases by Google. It was simply an investment of time to write the articles and click the “publish” button. Almost overnight, I’m a published author and sought-after authority on the subject of efficient business IT design throughout the world. Such is the power of the Internet. Most inquiries we receive are in response to what you would consider to be the “blog” area of our site, not the main web site.
My second suggestion – consider using WordPress, if you haven’t already. WordPress is an open-source, free platform for publishing websites. It started out specifically as a blogging platform, but the functionality has evolved to the point at which it’s great for entire websites as well. It’s very easy to work with and extremely SEO (search engine optimization)-friendly. Up until a few years ago, we had a simple website. I’m an IT guy, not a marketing guy. So, like many of you, I used to outsource my website to a graphics designer. They created a nice, visually appealing site, but it just wasn’t effective enough. After we took control of our website with WordPress, it completely changed the game.
Content updates in WordPress are simple (no programmers required). WordPress also supports “themes” which allow you to easily “put a new coat of paint” on your site to keep it looking fresh. While there is a decent selection of free themes for WordPress, we’ve made the decision to go with extremely cost-effective themes available from themeforest.net. Our current theme cost us a grand total of $35 US including free updates and technical support. If we see a theme that we like better down the road, we’ll pay another $35 and refresh our site.
Since it’s so easy to publish content, we’ve centered all of our marketing efforts around our website. In addition to my monthly articles in this magazine which we republish as blog posts on our site, we send out a monthly email newsletter. Previously, we employed an email marketing service which hosted our newsletter content on their servers and sent out the emails. With WordPress, we’ve moved the content to where it belongs. That way, it’s not only automatically on our site for SEO purposes, it encourages readers to “click around” and learn more about our company. Consider making your website an “electronic marketing hub”.
A number of my clients use WordPress to manage their websites in house and love it. I have one client that has one website with one of the big legal website companies and a separate WordPress site where they blog to help maximize SEO. If you’d like more info on what these firms are doing, just send me an email. I can also show you a simple trick you can use to see if any site is running WordPress or not.