Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Business

January 12, 2014

Analyzing the importance of a web presence

This is the last column in the series of “how to advance your business online in 2014.” The first two columns are available on my blog at www.mikegingerich.com.

To quickly summarize what I’ve covered, I’ll review here: As businesses look to be effective online in the year ahead they need to first ensure they are providing a good mobile user experience on their website with either a mobile site or a “responsive site” that adapts to the display size of the visitors device (computer, tablet, or mobile). Mobile use on the web simply continues to grow rapidly. Without this, a business can be missing out or causing 20 to 50 percent of their users to have a less than positive experience on their site, so having a mobile website solution is very important to a company’s web presence today.

Once a company has implemented a good mobile visitor experience on its website, a second key area is the content on the site itself. I’m a big proponent of having a blog, and that blog having content that is strategic and accomplishes three key purposes. These purposes include content that attracts and engages; content that helps gain opt-ins and leads; and content that helps finalize sales and motivates consumers to make a purchase. This is all a part of a content marketing strategy where a company gains influence and grows its audience through the sharing of continually new, relevant, and helpful content that meets these three objectives. By having a treasure trove of content online, the company can be found more often in searches of various topics.

Last week I covered the need for social media participation as a key part of advancing your business online in 2014. Social media is not a “if we should” but a “we must.” There is no need to go “all in” and try to be on every social network. Your company social priorities should be defined by the most used social networks of your customers and potential customers. It simply makes sense to prioritize being where your key audience is at. As well, a company needs to “socialize its website,” meaning to include social media buttons to enable visitors to further amplify your company content to others by enabling visitors to easily and freely share your blog posts and other web content on social media networks. Lastly, in the social media realm, a company needs to have a set plan to share their own content socially, and give specific time to using social media to interact with, engage, and network with their broader community on these platforms. Social media use by companies offers the opportunity to build trust, answer questions, and provide support that can lead to loyalty and business growth.

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Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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