Recapping the Past Two Years
by Manny Hondroulis
I am finishing up my second year as a contributor to Window Film magazine
and, over that course of time, have covered a variety of topics about
the Internet and our industry. So I thought this would be a good opportunity
to recap the important discussion points from the past two years on developing,
maintaining and improving an online presence.
Creating a Website
When it comes to creating a website, the high-level steps to keep in mind
1. Register a domain name. This can be done on sites such as www.godaddy.com;
2. Select a hosting package, which also can be done on sites such as www.godaddy.com;
3. Develop website content and navigation structure;
4. Select a web designer by issuing a RFP;
5. Proofread your website after its development and before it goes live;
6. Promote the URL through office stationery, print media, invoices, etc.;
7. Maintain and update it regularly.
When it comes to e-mail, change your e-mail address from something like
firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com. Using third-party
e-mail providers such as AOL, Googleô and MSN may detract from your businessí
image. The general public too often associates infant or unprofessional
businesses with those types of e-mail addresses.
Brand your company if you havenít already done so. This will be relevant
for your online and offline marketing efforts. Coca-Cola® enjoys the
highest brand recognition in the world. When you think of Coke® you
probably recall white cursive script on a red background and its website
reinforces that branding. Your website should be no exception.
If you donít have a logo, have one developed. Find a graphic artist (or
perhaps your web designer) or solicit an online logo development service
such as LogoBee for as low as $199 (www.logobee.com).
Monitor the success of your website by using a statistics tool that records
the traffic thatís hitting your website. A tool such as Google Analytics
will tell you who is visiting your website, along with when, why and how.
Understanding your website traffic will help you tailor your online marketing
message to your audience. For example, if you receive a lot of visitors
who are looking for information on automotive window film, but your auto
tint content is weak or non-existent, itís time to upgrade and update
Nothing screams weak online presence more than irrelevant or outdated
content. So update your photo gallery on a regular basis. Be sure to take
digital pictures of your installs and upload them to your online photo
gallery. Include a specific and relevant caption to help visitors understand
at what they are looking. Also mention new products, industry news and
industry affiliations to keep your content fresh.
Manny Hondroulis is marketing manager for Energy Products Distribution
in Baltimore. Mr. Hondroulisí opinions are solely his own and not necessarily
those of this magazine. If you have questions, e-mail Manny at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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