Tips for Making Your Storefront More Visible Online
Being found on the web is a whole different problem from being found physically. A physical storefront depends on things like curb appeal and location. But what happens when your location is the amorphous web, and being found means manipulating several variables that all have to work together so prospects can find you?
Online retailers have to be experts in far more than just the merchandise they're selling. They need to be connoisseurs of search engine optimization, application programming interfaces, marketing and website performance monitoring. So what does it mean to get "on the map" in cyberspace, and how do you stay there? Here are three areas where you want to focus your efforts:
1. Search engines: Your most important challenge online is to be found by search engines. Consumers initiate the search, but they aren't really the ones finding you; you need to cater to the search engines so your storefront can be seen by consumers. The best way to do that is to adopt a robust SEO strategy and stay current with changing SEO algorithms. Know thy keywords and make sure your website draws people in who search for those keywords.
2. Online maps: If your website is a complement to a physical storefront, make sure that visitors can find you physically, even if you have an online shopping cart. Despite the increase in e-commerce sales, the majority of shoppers purchase in a physical store. Depending on what you sell, you may find that your online storefront helps consumers decide, but they still want to come to your physical store to close the deal. Make sure your storefront address is clearly visible on your website so map sites can find you. Some map sites (e.g., MapQuest) allow you to enter your business in their directory, which ensures that you'll be referenced when someone looks for you.