THE SECOND PILLAR OF THE CUSTOMER
In my blog post from last week, we looked at the first pillar of a customer’s experience, desirability, and how it affects a business’s ability to operate. This week, we look at the second pillar: visibility.
In order to be profitable, an internet business must not only have a desirable product, but must also ensure that its potential customers are aware of the product. No one will buy something they do not know exists. Therefore, once an entrepreneur knows that people want his product, he must make sure as many people as possible know about it. There are many ways to go about this task, but this is not a marketing blog, so we will focus some of those that pertain to internet entrepreneurship in particular.
The first method to increase an internet business’s visibility is search engine optimization, or SEO. SEO is a blanket term covering the many methods of making sure that your business comes up higher in search results than those of your competitors. One way to do this is to write a blog, much like this one. Blogging greatly increases the amount of traffic a website receives, and with the nature of a blog lending itself to sharing, the number of links to and from your website will increase, weighting it more heavily in search results.
A second method is leveraging social media. While it is true that nearly all businesses ought to be using social media to connect with consumers, it is particularly useful for an internet business. When conducting your operation online, you can directly connect consumers to your place of business in a way that an offline business cannot. Wendy’s can’t put a link in a tweet that takes you directly to their drive-thru window, but Amazon can put one in a Facebook post that opens a window on your browser which puts you only a few clicks from a purchase.
A third method is to use customer reviews. If you have a great product, letting people rave about it right where other customers are considering buying is a great opportunity that most other businesses do not have. Walmart doesn’t have people standing in the aisles going, “Hey buddy, let me tell you about this t-shirt.” You would probably be a bit put off if they began hiring for that role. However, on the internet, we love seeing the thoughts of others right there, letting us see what others have thought. Provided you aren’t trying to sell useless junk, and if you read last week’s blog you shouldn’t be, closely placed customer reviews are a great method for internet businesses to increase visibility… Particularly if you make your reviews easily sharable. I actually can’t say I’ve seen that before, maybe I should write that one down.
These are a few of the methods you can use to make sure your customers know about your incredible product. THey ought to be beating down your digital doors by now, but hold them off; next week, in the final blog in this series, we will go over how to make sure they stay on your site by building the third and last pillar: Usability.