I was talking to some potential clients earlier this week, offering free listings on our site buildingleads.sydney to companies in the building industry - architects, builders, landscapers and so on. There were a few surprises in store and I realized yet again that there are many ways to getting the right customers online - but first, you have to recognize them!
Many of these companies often suffer gaps in their project pipelines due to projects being cancelled. They are then in the position of having all of their operating expenses continuing, but no revenue until their next project. So we built that site to connect these businesses and to allow them to tell each other about projects they might apply for and projects on which they might work together.
We are offering those listings free, simply to introduce ourselves to a wide range of companies and of course, we hope to do business with them when they need a new websites, SEO or any of the other services we offer.
So we were surprised when some companies said "no thank you - we're too busy". As business people, that seemed bizarre to us, and likely to lead those businesses into "famine or feast" conditions.
Surely we thought, every business needs a measurable flow of customers from its online presence no matter how healthy its current order book. Then we thought a bit deeper and asked ourselves, if we had too much work, which customers would we prioritize - what type of customer is best for our business?
FOUR TYPES OF CUSTOMER - WHICH ONES DOES YOUR BUSINESS NEED?
There are 4 types of customer:
These customers tend to buy a low cost product. They are low-price shoppers who tend not to return items or ask for much after-sales support. A business does not lose money with these customers, but neither does it make much money. These customers can carry your company through a bad time so don't ever ignore them! They are your 'budget travelers'', subsidized by your 'business class' customers. This is a neat analogy, because although some airlines specialize in purely budget travel, they are masters of their operations, run on very low margins and rely on volume business. One small fluctuation in operating conditions and they run at a loss. Don't be a budget carrier unless you really are a master of your craft and can generate high volume business.
These customers also tend to be low-cost shoppers, but unlike customer type (1) above, they also require a lot of post-sale attention, eating into the small profit of your initial sale. They do not buy post-warranty support packages, but demand continuous attention and support. They can even turn a good initial profit into a loss. These are the worst type of customer and should be avoided. They stretch the resources of your company long after the sale and are a direct cause of bad business performance. This is the sort of customer who receives a first class product exactly according to his/her requirement but then complains constantly and unreasonably.
These are premium customers. They buy your product after careful discussions and they understand what they are buying. As long as you deliver honestly and professionally, these customers are a foundation pillar of your business and should be cherished. Don't make the mistake of forgetting about them after the sale - stay in touch, look after them and make sure they are happy. They have paid a premium not just for your product but for your integrity. They believe in you - keep it that way.
It's not so simple to define these customers! They have paid a premium for your product, and yet they have not evaluated it properly. The fact they are HIGH PROFIT despite their HIGH MAINTENANCE demands means that they are PAYING for that maintenance - and that means recurring revenue. With professional care and support, these customers will keep paying you for support, but their demands will decrease as time goes by thus decreasing the load on your company and increasing your profits. In the medium to long term, they are even better customers than (3).
When your business starts out, it will tend to attract the low-cost shoppers of types (1) and (2) and you will be attracted to them as they are the easiest to win. Do NOT let this situation persist. Because you have few or no reviews yet and because you are still unsure of yourself (most new business owners are at first, and it shows!), you will find it difficult to gain traction in getting the right customers online which are types (3) and (4) in most cases.
You must use your first stream of low-profit customers to gain a good online reputation (lots of reviews) and then shift the focus of your online marketing to attracting the most profitable customers for the long-term benefit of your company.
Sydney Business Web can provide a custom-strategy for its business customers, guiding you through the process of attracting the type of customer your business needs at each phase of its existence. If you need help in getting the right customers online - we can help you.
We do this by putting business expertise into every one of our products - Business websites, SEO, Reputation Management and Social Media management and Marketing.
We can help your company with so much more than a website. Contact us today.
You read that correctly - smart businesses don't just buy Sydney Business Websites! Why? Because they buy growth and sustainability and customer loyalty that will facilitate measured growth and business performance with a three year horizon. Also because they buy a business edge that will give them a sharper edge than their competitors' and they buy solutions that will keep their customers in touch with their latest offering, discuss their problems and generate real customer loyalty.
Is a Sydney Business Website an important part of this? Of course it is! But if your business pays for a website with no goals, no objectives built into its design and the support systems around it, then quite frankly you might as well be investing your money on selling scuba diving kit in the Gobi desert. You can have an absolutely beautiful website that's cost you a lot of money and still be invisible to your customers.
Before we talk about the performance of our website, Facebook page and so on, we need to examine what basic presence a local business needs and why it needs the various components.
For every Sydney business, these are the potential key elements:
Choosing which of these elements you need requires some insight into the modern media landscape, but you do not need to start them all at once.
Your Sydney Business' online presence begins with a website - but not just any website. A Sydney business website must be visible, and to be visible it must be built from the ground up in compliance with Search Engine Guidelines - and especially Google guidelines. A Business Website built with 'plug and pray' technology is very unlikely to give any return on investment to your business.
Google has very specific requirements for recognizing and listing a local business. Here are the key points:
Implementing and checking these factors requires expertise that should be applied before building your business website even begins..
When we hear people preaching about website speed, many of, especially if we are patient people, tend to shrug it off and intuit that 'a few seconds' won't make any difference. Nothing could be further from the truth! Here are a few alarming facts for Sydney Business Website owners:
“…faster sites don’t just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs. Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings.”
Lesson 1: Smart Business Owners buy FAST SYDNEY BUSINESS WEBSITES
If you want your Sydney Business Website to give you a positive return on your investment, then it MUST be mobile friendly. That's because most of your customers now search on mobiles, not on desktops: In October 2016, mobile traffic officially surpassed desktop traffic on the internet.
Google now gives priority to scanning the mobile version of your business website before it gets to the desktop version. if the mobile version of your Sydney Business Website does not meet standards of usability, readability and loading speed, the chances are that it will suffer badly in the rankings war with your competitors.
When we designed our own website, we knew we wanted:
Our second example of a mobile business website is that of an Electrical Contractor available for emergency call-out. For this local business website to succeed it needs something different to our website:
For this business, location and immediate contact number are not the most important points to get across as their offering is an online service. So what they needed is:
All of these sites need to load FAST and get the searcher where he/she is going. We all keep a mental checklist when we're searching for something and the website must match our needs FAST or we simply move on.
If the website is fast, WE WIN! If the searcher needs an electrician in a hurry, a mobile display like the one we've shown wind every time against competition that's less clear. This true for every type of business website.
Lesson 2: Smart Business Owners buy WEBSITES designed specially to meet the search needs of their customers -mobile friendly conversion engines.
OK, so your website has been designed for speed, but it's still slow - what's happening? You've made a significant investment in your Sydney Business Website and it's simply not fast enough. Chances are, you've got poor hosting. So what's hosting? Can you do anything about it?
Hosting is simply the computer or server on which your website sits. And yes - you can do plenty about it. If your business website is hosted with thousands of others on a cheap host, then this is often what happens: Almost four seconds before even the first transmission of your website to the person searching - by which time the whole site should be loaded!
Lesson 3 : Smart Business Owners use PREMIUM HOSTING for their Sydney Business Websites.
The answer to this question, no matter what your business is, is almost certainly YES. Why? Here are a few pointers - the list is far from exhaustive:
In our experience, every business dealing with the public needs a Facebook page - no ifs, no buts. As of 2019, Australia has fifteen million active monthly users! With a population of around twenty five million people, this means that sixty percent of us are on Facebook.
Can your business afford to ignore them? Can your business afford being invisible on Facebook?
LinkedIn works mainly for B2B - business to Business. We have established a presence there (as well as a Facebook page), because that's who we do business with - other businesses. It's a great place to make contacts and network.
Pinterest is small in Australia, with fewer than three hundred thousand users. We don't use it in this business. Don't worry about it!
Pinterest is a photo-sharing app with nine million Australian users. In our opinion, it's in the early phases of development for business and we don't use it.
Like Facebook, YouTube has fifteen million Australian users monthly. This makes it a powerful marketing and sales platform. However, making good quality, engaging videos is much harder than generating good quality ads, so there is additional expense and complexity before a business is ready for this. If your business is in the early stages of developing its social media presence, we suggest leaving this until later.
Lesson 4 : Smart Business Owners integrate the right Social Media platforms for their business with their website presence to build their brand and optimize profits
I tried to keep this article as brief as possible but, As Benjamin Franklin once wrote: "I have already made this paper too long, for which I must crave pardon, not having now time to make it shorter."
Concluding though, we'll create a whole online strategy for you including a high-performance website and help you make sure that your business gets a solid return on investment. We're not just a tech-company; we have decades of experience in the business world and combine the best practices from big business with the nimbleness and adaptability needed by small business.
Lesson 6 : Smart Business Owners don't buy websites - they buy business systems that make a measurable Return On Investment.
SEO is Search Engine Optimization and what it means is making sure that:
There are two parts to SEO: Onsite and Offsite. You cannot afford to ignore either of these.
Onsite SEO takes place behind the scenes in the structure of your Sydney Business Website. Inside every site, in addition to the words in your articles and images, there are blocks of what we call 'meta data'. This data is in small blocks that tell search engines what your website and articles are all about. In addition to that, every article you write should be based on 'keyword research' which informs your designer where to place the focus when building the site (or article).
It's no use just stuffing your pages with keywords, because that practice heavily punished and can sink a website in the rankings. You won't be able to tell by just reading a website if it's properly constructed because to do that you need to look 'under the hood'. But of course, you will easily tell if you're not ranking!
This is a bugbear and headache for many business because quite frankly more nonsense has been written and spoken about Offsite SEO than about trump and the Russians. Bad offsite SEO can sink your Sydney Business Website and make salvage difficult and expensive.
In a nutshell, Offsite SEO means having other good quality, relevant sites linking to your Sydney Business Website. it also means having local citations in quality directories, social media connections and reviews on local sites.
It takes time to create and execute quality campaign and I urge you whenever you negotiate this to be very clear in your contract on what you are paying for.
Keith Rowley MBA BSc
Founder and GM Sydney Business Web
Talking to us will cost you nothing - the first consultation we provide is free and usually over the phone or on Skype. You'll never have cause to regret working with us - that's my personal guarantee to you.