The Internet is no longer a luxury enjoyed only by those companies that can afford to pay for a web site. It’s a basic business essential, fundamental to sales, marketing, branding, communication, recruitment … the list goes on.
From basic brochure-ware websites to multi-lingual e-commerce websites, and LinkedIn to Twitter, how you use the Internet is as important to your business as cash flow. Get it right and it can make your business a huge success; get it wrong and you could be throwing money down the drain.
Tamlin Roberts has spent the past 12 years growing Mercurytide, an online application and web development company. Working with companies such as GSPC, Montpeliers Edinburgh, Flow Hospitality Training, Faithful + Gould, Edinburgh Council, Redeem, O2, Prudential, Scottish Widows and Grant Management, and of course, the Entrepreneurial Exchange, his experience of how to make the web work for business is unrivalled.
He believes there are four key elements, and businesses should ideally use all four to maximise visibility of of a website.
• Technical connections – Tamlin says there are as many as 250 issues relating to a site’s architecture and construction that determine how successful it will be in meeting the search engines’ increasingly sophisticated criteria
• Great content – original material that is regularly updated. Blogs are good, as long as they are hosted on your domain and shared with lots of people
• Social media links – get those connections working with people and get them to ‘like’ your site
• Linked network – it’s vital to build ‘virtuous circle’ links with high-volume sites accessed routinely by the greatest number of people. For example, the BBC is the UK’s No1 site but to maintain a link with its site would require refreshing the link every day.
Chair for the evening, Alistair Balfour of The Company Creators, said:”Tamlin also included great tips, such as using a service called PR Web to push out press releases for £80 a time, and various techniques to gather information about visitors to your site.
“For example, try writing a short e-book about your business, products, technology or markets, then offer a free summary on your site but require visitors to register to access the other chapters.
“Tamlin’s talk provoked a flood of questions from members about their own website issues, and he was kept busy answering them well beyond the event’s official finishing time.”
“Key tip for me – the quality of web copy is very important – we’ll look into getting a copywriter/journalist to work on our content as this is a weak point.”
“Key tip for me – amplify use of LinkedIn in my personal case.”
“Tip for me was to use Web and social media to better market our products and services.”