Businesses wanting online presence often sell themselves and consumers short.

Imagine, you’re ready to shop for something unique,  perhaps it’s a hard to find gift for your grandmother’s 69th birthday, or maybe you simply need a pair of shoes– either way, you won’t find this item locally, so you drive yourself to the virtual mall in hopes you’ll find what you’re looking for.

The Corridor, Bath

You step into the corridor and notice it bends and turns,  it’s infinite. The shops that are lined along the sides will change every couple of minutes. Thankfully, you have a tracker in your pocket that will record the name of every shop that you enter during your quest. You shout, “Unique gift for grandma!”  The shops along the corridor change rapidly, and the most popular stores that are relevant to your request are situated closest to you.

You step into the nearest virtual store and see photographs displayed all over the walls. You notice there’s a mannequin with a sign that reads, “If you have any questions, ask me!” standing in the shop. After looking through a couple of images, your interest is piqued upon the discovery of  Tailless Sock-Monkeys for sale; therefore, you ask  the mannequin if they’re vintage. You wait for an answer; but, the mannequin does nothing.

A pair of homemade sock monkeys.

You walk back out to the corridor and shout, ” Vintage Tailless Sock- Monkey!”  and again, the shops change to accommodate your request. You walk into the closest shop and notice the walls have photographs of Tailless- Sock Monkeys, toy trains, metal doll houses, every classic toy you could possibly imagine; however, it’s a bit expensive and you want to compare prices. You hit the button on the tracker in your pocket to record the place so you won’t have any problems locating it in the future.

You notice that every store you go into has the same mannequin, with the same sign; however, the clothing is different on each. You ask questions with the exact same results.

Where am I going with this? The answer is simple. Part of getting good online sales involves reciprocation. I’ve noticed how businesses utilize their websites and they seem to fall short of that element. Businesses will hire the IT guy to throw up a website and load the content, then they keep the IT guy to fix all of the technical problems in the office. The business web presence is an afterthought; therefore, it’s lacking. Businesses want to hire an SEO to be sure their shops are the first ones you’re going to see; but, is that enough? For a business to hire an SEO to bump up its rank in a search engine is only the tip of what one needs to do in order to generate sales.
A good SEO will pay attention to potential clients and people who think enough to care for your

English: A business ideally is continually see...

English: A business ideally is continually seeking feedback from customers: are the products helpful? are their needs being met? Constructive criticism helps marketers adjust offerings to meet customer needs. Source of diagram: here (see public domain declaration at top). Questions: write me at my Wikipedia talk page (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

business. A good SEO must read blogs in place of asking probing questions and providing good information when relevant. It’s up to the consumer to decide what to get and when to get it. Sales people in stores usually get a base wage in addition to commissions; however, when a person is online it’s all commission only. An SEO must research, know how to communicate effectively and have the drive to write regularly, have an eye for design, understand how to network to other sites and reciprocate. A good SEO is constantly networking, which means he or she will leave relevant comments on the blogs of consumers and build relationships.

It isn’t enough to bring your store and products to consumers. Advertising may be infinite on the world wide web; however, it isn’t free. Is it fair to expect the IT guy to go above an beyond repairing every bit of technology in the office and wear a second hat as a writer and editor, graphic artist, photographer and photo editor,  market analyst, advertiser, and sales agent? IT guys are some of the busiest people I know, and most of them don’t want to do any of the above. IT guys are the ones every person in the office approaches without asking, “How are you?” and instead are asked, “How do you download this app onto my iPhone?”

In-store sales agents are there, the products and agents come and go. In-store agents aren’t putting up signs, creating logos, writing essays about the products, analyzing the market, taking photos or editing them. All of that work is done for them. However, if a business posts something on the internet, it’s there for as long as a company wishes it.

You really can’t be in two places at once. Do your business a favor, hire a Social Media expert who knows SEO and remember, nobody should have to work for free.

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