The past few years have been tough for businesses.  We’ve seen some big players like Woolworths and MFI take a turn for the worst and now a household name like Clinton Cards are is also in trouble.  Of course the recession always has casualties but lack web integration with your business also plays a massive part.  The web has forced change.

Just this week I have had this following conversations between myself and a potential new client (with a 4/5 year old tired looking website).

Client – “Hello I wonder if you could help, my business is in trouble.  We used to get lots of work locally from recommendations but over the years this has changed and our market has become more competitive.”

Me – “That’s a shame, what online and offline marketing are you doing?”

Client – “I am not very good at marketing but I wonder why my website is not appearing number one for my keywords.”

Me – “What keywords would you like to appear for?”

Client – “Well you know… ” (follows a list of words)

Me – “Why have you chosen those keywords?  Have you checked to see how many people search for them and how easy it would be to create content to beat any competition?”

Client – “No.”

Me – “A quick check tells me that nobody is using the main keyword you want to focus on in searches, but here is another suggestion that is receiving seeing a lot of searches.”

Client – “How do I add my list of keywords to the website?”

Me – “It’s not quite that simple, you don’t really add keywords to pages and you only have a small 10 page website which contains mostly pictures.  You need to generate content around those keywords.  Have you considered a blog where you can create relevant and useful content?”

Client – “It takes too much time and nobody would be interested in what we do.”

Me – “If visitors are searching for your services on the internet then they are interested in what you offer and what you do. By showing them that you are a relevant company with lots of helpful and interesting articles you are more likely to get their business.  Social media can also help increase your reach.”

Client – “Ok, I don’t think I want to do this.  I just want to get to number one on Google.”

Me –”Yes that’s the point, by creating content on the web you will increase your visibility.”

Client – “On my CMS I have a page for metadata, can’t I just add the keywords here?”

Me – “That won’t really help as Google looks at the content actually on the page and lots of other factors to decide for itself what your webpage is about.  Ideally you need to start creating good content, regular content, generating interest and for some of your competitive keywords you may require a micro site or landing page specifically to target traffic.”

Client – “I didn’t think it would be so complicated, how do the other companies do it?”

Me – “It’s really not complicated, you just have to write about what you do and the trade you have been in for the last 20 years then share it online.”

Following this conversation I sent the client a link to a number of competitor websites with blogs, social media links, data feeds and newsletters.  I also shared a conversation on twitter showing  someone asking for a recommendation for a services locally that they provide and then someone introducing themselves about 5 seconds later and exchanging contact details and links to case studies.

We’ve never heard back, the website looks exactly the same as before our conversation.  And it makes me sad.  Yes sad.  I am sad that there are businesses offering great services and products that are being left behind because they are not embracing the web.  I am not expecting people to do everything at once but burying your head in the sand is business-suicide.

We’re covering SEO, keywords, analytics, blogging, social media, internet trends and emails newsletters are more in the workshops and seminars at our conference on 29th May.

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