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This post today will appeal to a demographic set of readers that see the Internet as an essential ingredient, a must have business tool in promoting their business.

Others will view the Internet with a skeptical eye and regard it as something for another time. That would be a mistake. In the twenty or so years since the Internet came about it has heralded incredible changes in how we search for and interact with information.

Today’s post uses the persona of a small cafe owner. With more cafes opening up in your area, you want to set your little coffee and sandwich shop apart from other places nearby. The Internet opens up a whole new world of marketing possibilities to let people know about your cafe, learn about the beverages and snacks you serve, find out about any sales you may promoting, and interact with other satisfied customers.

Making a web presence can work in your favour as long as you establish early on about what your goals are and what type of experience you want to give users who visit your site.

Making a web presence: starting with a website

The website is the centre of your online marketing campaign. It is the place where you want to lead potential customers from other platforms such as blogs, social media sites, review sites, forums, and industry news publications. You want people to come to your website to have a great experience as they will be enticed to visit your cafe in person or if you do decide, to purchase beverage items through your online shop.

When creating the website, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Make it user-friendly that appeals to potential customers. You want to focus on what your cafe is about and build trust that you can offer people what they are looking for at the prices that will appeal to them.
  • Select a domain name that makes sense and relates to your cafe. You wouldn’t want a domain name such as when the only beverage you serve is tea.
  • Design a website that makes sense to the user, not just for the business. The content you post should hold their interests and be relevant to what they want. Always keep the website user in mind first.
  • Make the website mobile-friendly. More people rely on smartphones and tablets to get information about the local cafes as they are walking down the street.

Creating other sites that will link to your website

Once you have your website created, you need to build your network of corresponding sites that will help to find potential customers and coax them to further interact with your business. Blogs, social media pages and newsletters should all link to your main website and important landing pages so people to gain the information they are seeking and learn about ways to contact your cafe.

Tips to use to expand your web presence:

  • Update the content you post. Keep it fresh and relevant in regards to the information that you want to convey to people. Also keep in mind that you want it to be engaging.
  • Avoid spamming everyone. While you want to periodically update your sites with new content, you should also avoid spamming them with too many things all at once. You lose the message you want to convey to your audience when there is too much content they have to sift through on a daily basis.
  • Ensure all links and sites work. People will be using different browsers to access your cafe website. Test your website and other accounts so they don’t lead to 404 error pages or dead links.

As you build your web presence, people will come to know about your cafe and the brand you want to portray. By creating a dynamic website and social pages, people will have an easier time finding you as they will tell their friends who will come to your cafe to try out your products.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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