Raise your hand if you still need a little convincing that you can add web solutions to your print shop seamlessly and profitably.
Okay, now put your hand down, people are starting to stare. We’ve looked at creating recurring revenue with hosting and maintenance as well as generating significant income with custom web development. Now let’s take a look at some of the other services that complete a comprehensive web solution.
Just like in print, a lot of times a website project gets stalled waiting for a client to deliver their final version of the content. The waiting can go on for weeks or even months. There are a few tricks that can help move the project along. One is to set a schedule for payments regardless of whether or not the content has been delivered. A second option is to offer content creation for your client for a fee. If you don’t have an in-house resource for this, this is a great opportunity to create a partnership with an outside provider. Partnering with a copywriter can help move projects along if they go stagnant for too long. This is another service that you could mark up provide to your client.
Search Engine Optimization
A great looking website that can’t be found in the search engines is a waste of money. Optimizing the site for the company’s main products and/or services is a necessity for most clients. Search engine optimization (SEO) the art of getting search engines to display your pages when customers search for the items you sell, includes tasks that are done on and off the website. Keyword rich content, proper linking techniques, URL optimization, adding searchable text to your images and keyword rich titles are all an important component to on-page optimization. Creating Google and Bing map listings and an active social media presence are both key elements to off-page optimization.
SEO is not technically difficult, however, it is time consuming and requires frequent monitoring and updates. With no time constraints, most clients would be able to do their own SEO. But since a business owner’s time is already over extended, most are willing to pay to have their sites be found easier in the major search engines. This again is a service that you can outsource or assign to an employee who has a knack for wordsmithing and data analysis. Depending on the size of the website and how many different product or service offerings they have and markets they serve, SEO can be a service that you offer to your clients as part of ongoing monthly fees.
Email is not dead! Though the number of spam messages we receive on a daily basis is constantly increasing, targeted and relevant messages sent to a segmented customer list is still one of the best marketing investments a client can make. However, many small business owners don’t know where to start. Whether its help with list building, list scrubbing or actually writing and sending the email pieces, there are plenty of ways to make money with email marketing. Most business owners see the value in sending regular communication via email to their clients, however, they don’t have the time or know-how to actually implement the campaigns. This usually results in the client sending messages too frequently, infrequently or not at all. Handing over the responsibility of the content creation (with the assistance of a copy writer if necessary) and the sending of the email campaigns can be scary for any business owner, however, earning their trust in this department can mean a healthy stream of monthly income and a client for life.
A web solution is more than just a website. From design and calls to action to development, hosting and maintenance, a web solution is a comprehensive marketing machine that needs fine tuning on a regular basis. With help from a local, trusted vendor, (that would be you!) business owners can get back to doing what they are experts at and leave the “web stuff” to you. In our next article, we’ll look at how you integrate web solutions into your existing print shop and start selling solutions to your existing client base.