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You have probably noticed that there’s this cool new thing called the Internet, great for sending Mum pictures of the grandkids and for buying concert tickets and whatnot – but are you aware that every time you fidget in your chair waiting for that damn page to download already you’re actually staring at the biggest marketing opportunity you’ve ever seen?
The costs for you to promote your floristry business online are remarkably small. You can get a lot out of it if you’re prepared to put in the work, and no, you don’t need to be a computer genius!
Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be publishing a crash course on online marketing for florists, starting with…
Online Marketing For Florists – Tip 1: Get a Website (That You Won’t Regret)
Yes – you need a website, it’s the HQ around which all of your other Internet marketing efforts will revolve, and it needs to conform to these basic rules:
It should be your business name
i.e. FlowersByJayne.com.au and if possible this should also include a keyword like “flowers”, “florists” or your suburb name (something people are likely to use in Google).
It should be an Australian domain name
By this I mean a “dot com dot au” – unless you are thinking of expanding a chain of floristry shops across the world that is!This is for two reasons:
- people will automatically look to this to check that you are an Australian shop
- Google will rank your website higher in Australian results. You might like to buy yours here (I only recommend this website because they are cheap & easy to use) www.domains4less.com.au
Don’t use a free or super-cheap build-your-own website option
The reasons why are multiple, but at the core it’s an issue of getting a website that looks good, is easy for you and your customers to use and can get found by the search engines. The free or very cheap website will be the website you’ll later regret.
Do pay a professional to build and design your website
When you enquire, ask for a website that comes with “on-site SEO” and a “CMS”.
On-site SEO means that your floristry website is technically set-up so that Google and the other search engines will be able to find it and show it in their results pages.
CMS stands for “content management system” and basically means that you will be able to edit the website content (words and pictures) and add or remove pages yourself. It should be a web-based CMS which means that you can log on and make changes to your site on any Internet-connected computer and it should be as easy to do as using Facebook. Without this, online marketing for florists becomes a difficult proposition!
There are many website developers to choose from, and my advice is this: if they are charging you anything less than $700 (at the very minimum) then your website is going to be horrible and you are going to regret it later, so spend a little now to avoid pain later.
Also make sure that they place your phone number, address and email in a highly visible spot on every single page – seems obvious, but seriously, they often won’t unless you ask.
Get Some Professional Photographs Done
Anything less won’t do.
Floristry is all about the visuals, if you have tacky, amateurish photos of your work then you are potentially losing customers. If you insist on doing it yourself then check out our tips on flower photography.
Get a Professional Logo by a Graphic Designer
Incorporate this logo in the top left-hand corner of your website, and have your website guy make this a link back to your home page. Ask your website designer to match the colours of your website with the colours in your logo.
Hire a Web Writer
I have often been surprised that while my website customers were happy to hire me to do the technical stuff and even to have a crack at their logo and website design, where my talents are questionable, but they were very often loath to spend a cent on copywriting.
Copywriting has nothing to do with legal issues (that’s “copyright”) but rather it simply means “the words”, and it is this geek’s humble opinion that you ignore this art at your peril.
A lot of small business people know everything there is to know about their businesses but are, frankly, not much cop when it comes to writing it down. This often results in confused and ineffective writing which all but renders the website useless, as in the end, it’s a communication tool.
A copywriter’s job is to write out the story of your business – who you are and what you have to offer your customers – in such a way that it convinces the discerning customer to give your humble flower store a go. A lot of people don’t like to read much, especially online, so your website will need to get to the point quickly and clearly. Unlike my long blog posts!
Fear Not Florists!
You may not feel very confident in this area of business but if you at least follow the tips above then you’re on the right track.
However – there’s no point having a nice website that just sits there. Good online marketing is about breathing life into your Internet presence which means you’ll need to feed the beast on a regular basis.
But fear not – Team Tesselaars will lead the way! See you next week when we discuss how to use blogging to promote your business and your personal brand.
Written by Seamus – Tesselaar’s website manager and marketing nerd.Lego Photo by Adactio
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