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posted: 10/30/2017 5:00 AM

Your website is on the clock

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  • Jim Kendall

    Jim Kendall

 
 

Media reports indicate that Time Inc. will reduce the circulation of its flagship newsweekly, Time magazine, to 2 million copies per issue. That's still a bunch of magazines, but the new circulation is one-third less than a year ago.

Print frequencies of Fortune, Sports Illustrated and several other Time Inc. publications apparently will be reduced.

Time certainly isn't the only business worried about matching costs and income in today's digital world, perhaps making this a good place to acknowledge that the impact of Time Inc. decisions will vary with age: Those who grew up reading Time magazine will be more concerned than most 30-somethings.

What matters is what those eyeballs that were reading magazines and newspapers are reading today. A great many of them apparently wind up on websites. That's good for small businesses with good sites.

What's not so good is the generally accepted wisdom that website visitors tend to stay for just seven seconds, barely enough time for the site to present your product or service.

Today's assignment, then, is to figure out ways that better connect people to your business' website. Here are some suggestions:

• Establish your brand -- or, as our professors once said, "Get your name out there!" The more people know about you or your business, the more likely they are to pay attention when they discover your website.

How they will make that discovery is up to you. Shake hands, pass out business cards and hone that 15-second elevator speech.

• Advertise -- on the web, in print. Develop catchy headlines that customers and prospects just can't resist. Make certain your web address is in bold print with an offer attached: Get the details at (your site). Free delivery starts at (your site).

Hire a copywriter if necessary.

• Get active on social media. Bring a social media pro on board to help you match sites and customers -- and create a regular schedule of postings.

• Post on LinkedIn. LI members often respond to well-crafted posts -- which could include interviews with industry leaders or your comments on industry trends.

• Write a blog. Blogs take time to build an audience. Part of that time will be spent coming up with a reliably steady blog schedule; weekly is likely most manageable.

Once you get visitors to your website, you have those seven seconds to get your message across. That means your logo must carry part of the this-is-what-we're-about burden. A slogan -- the best pizza in Peoria -- will help.

• Video will help carry part of the day, extending the typical seven-second stay a bit longer. (Video also will help with search engine rankings.)

• Make it quickly obvious what the site visitor is expected to do. Look at your list of services and mark those that fit the visitor's needs? Look at whatever you're selling and order? Fill out a contact form that will bring your personal attention?

The opportunity is there. Take advantage.

© 2017 Kendall Communications Inc. Follow Jim Kendall on LinkedIn and Twitter. Write him at Jim@kendallcom.com. Read Jim's Business Owners' Blog at www.kendallcom.com.