Hello FirstName. Our local paper, the Leicester Mercury, reports 1 in 7 shops in the city now stand vacant. So with the recession biting, are our High Streets going to be turned into ghost towns? And what about the impact on other businesses? This month's Newsletter looks at ways you can recession proof your business ... 
 FirstName,welcome to The Studio Monthly, May 2009
How To Recession Proof Your Business

According to that report from the Leicester Mercury that 1 in 7 ratio means that 104 out of 708 shops now stand empty. These shocking facts really hit home how deep this recession is, especially as what is happening to Leicester will be being repeated across the UK.

So, despite the risk of appearing repetitive, we feel it's vitally important that we re-enforce the benefits of the  essential elements of online marketing that may well be the difference between your business thriving or failing during this recession. So instead of being negative let's be positive and examine just what you can do to recession proof your business and how Studio 2 Online can help you.

Everything must give you a return on your investment

Whether you have a website, sell online using ecommerce, use search engine optimisation to promote your website, or use email to find new customers and retain existing one's, it's all in vain if you do not get a return on your investment. So first and foremost you need to take stock of what your online marketing currently does for you. Then you need to consider the four main areas where you can use online marketing to increase your enquiries and sales.

1. Your website

If you already have a website just how effective is it? How many enquiries and/or sales does it generate? How quickly will you get a return on the investment you made in getting online? If you don't have a website how much business could you be losing to competitors? STOP!

To be effective a website needs to be easy to use, engage your visitors, provide the solutions to their needs and have a clear call to action. Hang on a minute, we're web designers, so why haven't we mentioned top quality design? Yes, of course, web design is vital, but the design and look of your website must be focussed on making it a successful business tool, not just something pretty to look at.

2. Selling online

Just recently we have taken several enquiries from manufacturers who, to combat falling orders, have made the bold step to sell their products direct online. Are you in a similar position? Ecommerce is proven as a way to boost your sales even during a recession. The Federation of Small Businesses recently reported that online sales have risen by nearly 20%, and a further survey from eBay shows 64% of businesses selling online are confident enough to expand their onlione trading this year.  

If you haven't explored the opportunities of ecommerce now is the time to do so. If you already sell online, now is the time to check that your website is keeping up with the latest online shopping trends. For example, the use of wish lists and running multiple stores from a single eCommerce system.

Check out our eCommerce demo website to get a taste of what your online store should offer.

3. Finding your website on the Internet

Remember the story of 'The Emperor's New Clothes'? No matter how good your product or service is, no matter how fabulous your website looks, if people searching for your goods or services on the Internet can't find your website, everything else is just vanity. If people can't see you online, they won't make an enquiry or buy from you.  We've used these facts before, but they are worth repeating:

  • 72% of people using Google search only choose from the first page of results
  • Of them, 42% will choose one of the top 2 listings
  • Only 8% will bother to look beyond the second page

Clearly, to attract new enquiries and sales you need to be on the 1st page of search engines such as Google. A search engine optimisation campaign will give you the results you need. Find out more about search engine optimisation here.

4. Cut your costs, double your return

Email is a proven way to cut your costs whilst increasing your enquiries. The Direct Marketing Association reckon that on average email gives 150% better return on your investment compared to non email marketing. In bald figures, they estimate that email will give back just under 20 for every 1 spent compared to just over 9 for every 1 spent for non email marketing. That's double the return. As marketing guru Raj Khera puts it, "Putting money into email during a recession is a great opportunity for smart businesses who know how to capitalise on an opportunity to do really well."

So What?

The lesson this recession is teaching us all is that we can't afford to ignore or be complacent about the power of being online. Although we can't avoid the recession, more than any other medium, the Internet gives us the power to control just how much of an impact the recession will have on our businesses.

How we can help

We are specialists in using all four areas of online marketing to grow your business. So why not contact us now.
To make an enquiry contact us here, or ring us on 0845 6187342.


More website design tips... Quote of the month...
User sitemaps are great for creating links to key pages within your website. Here are some tips:
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 Google prefers less than 100 links, so restrict yourself to 100 or less links in your sitemap.
 Keep your sitemap up to date. If you add or delete website pages amend your sitema