Engaging Your Customer on Your Local Web site

Chris Linnett has a nice post at Search Engine Land, The Future Of Rich Media On Local Sites. In this article, he goes over the pros/cons of adding various types of media on local business sites.

“Yet despite the popularity of rich media elsewhere on the Internet, the use of photos and videos on local sites is in its infancy….But as a group, local sites have not yet harnessed media to full effect, making it a fascinating category in which to be engaged, and one with many opportunities”

Chris is definitely correct about sites “not the harnessing media on local sites”.  One of the things I do, is help design web sites for local businesses. I continually remind folks that in addition to having a search engine friendly, easy to navigate, quality content web site, they need to engage their visitors with some form of media.

Chris goes over 3 types: video, audio, photos.  I will let you read his pro/cons. Here is my take on each of these 3 media types.

Videos: I think these add a nice touch to any website. They don’t have to be huge, but not many sites have videos so you definitely will catch their attention. Also I think the video should be hosted on the web site itself vs being at YouTube.

Audio: I have not used audio much. I have been playing around with the idea of podcasts etc. but I don’t hink audio has the same effect as that of pictures. Most time, I turn off the sound on my speakers when I surf.

Photos: I consider photos a MUST HAVE. People want to see what you look like, what your storefront looks like., what you are selling.  Recently I found out that one of my local business clients was getting more traffic from folks searching Google images than from the normal web search. Hey, however they get to the web site, is fine by me, as long as they get there.

So if you have not already, look to see where you can add video or more photos to your web site. If done properly, they can help engage your audience; make them stay on the web site, show them who you are, and what you do.

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