A seminar in Pratt focused on marketing advantages available to customers of The Pratt Tribune and GateHouse Media associates.

The facts are there for anyone to see. A successful business more and more depends on a successful website. A website becomes a critical link between customers and the business. There are 1.3 billion Internet searches everyday and half of those searches are on hand held devices. Bob Musilek, Gatehouse Media Midwest Region digital director and Kristine McKeown, digital solutions manager for the Hutchinson News, came to Pratt recently to share information with area business leaders on the importance of a digital presence. They were assisted by Kim Smith, Multi-media Sales Executive for the Pratt Tribune, who coordinated the meeting held at the Pratt Chamber of Commerce Office for local business owners.
Musilek told those in attendance that developing a website for a business has become essential for survival. It is more common for a business to have websites than not. Consumers tend to get turned off by companies that don’t have a web presence, he said.
“A website helps with company brand development,” Musilek said. “The brand makes a business more recognizable from other businesses, it becomes the personality that customers know and trust and it stays alive in the mind of customers.”
The website provides a place to land for digital marketing and allows the company to get the information they want out to the customer, Musilek said.
Having a website is essential for business success, but setting up the website properly is also just as important, McKeown said.
“It is a proven fact that most people click on the top story of a website instead of scrolling through more than 4,000 options,” McKeown said.
Smith said that getting testimonials on websites were also attractive to pop-in visitors.
Musilek said a good way to manage business websites was by using the tool, Google My business.
“Google My business has its own analytics that provides valuable information to businesses,”he said.
Google My Business listings are available for a variety of business types: Physical locations where customers must visit in person to make a purchase; mobile businesses where the business travels directly to the client; individual practitioners such as doctors, lawyers or accountants; service area businesses for brands that travel directly to their customers rather than conduction business in-store as long as staff is available at the physical location during the listed hours of operation.
Musilek said businesses should spend from 30 to 60 minutes a month putting new material on their website to keep them current and updated. Also, a site needs a couple of conversion points at the top of the site to reduce scrolling and bounce.
Every search on Google has been recorded and with 1.3 billion searches on the Internet everyday, Google My Business analytics can help the business owner discover where customers are searching, Musilek said.
Businesses can control what goes on their website. They can control what people see and how the business is perceived. It’s easy to see where visitors log in from, what they searched to get there and what time they searched. This helps reduce guess work on what people are looking for.
As part of a new digital advertising package with The Pratt Tribune, Smith is available to help any area business set up a Google My Business program.
“I can help people understand the data that will lead to better advertising and business success,” she said.
Smith can be reached at The Pratt Tribune by email at ksmith@pratttribune.com, or by phone 620-672-5511.
Another business success meeting will be planned in the future to further help others utilize the advantages of digital marketing.