Use Your Website to Create a Learning Environment

By Kathy Maxwell posted 07-01-2014 16:54

We've all clicked on a website link that takes us to a one-page, bare-bones company site that contains little more than name, address and phone number. What a shame! Sometimes we get something you might describe as a "brochure" site that was probably designed to look a lot like the company brochure. It might be informative if you are just trying to find the company contact info, or a general idea if this company provides the services or product you need.
     Instead, how about thinking of your website as a chance to educate and inform, advocate and champion, or promote and showcase? Years ago, my husband and I were interested in selling handmade toys and games online. As a former teacher, I just couldn't help thinking of how we could turn this into an educational forum. Besides the opportunity to share knowledge, it was also a way to increase the visibility of our site and maybe up our standings on the search engines.
     We didn't launch our online store, but I know that others have embraced this idea. I visited lots of piano technician sites and it is so great to see the extra pages and links that include content like piano care and buying tips, explanations of how different services can improve your piano's sound, videos, images and even reading lists. Links may take you to a list of local music teachers, event calendars, and, of course, the Piano Technicians Guild. Some have blogs that are not only informative, but also add a personal touch.
     Don't forget social media, too! Connect your site with your Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, and any other ways you can quickly communicate with current and potential customers. One of my Facebook friends posts pictures of any unique piano he might be working on in real-time. Even better, if the venue has an upcoming event, he'll also give them a little plug.
     It's not enough to have a website in this day and age. You've got to catch people's attention, keep them coming back for more, and get them involved with you through interaction and sharing.