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Learning From the Past, Looking Toward the Future

Last year, we talked about several ways that you can use your website to generate leads and increase revenue. If you’re still waiting to put some of those ideas into action, now’s the time to take the first step.

One Minuteman storeowner in Galveston, Texas, has had to be very proactive over the past few years—when her shop was hit by Hurricane Ike in September 2008, she had to use every tool in her marketing arsenal to keep her shop afloat. I want to give kudos to Gail Peterson and congratulate her on an amazing job of overcoming obstacles. If you aren’t familiar with her story, here’s a quick look at what she’s dealt with over the past few years.

In the fall of 2008, Hurricane Ike pounced on the tiny city of Galveston, including Gail’s store. She ended up with over a foot of water in her shop. Gail and her staff worked tirelessly to get their shop up and running again. Now that they’re back on their feet, Gail’s focus has been on updating her website and using it to position her shop as the go-to printer in Galveston.

One of the things that Gail has learned along the way is, Galveston is a hot spot for conferences and tradeshows. Instead of businesses lugging their marketing materials along with them to these conferences and shows, they send projects ahead of time for Gail’s shop to print. They then have their materials delivered to them at the conference or show, saving them money and the hassle of having to transport their materials from a distance.

When Gail recognized this trend, she added information about it on her website. She created a new section specifically dedicated to conferences and events, plus she added links to other websites that businesses might find helpful when preparing for an event. This new addition to her site helped with SEO and it added value for her.

To connect better with her community and her local customers, Gail renamed the news section on her website where she highlights tourism, restaurants and other events in the Galveston area. She also posted a video, which features nearly 400 Galveston residents celebrating the remarkable progress the community has made since Hurricane Ike.

In addition to the video, she added a link to her Facebook page, she personalized her Staff page, added links to a local photographer’s site, and she implemented Customer Portals, which helped her land two big clients.

Talk about a quick turnaround. A big high-five to Gail and her staff for their hard work and dedication.

You may not be recovering from a hurricane or other natural disaster, but chances are you’ve had to face other obstacles and difficulties in the past few years. Nearly every business owner has had to weather the economic storm that hit the country a few years ago.

But now’s the time to decide—are you going to let those obstacles stand in your way of a successful 2011, or are you going to take control and move forward into one of your best years yet?

Your website is a critical marketing tool and if you use it effectively, it can change your business in the coming year. But remember this—your site is a work in progress. It will never be finished. It should be constantly evolving and changing to meet the needs of your customers. However, you don’t have to spend hours on end working to perfect it. You can spend just 20 minutes, here and there, to keep it fresh and updated—that can make a world of difference for your business’ bottom line.

Start your own success story of 2011 by taking the time to update your website. This will help you rise to the top in search rankings, position you as the go-to printer in your community and give your site the vitality it needs to engage with your online visitors.

If you’re looking for a place to start, join me in my Recess webinar, where you can work on your site and ask questions along the way if you get stumped. It’s the perfect hands-on learning opportunity you’ve been looking for.

Of course, I’m always here to help, so feel free to contact me at any time. Best of luck in 2011!