The concept of the the search magnet.
There may be a business or organization, whether for-profit or non, that does not need to have a presence on the interweb. I can't think of one, but if there is, they can skip this post.
The fact is that most businesses will benefit from having an effective footprint on the net. As long as your customers - your audience - can find you. The most important concept to keep in mind when putting your web strategy together is that, location, location, location, is just as critical online as it is on mainstreet.
Remember the chase scene in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" when Butch says, "Who are those guys?" referring to the posse that's on his and The Kid's tails. One of those guys was called Lord Baltimore, an Indian scout known as the best tracker alive.
Lord Baltimore could find a hoof print on bare rock. But your potential customers probably can't. You - the local business owner - need to make yourself easy to find on the web.
Let's assume that you already have a website and - like your store or office or studio - you are pretty proud of the place. The site has a name you love too; hotzdogz.com. Awesome. That name - your URL - is your sign on the internet.
Now, If you stick your awesome sign up in the middle of the desert, miles from the nearest highway, how many people are going to see it? Why will potential customers come find you? How will they know you are even there?
Going back to movies, in the baseball themed film "Field of Dreams" Kevin Costner as Ray, builds a baseball diamond in the middle of a cornfield in Iowa. There are lots of cornfields in Iowa. But James Earl Jones assures 'ol Ray that "If you build it, they will come". They, being baseball fans in this case. Fade to a scene of car headlights, stretching for miles into the Iowa night, all leading to the big game, in the cornfield.
The only difference between Costner's Cornfield of Dreams and your Sign in the Dessert is a social network and a big search magnet.
A social network in Field of Dreams? Sure. Stay with me for a minute. First, Ray had Annie, his wife.
When Ray told Annie of his plan to build a baseball diamond in the corn, she may have thought him a little nuts, but she supported him. Member number one in Ray's social network.
One night, Ray runs into the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson, played by Ray Liotta. (I know it's crazy. Watch the movie!) They play catch and talk baseball. Shoeless Joe likes the field and says he'll tell his buddies. Next day a whole roster of baseball ghosts take the field and play a game. (The players are user generated content, like fan posts on your Facebook wall) Then came the James Earl Jones character, who bought into the idea, because he was a baseball fan and could see something in it for himself. Burt Lancaster's "Doc" followed, with his own motivation. All these people brought something to the field, whether it was talent, support, encouragement, passion, whatever. Pretty soon, Ray had headlights shining into the distance.
The Field of Dreams is the search magnet. Ray, Annie, James Earl, Doc, Shoeless Joe and all the ballplayers are part of the social network. The headlights are the traffic. That's Lord Baltimore in the front row.
Your website is the concession stand under the bleachers. And that's you selling the hotdogz.
If you put those together for your web presence, They Will Come.
It doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. We can help.