Social Networking Goes Pro

First Click Teaches How to Do Business on the Web

I, for one, didn’t make much of social networking sites at first, figuring they were just a college fad, where people could share pictures from drunken escapades that would otherwise go uncatalogued. Then my parents “friended” me.

Social networking sites have been booming lately, with all kinds of adults joining the fray rather than leaving it to the kids. Sites like Facebook and Twitter have become the new mediums of information exchange in the digital age, and their mass appeal has only begun to be fully exploited.

First Click SEO is a Santa Barbara company that specializes in “search engine optimization” (SEO) and helping businesses receive more online traffic, whether to their website or their new social network platform. On Tuesday, First Click held its first seminar.

“The kind of client you first want to go after is the search engine,” Jacques Habra, general manager of First Click, began. He explained how to manipulate the web so as to get noticed instead of remaining on the obscure tenth page of the search results. “If you’re ranked number one, you’ll get clicked more than 50 percent of the time…number two drops down to 13 percent.”

Habra continued his tutorial by explaining the significance of social networking sites and how to use them, focusing on Twitter and Facebook. “It’s really on-the-fly public relations,” he said, lauding the capacity they confer to “instantly respond and resolve” problems, questions, and other interactions between consumers and business owners.

After explaining, in depth, various ways to increase web traffic and become Google-relevant, Habra quickly acknowledged that “rankings and traffic are meaningless without conversions” –meaning that all of this becomes irrelevant if consumers don’t actually purchase an item or remember the brand. Luckily, information on the efficacy of one’s web presence is quite easy to access and understand, and Habra elucidated the process of discerning how valuable a new potential customer is to a website, while still focusing on the notion that “every visitor on your website should be converted in some way.”

While three hours didn’t seem nearly enough time to learn and absorb all of this information, First Click provided an information packet and a pen—physical, not virtual—to take notes with, so that it wouldn’t all be forgotten. “We’re going to be doing these at least every other month,” Jacques reassured his audience, as people began to ask questions about their individual businesses.

While website maintenance and social networking platforms might be regarded by some as an unnecessary trouble, they are reminiscent of email ten years ago; new, confusing, and undoubtedly here to stay.


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