When it comes to advertising your product or service, who is the better salesperson, a) someone employed with your company or b) your customers?

You might think I’m asking a trick question, but it’s really not. Obviously, your website will have all the specs and details about what you sell so that your customers have all the information they need to make a purchase.

Maybe a better question to ask is: who is more able to push that indecisive customer over the line to make a purchase? That’s where the customers come in.

Online buyers are increasingly looking to review sites (or sites with reviews built in like Amazon.com) to see what other people are saying about a product or service.

But not only products and services are being reviewed. Businesses themselves are being put under the magnifying glass when consumers are interested in making a purchase. Websites like the Better Business Bureau (www.BBB.org/us), AngiesList.com, and BizRate.com are just some of the business rating sites that are out there.

Ok, so now you have your web presence established. Your blog is in place, polished, and ready to convert inbound traffic to paying customers. Your business is now in the “YES” group referred to in Part One of this two part post – links are pointing to your site from multiple platforms such as your Facebook fan page, your YouTube channel, your Twitter bio and message stream, and articles have been posted to directories. People are enjoying what you are sharing, blog posts and/or videos may have gone viral, and the traffic is about to pour in. So the million dollar question is:

What are you going to do with the flood of traffic now that you have grabbed their attention!?

You really don’t want this traffic just to go frivolously to any page of your website. It’s important to have a “landing” page that expects them – that welcomes them. Not as a cold commodity, or corralled through like cattle. These are people – still looking for valuable information from you.

Do you know how many people are searching online for the service or product that your business provides? Are you going to be found among the search engine results? What many businesses do not know is that there is money being left on the table when it comes to potential customers looking for their service or product(s).

While it is true that traditional marketing is still alive and kicking for now (newspaper and other printed media, television, radio, etc…), internet marketing is quickly on the rise. And with more and more people “googling” for something that they’re searching for, the minority will soon be those that go to the yellow pages and other printed directories.

So the question is, does Google, Yahoo, Bing, and the many other online business directories that are out there know that your business exists? Will you be found when they come looking for you through the various portals that are on the web?

Generally, there are three answers to these questions.