Effective websites are the 21st century equivalent to glossy brochures and booklets in the 90’s, but just having a URL does not mean you are harnessing the true strength of the Internet for your business.
Does your website…
- Develop a database of prospective and current customers?
- Build your credibility?
- Cultivate relationships?
- Generate sales leads?
Different businesses and markets make different uses of the Internet. Will customers place orders online, or check a calendar of events? Establish what your customers want to find online, and then load your site with precisely that sort of information and features. The other “expected” elements of the site should orbit around the promotional function of the site. Only the overall branding theme is more important than the user-targeted content and features.
Like an expensive race car sitting in a garage, a website is only as effective as the traffic that hits it regularly. You gauge the mileage on your vehicle and check your long distance phone bills, and similarly you must keep a regular survey of your site traffic.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one way to drive traffic to your site, but it can be costly, and the calculations and formulas for SEO change constantly. Offline marketing confirms the existence and validity of your business in the minds of people who may have seen your online promotions, and sends people to your site who might not have seen your online marketing yet.
Key factors for a website that promotes your business are…
- Design and content of the site.
- Driving traffic to the site.
- Getting visitors to take action.
In competition among large and small companies, the Internet is a great equalizer. Your business may not be able to compete with the broadcast advertising budget of a well-established corporation, but investing a reasonable amount in the professional design and implementation of a website and supporting promotions can cause your online image to appear competitive.