Does my business need a website?
Written on the 18 April 2014 by Kellie Williams
Not too long ago your business almost didn’t exist if it wasn’t in the phone book. However, in 2012 more people are skipping the yellow pages and using their fingers to do the walking on a keyboard or smart phone. Some studies claim that up to 85% of people prefer to use a search engine to find what they’re looking for. And since Australia is one of the leading internet using countries in the world it follows that most of your customers, or potential customers, are looking online for products and services.Even if you don’t intend to sell or conduct business online, the web can still be a very valuable marketing source.
Can customers find you?
A website alone will rarely attract new customers - people need to know about it first! But remember, new customers are looking for a product or service, not a particular business. If you are not there, they will find someone else. This is where key words and meta tags can be essential. You also need to integrate your website address into all your marketing activities. An easy to say, easy to remember address can be much more effective than a phone number.
Are you open?
Since we can surf the web anytime, your business can potentially be open 24/7. You don’t have to answer the phone or open the doors for customers to find out important information, or even make a purchase, in the case of online shopping carts. And having helpful information on your website can save you time explaining products or services, so you can focus phone calls on selling, rather than answering questions. Do make sure your contact information is kept up-to-date because many people still like to talk to a ‘real person’.
Keep up with the Jones’
You might not think you need a website but not having one gives your competitor (who has a great website) the edge. Having the biggest and most expensive website doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be more successful, but having a website that is a poor cousin to your competitor, or none at all, may harm your business. It’s better to have a simple, good looking and easy-to-navigate site that appears ahead of your competitor in search engines than a fancy one that’s ignored because it’s on page two of a Google search.
How big are you?
A professionally presented small company’s website can often make them look as good as the ‘big boys’. You can potentially attract customers who would normally have gone with a much larger company. You can make your business visable and inviting to a wider customer base, but always keep your target market in mind. It’s still important because you don’t want to waste time with enquiries from clients you aren’t able or willing to service.
Do I still need the Yellow Pages?Marketing in other forms such as print, radio or TV are still important, but advertising can potentially be reduced (not eliminated) with the addition of a website for your business. All your marketing efforts can and should work together to increase the number of customers who know you exist. Because if they don’t know, they just won’t look.
Author: Kellie Williams
About: Kellie studied Commercial Art over 20 years ago at James Cook University and has been working in the Printing and Media industries ever since. She has worked for screenprinters, printing companies and newspapers in North Queensland and now runs her own business, Jasper Design, which has Qld and interstate clients.Connect via: Twitter LinkedIn