Is a Web site the missing link in your communications strategy? There’s no question that people have started setting aside their local yellow pages and began opting for a more efficient way to gain information. Often times, small business owners have wrong perceptions about how utilizing the Internet can help their business. These perceptions can include:
- Web sites are expensive and don’t provide a reasonable return on investment.
- I’m a local business, so there’s no reason to have a Web site.
- My business has nothing to do with computers or the Internet, so there’s no reason for me to have a Web site.
- Nobody on my staff has the skills or time to update a Web site, so why bother?
In today’s marketplace, having an Internet presence should be one of the top items in your marketing communications strategy. Here’s why: Web sites don’t get tired, need brakes, or even sleep! They are the iron horse employees that promote your business around the clock. This not only allows you to literally sell your products, but also deliver critical information to prospects when they need it.
Approximately half of your customers are going to find you online through search engines or online yellow pages and business directories. As your Web site continues to develop and gain readership, the potential for search engines to bring up your URL address will increase. Don’t miss out on this free advertising; create a Web site that provides prospects with more information about your company.
Web sites not only serve as a resource to customers, but to also key stakeholders such as suppliers, partners and promoters. Web sites are a versatile marketing tool and can act as a great device for opening new communication and networking outlets.
Having dynamic content is a must, especially for companies who have a lot of returning visitors to their site. If you think your business isn’t large enough to keep updating your Web site, think again. There are many ways to keep content fresh. For example, on your home page you can change out special offers or promotions. You can also post company updates such as new employees or upcoming products and services. The more you update your Web site, the more visitors will return.
If you think you don’t have the skills to make simple updates to your Web site, think again. Many times, professionally designed Web sites are programmed so that authorized personnel can make minor changes to pages such as adding a picture or updating copy. With content management systems, making these updates to your site can be as simple as using a word processing application such as Microsoft Word. So when having a professional Web site developed, make sure you ask for a CMS application.
Remember your business is never too small to have a Web site. Taking the initial steps into making your business a digital player can sometimes be overwhelming. However, with the proper help and planning, a professional Web site can create that crucial separation between your business and that of your competition and ultimately helping you achieve bottom line results.