Google says that 97% of product and service purchases are being made with an internet search involved! Usually, the worst reason to do something is “because everyone else is doing it.” If you believe Google—not always right but the biggest search engine out there—this is not the case when you are trying to sell your product or service. If you are not advertising where your competition is, you’ll find yourself left out.
In the old days, when your customers were looking for a product or service, their first choice would be to pull out a phone book and search for a store or company in their area that provided the product or service they needed. They would call or go visit those stores to view the product first hand.
With the internet today, that same customer can go to a search engine like Google or Yahoo or Bing and be presented with a list of businesses that fit their needs, with links to their web pages. Those web pages are loaded with product pictures, descriptions, instructions, price lists, maps and phone numbers, and even online shopping which allows the customer to order products and services all without ever leaving their house or office.
Perhaps you have a “service” oriented practice such as medical, consulting, legal etc. that’s already doing well and you’re wondering why you should incur the added expense and effort of a website. The answer is pretty straight forward—even if your best business comes by word-of-mouth, having a Web Presence is very important to let your potential customers check you out. A well-designed, professional website will give you added visibility and credibility. The cost of a website is probably the most cost effective advertising you’ll ever do. A small 3” X 3” ad in the local newspaper or the phone book can cost hundreds of dollars per month while a 15-20 page website will cost you a lot less and have significantly more “Reach” if you build it correctly.
With nearly everyone having access to a computer, today, the internet is one of the first places buyers go to get information. Whether it’s information on products, services, travel, news, etc, the internet is the place your customers look to for information.
So don’t wait any longer—if you do not have a website— build one. If you do have a website, make sure it is up-to-date with all the current search engine standards. The “rule of thumb”, if you built your website 24 months or longer ago, chance are your website needs an overhaul to meet today’s search engine standards.
In both cases, get help building your new or renovated website from a reputable company that is in the Web Presence business for the long haul. The “key” to an effective website is to have it built with all the critical components included in the website and it needs to tell your businesses story in a very professional manner. Companies that build website every day, know how to do this best and most cost effectively.
Online Marketing is becoming increasingly important to small business success and getting more and more complicated. You should look for a reputable company that will not only help you build a website but also can help you stay abreast of changes on the internet. The end goal should be to find a “partner” (kind of like your accountant on the finances) who can help you build a Web Presence System to maximize your bottom line into the future.