Does my business need a web site?
Personally, I think that every business can benefit from a web site. Depending on your business, the web site that benefits your company could be a relatively simple, informational site, or it could be a huge, full e-commerce site. Just off the top of my head, here are the reasons for your business to have a web presence.
- With search engines, customers from all over the world, or just a few towns over, can find your business. By focusing on search engine optimization, people who are looking for products you are selling can find you through popular search engines like Google.
- Customers that already know about your business can find out more information. Most formats don’t provide enough room to highlight all of your products and services. With a web site, any amount of information can be provided, including complete lists of products, services, and examples of work completed.
- A web site is much less expensive than other forms of advertising, such as television, radio, or regular newspaper ads. If you are already advertising in other mediums, add up what your business spends in a year and compare it against the cost of having a web site for a year. The difference is stunning.
- Professional email addresses leave a big impression. If you are currently using a personal email address for your business, you are missing a chance to increase your brand image with a professional email address.
- A web site can answer your customer’s frequent questions for you. How many times a day do you answer phone calls about hours of operation or products you sell? With a web site, many of your customers will find out this information online, leaving you free to answer the really tough questions.
- Web sites provides instant validity. Customers want to know that they are working with a legitimate business. A professional web site can provide confidence to your customers, especially if your business does not have a storefront.
- You will have more ways to interact with your customers. Information can be posted to the site, delivered to your customer’s email inbox, or fed to them via an RSS feed.
- You can sell your products or services online Many businesses now operate exclusively online. If you sell products that can easily be shipped, you are a good candidate for an online storefront.
- Customers are more likely to buy from a business, even if they don’t sell products online. Just because you have a web site, doesn’t mean you have to sell on it. Customers who can find out information about your products from your web site are more likely to buy from you than someone else, even if they offer the same product at the same price.
- You can survey your customers. Setting up surveys online can be a great way to get information from current or prospective customers, allowing you to better serve them.
- The Internet is always on. Virtually everyone has access to the Internet, either in their home or at their local library. When your customers are looking for information, your web site can be there to give it to them.
- You can gain an advantage on your competitor. If your competitor does not have a web presence, having one provides an advantage to your business. If your competitor does have a web presence and you don’t, your competitor already has an advantage over you.
- A web site doesn’t have to just be about direct advertising. News update can provide information about changes in your companies industry, provide insight, and talk about internal company affairs. They can also be used to attract high quality employees.