20 Reasons Why You Need a Website

Website MarketingSooner or later, someone is going to type your name or business into a search engine.  What do you want them to find?  Nothing, or worse yet, your competition!  These are people who want to find you. They are looking for what you are selling, and if you don’t have a website then you’re letting them down – they expect to find you online!  For many people, you might as well not exist if you can’t be found with a search engine.  Not having a website is like not bothering to get listed in the phone book.  Can you run your business without a phone?  In this “Information Age” we live in, being online is vital.

1. To Establish A Presence

Approximately 1,596,270,108 (March, 2009) people worldwide have access to the World Wide Web (WWW).  No matter what your business is, you can’t ignore 1,596,270,108 people.  To be a part of that community and show that you are interested in serving them, you need to be on the WWW for them.

2. To Network

A lot of what passes for business is simply nothing more than making connections with other people.  Every smart business person knows, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.  Passing out your business card is part of every good meeting and every business person can tell more than one story how a chance meeting turned into the big deal.  Well, what if you could pass out your business card to thousands, maybe millions of potential clients and partners, saying this is what I do and if you are ever in need of my services, this is how you can reach me.  You can, 24 hours a day, inexpensively and simply, on the WWW.

3. To Make Business Information Available

What is basic business information?  Think of a Yellow Pages ad:  What are your hours? What do you do? How can someone contact you?  What methods of payment do you take?  Where are you located at?  Now think of a Yellow Pages ad where you have instant communication.  What is today’s special? Today’s interest rate?  Next week’s parking lot sale information?  If you could keep your customer informed of every reason why they should do business with you, don’t you think you could do more business?  You can on the WWW.

4. To Serve Your Customers

Making business information available is one of the most important ways to serve your customers.  But if you look at serving the customer, you’ll find even more ways to use WWW technology.  How about making forms available for online appointment bookings, or have your staff do a search for a particular product your customer is looking for, without tying up your staff on the phone to take down the information?  Allow your customer to punch in sizes and check it against a database that tells him/her what color of jacket or blouse is available in your store?  What about surveys:  give your clients a way to give you feed back in order to service them better.  All this can be done, simply and quickly, on the WWW.

5. To Heighten Public Interest

You won’t get Newsweek magazine to write up your local store opening, but you might get them to write up your Web Page address if it is something new and interesting.  Even if Newsweek would write about your local store opening, you wouldn’t benefit from someone in a distant city reading about it, unless of course, they were coming to your town sometime soon.  Many businesses have gotten media attention because their local newspapers and magazines found their website and felt the need to write about the wonderful products or services that are available to their local market.  With Web page information, anybody anywhere who can access the Web and hears about you is a potential visitor to your Web site and a potential customer for your information there.

6. To Release Time Sensitive Materials

Now the information can be made available at midnight or any time you specify, with all related materials such as photographs, bios, etc. released at exactly the same time.  Imagine the anticipation of “All materials will be made available on our Website at 12:01 AM”.  The scoop goes to those that wait for the information to be posted, not the one who releases your information early.

7. To Sell Things

You probably consider the telephone a tool that allows you to communicate with your customer, which in turn helps you sell things. Well, that’s how we think you should consider the WWW.  The technology is different, of course, but before people decide to become customers, they want to know about you, what you do and what you can do for them.  Which you can do easily and inexpensively on the WWW!  Then you have a better chance to turn them into customers.

8. To Make Pictures, Sound and Film Files Available

What if your product or service is great, but people would really love it if they could see it in action?  The album is great but with no airplay, nobody knows that it sounds great?  A picture is worth a thousand words, but you don’t have the space for a thousand words?  The WWW allows you to add sound, pictures and short movie files to your company’s info if that will serve your potential customers.  No brochure will do that!

9. To Reach a Highly Desirable Demographic Market

The demographic of the WWW user is probably the highest mass-market demographic available.  Usually college-educated or being college educated, making a high salary or soon to make a high salary, it’s no wonder that Wired magazine, the magazine of choice to the Internet community, has no problem getting Lexus and other high-end marketers advertising.  Even with the addition of the commercial on-line community, the demographic will remain high for many years to come.

10. To Answer Frequently Asked questions

Who ever answers the phones in your organization can tell you, their time is usually spent answering the same questions over and over again.  These are the questions customers and potential customers want to know the answer to before they deal with you.  Post them on a WWW page and you will have removed another barrier to doing business with you and freed up some time for that harried phone operator.

11. To Stay In Contact With Salespeople

If your employees on the road or in-house they may need up-to-the-minute information that will help them make the sale or pull together the deal.  If you know what that information is, you can keep it posted in complete privacy on the WWW by using a password protected page specifically for this information.   A quick local phone call can keep your staff supplied with the most detailed information, without long distance phone bills and tying up the staff at the home office.

12. To Open International Markets

You may not be able to make sense of the mail, phone and regulation systems in all your potential international markets, but with a webpage, you can open up a dialogue with international markets as easily as with the company across the street.  As a matter-of-fact, before you go onto the Web, you should decide how you want to handle the international business that may come your way, because your postings are certain to bring international opportunities your way, whether it is part of your plan or not.  Another added benefit; if your company has offices overseas, they can access the home offices information for the price of a local phone call.

13. To Create a 24 Hour Service

We’re not all on the same schedule.  Business is worldwide, but your office hours are not.  Just because your business is closed for the day or the weekend or on holidays, does not mean that people are not up and looking for what they want.   Web pages serve the client, customer and partner with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  No overtime employee either!  It can customize information to match needs and collect important information that will put you ahead of the competition, even before they get into the office.

14. To Make Changing Information Available Quickly

Sometimes, information changes before it gets off the press.  Now you have a pile of expensive, worthless paper.  Electronic publishing changes with your needs.  No paper, no ink, no printer’s bill.  You can even attach your web page to a database which customizes the page’s output to a database you can change as many times in a day as you need.  No printed piece can match that flexibility.

15. To Allow Feedback From Customers

You pass out the brochure, the catalog, the booklet, but it doesn’t work.  No sales, no calls, no leads.  What went wrong?  Wrong color, wrong price, or  wrong market?  Keep testing, the marketing books say, and you’ll eventually find out what went wrong.  That’s great for the big boys with deep pockets, but who is paying the bills?  You are and you don’t have the time or the money to wait for the answer.  With a Web page, you can ask for feedback and get it instantaneously with no extra cost.  An instant email response can be built into Web pages and can get the answer while it is fresh in your customer’s mind, without the cost and lack of response of business reply mail.

16. To Test Market New Services and Products

Tied into the reason above, we all know the cost of rolling out a new product.  Advertising, advertising, advertising!    Expensive, expensive, expensive!  Once you have been on the Web and know what to expect from those who are seeing your page, they are the least expensive market for you to reach.  They will also let you know what they think of your product faster, easier and much less expensively than any other market you may reach.  For the cost of a page or two of Web programming, you can have a crystal ball into where to position your product or service in the marketplace.  Amazing!

17. To Reach the Media

Every business needs the exposure that the media can bring.  On-line press kits are becoming more and more common, since they work with the digital environment of more and more press rooms.  Digital images can be put in place without the stripping and shooting of the old press rooms and digital text can be edited and outputted on tight deadlines.  All of these can be made available on a webpage.

18. To Reach the Education and Youth Market

If your market is education, consider that most universities already offer Internet access to their students and most K-12’s will be on the Internet within the next few years.  Books, athletic shoes, study courses, youth fashion and anything else that would want to reach these overlapping markets needs to be on the Web.  Even with the coming of the commercial on-line services and their somewhat older populations there will be nothing but growth in the percentage of the under 25 market that will be on-line.

19. To Reach the Specialized Market

You may think that the Internet is not a good place to be selling your products since you already sell them in your place of business. Well, think again.  The Internet isn’t just computer science students anymore.  With the 1,596,270,108 and growing users of the WWW, even the most narrowly defined interest group will be represented in large numbers.  Since the Web has several very good search programs (Google, Yahoo and Bing, for example), your interest group will be able to find you on your very own website.

20. To Serve Your Local Market

We have talked about the power to serve the world with a Web page.  How about your neighborhood?  If you are located in Charlotte NC, Chicago, IL area, the Tampa FL area, Los Angeles to New York or anywhere in between there is definitely enough local customers with Web access to make it worth your while to consider Web marketing. But no matter where you are, if the consumer has Web access, you should be there too.  Even if your intention is to only market locally, you must always remember the “Six Degrees of Separation” Rule.  People know people and because of that your radius of marketing becomes much larger.

And one last little bit of information.  When you are ready to set up your business website, it is wise to consider using a format that allows for comments and even daily posts, such as a blog.  This will give you a better advantage over your competition who is only using a basic and standard website that never seems to change.  Google and other search engines value content and the more your site is active, the more it will rank…just thought you would like to know.

If you have any questions or need help to get started, just CONTACT us, we are happy to help you.

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