You found us and your potential customers can find you the same way! Since you are reading this, it tells me a few things that might be true about you.
1. You understand the powerful effect of
the internet and the opportunities it presents.
This short article should help you make a decision that can have a positive effect on your business.
Owning a business has its requirements. To say the least, a successful business involves goals, knowledge, long hours, an income source and effective marketing. How does all this relate to owning a company website? Everything.
Let's start with goals. If your business has a goal to produce a certain number of sales in a given month or increase efficiency, then hopefully you have a good plan to make that happen. How does a website fit in? Simple, it can be part of your plan. With a website, you automatically reach a global or national market, depending on how your website is targeted. By having a website, you bring in more potential clients by word of mouth referrals, search engine traffic and by other websites that link to your site. Increasing efficiency is explained throughout this article.
Knowledge is something that you started gaining before you opened your business doors. You researched areas just as you're researching us now. What do you think your customers will do before they buy from you? Without a website, you cannot offer people information that only research on-line, like many Americans already do.
Long hours are necessary only when they have to be. Would you rather tell every potential client about your business personally such as your hours of operation, directions, list and details of products or services, etc. or list it on the web for them to have it printed before their eyes? Even if you have printed brochures, they are expensive. Imagine reduced phone calls to your (or secretary's) office and increased efficiency as a direct result, the time and money adds up very quickly. There are endless options in ways that a website can work for you, including on-line reservation systems, a storefront or just well written information about your company.
Marketing is the source of all sales. Leads and sales can be derived from viral marketing, direct mail, yellow pages, handouts, the internet, etc. Whatever the case, by having a website, you increase your options drastically. Wouldn't you agree that about 50% or more of all internet content is based on sales or marketing? Think of all the advertisements you see, and more Americans connect every day. Over 109 million Americans access the internet. How big is your current market? Source: nielsen-netratings.com
A potential customer has interest in your products or services, but decided to use the internet to research similar products or information for your company. They couldn't find you, but they found other sites that offered the same thing. You know what just happened... When a customer knows about your company history and see things in writing, they begin to develop a relationship of trust with you.
Your company owns a website. Your website is underdeveloped and it doesn't look very professional. What image are you providing to your potential customers? Ask yourself that next time you visit a site like we're talking about...
A potential customer is trying to purchase a product or get more information about your company. The customer searches the internet for the product and your competitor offers information or direct purchases on-line and you don't! Did you just lose that sale and all recurrences from that customer? Yes, you probably did. Will you ever have another chance to get that customer to purchase from you? Probably not...
Search engines are the #1 traffic resource for most websites on the internet. Other popular resources include directory listings, paid or traded linking, banner advertisements, e-mail or newsletter marketing and internet press releases. There are also two types of internet traffic, and this is very important, targeted and untargeted visitors. It's just the same with traditional advertising. A company that sells dental tools should not advertise to construction workers. There is a wealthy source of targeted traffic on the internet and from other sources.
Direct mail or e-mail? 34 cents plus mailing and printed material costs - or nothing. You decide.
Has your company benefited from public relations? The press is also on the internet, both strong and bold. If you get noticed by the internet press, then you will get noticed by potential clients for free.
Since search engines are the most popular traffic source, it is our major focus in this discussion and in our promotion techniques. There are 2 ways to get search engine traffic to your site, paid and free advertising.
A new popular search engine marketing term is referred to as "paid inclusion". This type of advertising costs begin at about 5 to 10 cents per visitor with sites like Google.com and FindWhat.com when they send qualified visitors to your site. It normally works like this, but it depends on the particular search engine's policies: Let's say that you bid 8 cents per click, and xyz.com bids on 5 cents per click. Your ad is placed on top of xyz's ad and you are charged 1 cent more than xyz, and pay at a rate of 6 cents. It's an auction system for the most part, similar to Ebay.com.
Of course, free advertising is preferred and it should be our goal to achieve. You've probably heard plenty of times that search engines don't bring frequent visitors to websites because of the thousands of results that match search criteria. Think about it, how many sites are really relevant to the things that you search for? Try searching for a product or service in your area with your state or city. In most cases, we just narrowed the relevant search results down to probably 50 or less. By letting us optimize your pages for search engine traffic unlike so many websites out there, we now stand a chance of getting your site listed within the first few results. With search engine optimization services, we use various sets of rules that most sites don't use. Most other website designers are graphic artists and simply don't take the time to build search engine friendly websites, or they just don't know how.
If your company is in a highly competitive market, then we can focus on other promotional tools such as the other marketing sources we mentioned to gain additional traffic. You can still expect to receive a fair amount of traffic from the search engines, but you may also want to consider other alternatives that also produce targeted visitors. It's attainable to set a goal for an average website to receive 100 free traffic visitors per day after the site is listed with the major search engines.
We hope that this article informed you of the benefits of having a website. We hope that you see a company website as a great business tool to increase efficiency and lower your overhead. To provide effective marketing in ways traditional means cannot, attract new customers, to give a means of demonstrating true professionalism to people that know nothing about you, and to re-demonstrate your professionalism to existing customers.
Since it is a fact that there is a steady increase in Americans getting connected on-line, we expect that in short time, the majority of businesses will have an internet presence. The rate of businesses going on-line is climbing moderately. According to Business 2.0 Magazine (September 2003), a job boom is coming soon. Just within the next 7 years there is a economic prediction that there will be a shortage of 5.3 million workers in the labor force due to the retiring of the "baby boomers", and 8 out of 10 biggest growth jobs are within the computer industry. Don't wait too long before web design prices increase again like they were just a couple of years ago. As a matter of fact, or research shows that the average web design firm charges between $500 to as high as $2,300 just for a 5 page website and an average of $75 per hour for services. Our rates start at $299 for the same or better deal and average at $30 per hour for services. Right now, right here, you get quality with affordability.
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