Website Q & A
Any business who has shopped for a print ad, realizes that print "real-estate" is expensive. Whether that real-estate exists in a phone book, newspaper or magazine you will be charged handsomely for the size, color (if available) and circulation. Compare that to a website, which will generally cost you under $500, will include vibrant colors and images, and can let you expound on why consumers should consider your product or service. Once you've paid the initial cost of site production, maintaining your site will usually run you $25/month. Unlike an ad in the phonebook, updates, editions and revisions can occur instantaneously and with nominal expense. With a print ad, you are stuck for the duration of the publication. Why not consider a small phone book ad with your URL so that customers can be directed to your website for current, colorful and well worded information!
Your website should convey a variety of messages. Image, corporate style, professionalism and easy to read content all lend themselves to a pleasing and productive site. A site should strive for the right amount of interest while avoiding "clutter" (cutesy images, overuse of Bold(loud) and Italic(hard to read) fonts). Menus should be clean, easy to navigate, and ideally be placed both at the top and bottom of the page to assist in easy movement. Content should be carefully thought out in order to capitalize on your marketing efforts. Most importantly, your site should inspire the visitor to seek out your business/service by informing them of your company and exciting them about the benefits they will derive by becoming your customer! (Assistance with content development is available).
During the height of the internet boom (late 90's) people mistakenly believed simply having a website put them on the road to riches. Product, service and a business plan existed only as an afterthought. Today's smart business owners understand that a site reaffirms their marketing plan and exists to help those consumers seeking additional information. Today's consumer is more information driven then ever before. By providing interest along with clear and concise information you increase the number of customers who might otherwise seek out your competitor.
It used to be a level playing field when it came to the use of search engines. That is no longer the case, and many of these search engines charge a hefty fee while making no guarantee that your business will appear on any list. The best method is the use of meta definitions within your site along with a good business description on the site itself. Most consumers have become savvy search engine users, and know that multiple terms specific to their search will yield them the best results. Other methods include the use of cross marketing efforts, such as direct marketing fliers, newspaper ads, etc.