Having an effective website is like having another employee who works for you 24/7. It is a time and expense commitment up front, but once you have it created it becomes a long term investment. Your website can be an effective tool in many ways.
Your website is an informational tool
A website can save a lot of time and money by being the centerpiece of your marketing material. Make sure that any information that you want to be made public is easily found on your website, for example you should include: your businesses primary services or products, clearly displayed contact information, an about us page, any special deals you’re offering, links to professional associations to which you’re affiliated and anything your clients should know about you.
Your website is a marketing tool
It is often said that a picture paints a thousand words. You can talk to your potential customers for hours, trying to convince them that you are a professional, top of the line company that can satisfy their needs…or you can let them see for themselves by looking at your website. If it’s properly crafted, a professional website will add lots of credibility to your business.
Be careful though. A homemade looking website can do just as much damage to your credibility as a fantastic website can add to it. You do not want to give your business an amateur feel. As tempting as it might be to have your 14 year old computer-nerd nephew create a website for you on the cheap, it’s usually not a good idea. Get a professionally designed one, even if it’s a very basic starter site.
Your website is a 24/7 online storefront
In terms of referrals…say one of your loyal customers recommends your products or services to a friend. If their friend is a little unsure, all he has to do is visit your website. If your website looks great, you have a new client.
In terms of online sales opportunities, a website gives you the opportunity to sell your products and services at any time of day or night. It’s important to give your customers the option of purchasing something when they want. Make it as convenient as you can and provide options.