Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Value of Your Internet Web Site

In our global world today, the internet has become the first and foremost way for new customers to find your business. We also must consider returning customers who use the internet to find more about you and perhaps your competitors too. Therefore your investment on your website is the number one consideration for your business public presence. Any other level of
consideration lowers your business vitality. Your website is the key portal that many use to view your strength and success.

I remember when I started my first business – a gift and jewelry store, that the investment in the local telephone company Yellow Pages was the most important place to announce my presence. I was astounded at how much it cost to advertise there. Then when competing yellow pages came out – it compounded my advertising expenses. I felt forced to keep even the smaller directories when new customers said they used these yellow pages for convenience because they would find the results quicker. Not many of our younger generation will remember the four to six inch thick yellow pages of a moderate sized city. The larger cities had multiple thick directories and if we wanted customers from each section of the city we would pay hundreds of dollars each month to look better than our competitors. By now everyone cal tell my age – and I hope the wisdom that comes with it.

Now it seems so much easier to make a website with free software and other low cost considerations. If you are not careful, though, they will produce a cheaper looking website. Investing a reasonable amount of money with an experienced web site developer will give you a better return that most anything else for your business.

The first job of your website is to reach potential new customers with easy to find information about your company. Your products, services, and location must be on the home page or indexed on your tabs because these are the crucial inquiries new customers are seeking.

Second, use your website to teach your customers about your products and services. Remember the internet is now the primary source people use to find new information.

Give your customers easy to find information they need. Organize your navigation system in the order of the most frequent asked customer questions.

Use depth to teach your customers about your products and services. The better educated your customer is – the more likely he or she will choose the right product and have a high satisfaction rate.

Finally, inform your customers about your company goals. How do you plan to satisfy them? How do you plan to help them? What will you do if they need help? All these things can be presented in your web site.

Use your web site as a dynamic, always evolving representation of your company – especially as your company grows and changes. Listen to customer feedback. Your website is the first impression for many new customers and may be the final impression for lost customers.


Food for thought:

How much do you spend each year on your website? Is it enough?

How easy is it for your customers to contact you?

Think of examples of good websites that are easy to navigate?

What do you dislike the most on a website? What do you like the most?

What does your website need the most?

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