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1: Why do I need a web site?
2: Can't I do it myself?
3: What can be done with a site?
4: What's more important, information or looks?
5: Should I move my business to the web exclusively?
6: How do I get traffic to my site?

Why do I need a web site?

Depending on the nature of your business, you may or may not benefit from a web site. The internet can provide an inexpensive way to advertise your business or provide customers (existing or potential) with a way to get information on your business or contact you quickly. This would be a public relations web site. Many businesses see increased business and customer satisfaction with this approach.

Many others use the new technology that the web provides to conduct their business through their web site. Through interactive tools, the site becomes an extension of their business and allows customers more direct access to the company and it's products or services.


Can't I do it myself?

As in many cases, marketing, printing, research etc, businesses try to save money by doing work that is not their company's forte'. While there are a lot of services and software available that claim to "make it easy to build a web site" or promise that you can have "your website up in minutes", you have to put in your valuable time and money into learing to use these things well and the results are rarely good.

Any successful business is one that realizes the value in hiring professionals to to what they do best. Having a web professional not only gets you an effective web presence, but also allows you to benefit from their professional experience. They can take advantage of the proven techniques of a successful web presence as well as help you avoid the pitfalls of cyberspace.


What can be done with a site?

With internet technology becoming more advanced every day, just about anything can be done on the web. The question any business should ask themselves is "What do I need to do on the web?"

Just because a thing can be done is not a good reason to do it. Tools and services built into your website should be beneficial to both your business and most importantly, your customers. Some of the most successful features of a web site are the simplest.


What's more important, information or looks?

Some industries just want to get or share information in the fastest way possible. That's fine for email, faxes etc, but your web presence is, in many cases, that important first impression that someone has of your business. The look of your site is an extremely effective way to instill confidence in your customers.

While a site that is loaded down with huge graphics can create a great first impression, it can also take so long to load that visitors loose patience and leave.

The answer is a site that is balanced. A few dynamic graphics laid out in an effective style with lots of valuable content. This provides visitors with an appealing, fast and informative visit.


Should I move my business to the web exclusively?

It is tempting to do business exclusively on the web. Phone calls and faxes can be expensive where emails are essentially free, people will flock to your site and throw money at you for your product or service, everyone is getting rich on the internet! Right?

Wrong!

Many "E-Businesses" are closing their doors every day because of bad planning and the changes that occur in a relatively new market like the internet. The internet is a great place to visit, but you don't want to live there. The best business models for internet businesses (with some exceptions) are those that use the internet as an extension of their current business. A good business does not abandon what has worked for them. Expand to the web and explore the new frontier, but don't burn your bridges along the way.


How do I get traffic to my site?

You've all heard the saying, "If you build it, they will come." It may work in the movies, but not on the web. While submitting your site to the major internet search engines is an important first step, it won't drive visitors to your doorstep. On the search engines, you are competing with millions of other sites, many that don't even exist any longer! Be careful of companies that submit your site to 200 search engines. It may sound like a good deal, but most internet searches are done on the top 5 search engines.

Once you have a web site, your web address should be everywhere your company name and logo are. Letterhead, business cards, company banners etc... Email newsletters sent to existing customers informing them of updates to your site's info will create return traffic. Also, don't underestimate the power of "word-of-mouth!"

Many companies get focussed traffic to there site from Google and Overture with their pay for hits programs. Depending on what you do or sell, this can be a good source for traffic as long as the site is good enough to get them to buy something.

 
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