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
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
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!
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
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
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.