Does a Website Increase Business?
Websites are a funny thing you know. Most business owners know they must have one (although there is a minority of people who stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the necessity) but very few of us actually sit down and think about what the website could do for us.
In fact, I think this is a mistake that many of us make in many areas of business. Notice I used the word "us" there. I am not here criticising other business owners here, I am including myself in this group because I know I am guilty of making the same mistakes. This article is written for my benefit as much as anyone else's.
Like any other business tool, much planning is required
Do you put a lot of thought into the planning of any advertising campaign or do you just quickly set up an advert in an appropriate publication and hope for the best? Did you put a lot of thought into the marketing of your business before you started it or did you just start it and hope for the best? I am sure many of you did this planning but I am equally sure that many of you, like me, just went ahead and did it.
There is some merit in doing things this way. It is better to go ahead blindly than never to do it at all. However, I think we would all agree that a certain degree of planning should go into all business activities to ensure that it is efficient in enhancing our business.
Websites can increase sales if used correctly
My main focus on this subject is of course, the website. Just like so many other areas of business life, many owners know they must have a website and just go ahead and get one that looks OK. A few photos, a bit of information, job done. However, if you stop and think about the true potential a website has to increase your business sales, it is worth putting a certain amount of effort into the planning of its objectives. Start by thinking about these things:
- Is the website mainly directed at existing customers, new customers or both? Different messages and therefore different pages need to be created for each of these.
- What is the main call to action for the website? Is it to buy the goods online, for ths customer to call you by telephone or is it simply to get hold of their email address?
- Does the website call the visitor to this action at every given opportunity?
- What image do you want to portray to the world? Corporate and impressive? Small and friendly? Think about what colour schemes and look would best support your intended portrayal.
- How will people find my website? If you are looking for mainly new customers, you need to ensure your website is optimised for the search engines, you need to consider creating pay-per-click advertising campaigns and the like.
- If you want existing customers to use your website, make sure it is promoted in company stationery and in email signatures.
Your website is like a salesman sitting there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Make sure you make good use of this salesman and give him the planning and the tools to do the very best job when needed.
Tue 3 May 2011 08:45:20