The Benefits of Developing an Online Presence
Who Needs a Website?
Every business needs a website. This point is so important it bears repeating: Every business needs a website. Many business owners believe that since they do not sell products online, or do not conduct any business online, that they do not require a website in order to operate effectively. It is true that the operations of a business may not be affected by the lack of a web presence, but a business that lacks a website is missing a key component of how a business is represented that customers are expecting. In the past, it may have been true that establishing a website was cost-prohibitive, but these days hosting and setting up a website is so cheap that any business without a web presence is missing out on vital opportunities.
Advantages of Web-Based Marketing
The greatest advantage of a website to any business is undoubtedly the ability to utilize it for cheap and effective advertising. A website is, in essence, a giant advertisement. Listing products, services, and contact information, a website creates a centralized point where all information about a business can be accessed by a customer. A website also gives a business owner the ability to choose how their website is represented; most customers will use the business’s own website as the primary method of evaluating the credibility of a business, and a well-designed website can make sure that an ideal image of the company is what the customer is seeing and absorbing. In addition, a website allows a business to have an “anchor” on the internet. Using technologies such as search engine optimization (a method of designing a website with relevance in a web search as a high priority) a business owner can ensure that their website appears in a search for similar businesses or services when customers are searching online. For example, if a plumber sets up a website that is optimized for a search engine, then his business will appear when a customer searches “plumbing services” instead of requiring the customer to search the name of this particular plumber’s business. This means the advertisement aspect of a website really comes alive during a web search. Forget the yellow pages, most customers will search for businesses and service on the web, and having a link to a well-designed website in the search results means traffic to the website, and traffic to the website means more business.