Back in 1999 I worked with a number of companies performing Y2K Audits for SME businesses and now...
Here we discuss the various aspects of Internet Marketing as it applies to the design of web sites, what it is, why you should be actively engaged in it and some tips on how you might be able to go about developing and implementing your own internet marketing strategy when designing your website.
How much is your business worth to you?
If you engaged a marketing company to go out and promote your business how would you want them to portray your business? Successful? Professional? Well managed? Ethical?
These and may other words come to mind for most of you. You want your market to see you in the best light don't you?
If you were going to produce such a campaign would you do it as cheaply as possible? Would you skimp on quality and professionalism to cut corners - probably not if you want to live the words you use to describe your own business. Would you want your marketing to reflect the sort of business you want to portray to your clients or customers?
Why then would you choose to go cheap and nasty with your web site? How many of you check out a company's web site before you call them to discuss business arrangements? If you are about to buy products or services from someone you don't previously know, where is the first place you go to get some idea of who they are and what they do?
Well I would suggest that it is either Google search engine or directly to the company's own web site. Horror to be ! What you thought was a professional and long established business appears to be a rather amateurish business as its web site is clumsy, poorly designed, impossible to find information and worst of all - it is so out of date!
Keep your web site current, keep it looking professional and keep it simple and clear to use. Like when you first meet some one - they form their opinion f you, rightly or wrongly, within the first 30 seconds. On a web site they take less than 5 seconds to define what they think of you as a business.
So let's go back to our earlier question. How much is your business worth to you? Let us assume you are a small business worth $150K - you spend $10K on a yellow page listing ( - what return have you got on that?) you run some mail drops, you have a sign outside your office and you spend money on your business cards. Why then do you think that spending $1,000 on a web site will position your business properly ?
Yes you can create a presence but to attract the right opportunities and to induce them to take some form of action and later to purchase goods and services takes good design and effort to create.
Just think how you felt about a company when you visited their web site and saw a cheap effort solution. What was your first impression about the quality of product and service form that company.
Your web site should portray your business in the light of what you stand for, it should be consistent with your overall branding and image and it should deliver to your business bottom line. Start with this premise when considering your current or new site and carefully examine how well the site stacks up to delivering against these criteria.