Google Ads, Facebook, social media, even printed material and brochures should drive potential customers to your online business “hub”
As we approach 2019, it sounds crazy, but we actually still come across a number of small businesses that do not have a website. This would be the equivalent of a business in the 1980’s or 1990’s not being listed in the Yellow Pages.
The internet is the way people search for products and services these days. So, the only reason it would be logical not to have a website is if a company has all the customers they will ever need. In other words, a company that does not need to attract new customers.
A strange phenomenon indeed, but possible.
Another situation we sometimes still see is a business with a very “outdated” website design. As time passes, the internet is forced to keep up with technology, which is constantly evolving. Every few years it’s a good idea to “refresh” a website, to keep pace with design trends and adapt for optimal viewing.
Today’s mobile responsive websites “adjust” their appearance to fit the device they are being viewed on. Users may surf the web on mobile phones, tablets, iPads, and desktop computers – a website should resize automatically depending on the device.
Just having a web presence may not be enough
For those with the mindset that they made a website once and they do not want to ever think about it again may be a little short sited. Are you driving the same car you did in college?
With so many websites competing for attention and consumer business, people shopping and researching online have a lot of options to choose from. They quickly judge a company by the “look” and functionality of a website. They make snap decisions to “buy” or “bounce” from a page depending on whether they can or can’t find what they’re looking for.
Perhaps a goal for online marketers should be to guide a prospective customer through a logical progression of steps, learning about the products or services and getting a solid idea of what the business is all about and making it easy for them to interact or make a purchase.
A website should serve as the central hub of online marketing
We sometimes run into business owners who believe Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social media sites are fine for attracting new business. And most of them are free, right?
It is true that these are great places to be found, but we believe these social outlets should be thought of as casting a wider “net” to attract potential customers and bring them into a sales funnel.
The website is the final stage of the funnel before there is contact, maybe through email, or a phone call or some other means depending on the specific business or industry. Many products and services are simple and can be purchased relatively risk free with the click of the mouse.
More complex purchases may require a conversation or deeper explanations to close the deal.
The point is this, the only two things in the online world that a company can truly control are its website and its email list.
With Facebook and other social media sites, decisions can be made by their corporate structures that will impact how content can be viewed – and by whom. And what is allowed today may not be in the future. If your online marketing depends on a third-party platform, you will be at the mercy of their rules and protocols.
On the other hand, your website can always be under your control. You decide the layout. You decide the content. Your website is all about you. And it can allow you to walk a prospect through a logical sales process with clear communication.
Our philosophy of advertising a business online is to use every means available. Figure out where your customers are spending their time on the web. Use social media, Google Ads, and Facebook Advertising to get their attention – then direct those prospects to your website where you can deliver a clear and concise message of the value you offer.