The Internet Today
The Internet has without a doubt changed the way most consumers make purchases in todays society. It offers marketers a number of advantages including cost, ease of communications, great flexibility and effective targeting. By not being online your missing out on great opportunities to connect with your consumers and generate new leads which could turn into new and lasting customers. Having a website is most likely the most critical approach to having an online presence.
Do you sell a service or a product? Websites are great for business owners because online stores are always open. Your customer can learn about your business whenever they want and at their own ease. Online stores also means more exposure. Anyone can find your shop using search engines. You could have customers in different countries with the proper marketing! Creating a website for your business allows for creative ways of advertising. There a number of different ways that you can advertise your business, whether it be through video, or visually appealing graphics. These techniques are proven to be more affective than traditional forms of advertising and allow for more interactions from your customers.
Tailoring Your Website to your Specific Business
Every business has the same general advantages of owning a website, however, each type of business has its own extra features that are tailored to that specific business. Take for example the restaurant industry. Restaurants are able to throw in a few extra features to their websites that other business can’t such as automated reservations. Guests can create their own reservations online which will free up your staff from having to answer extra phone calls and use them where they are most needed.
Websites are also a great way to share current specials and new menu items with your customers, rather than paying to have your menus mass produced in printing. We created Santoro of Peabody’s website with the inclusion of their entire menu. With their website, Santoro’s is able to display their food specials directly on their site for the entire week.Not only can you display this information on your website but you can provide your customers the option to be on a mailing list which will keep your customers up-to-date with changes.
This is just one example of how you can tailor your website to your specific business. What kind of business do you run? How could you tailor a website to fit your specific business’ needs?
Quality Assurance through Good Design
Is simply creating a website all it takes to having a great online presence? The answer is no. Your website must be well designed and updated frequently. By doing so, you are showing your customers the effort and work that you put into your business. Want an example of a bad designed website? Check out http://www.theworldsworstwebsiteever.com for a good laugh. But in all seriousness this website is a great example of what NOT to do when creating a website. Think of having a well-designed website as quality assurance, you would not want to purchase a product or service from a website that looks sketchy, you want to assure your customers that they are purchasing a product from a trusted buyer. To achieve this you must present your content in a visually appealing way. In doing so you are increasing your brands overall image.
Overall, being online in today’s society is more of a ‘must’ than a ‘should’. Internet marketing has increased significantly in the last 5 years than ever before and it continues to grow. Tailoring your website to fit your company’s needs and goals can open up many great opportunities for your buisiness and your customers. Find ways to interact with your customers on your website, don’t be afraid to be creative! This is a great way for customers to feel a connection with your brand. And finally make sure your website is appealing to the eye. This assures your consumers about the time and effort you put into your brand.
Spiller, Lisa, Martin Baier, and Lisa Spiller. Contemporary Direct & Interactive Marketing. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2010. Print.
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