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The Importance Of An Online Presence For Your Small Business

Aug 11, 2008
More and more it is important that you have a website for your business. And, that you get it out in front of your customers. This applies to both online and offline advertising.

In your offline advertising, you need to make sure that your website is always listed as a method of contact. A website with a name that reflects your company - either your business name or a good description of what you do will be easy for people to remember and go to check out. You need to get this point of contact in front of your potential customers each chance you get - on your business card, in your print advertising (phone directory, newspaper, magazines, etc.) for a couple of reasons.

First, it makes you look professional and up to date. People just expect businesses to have a website, just like we expect businesses to have a phone number. It is one of those things that reflects poorly of you if you don't have it.

Second, you can convey so much more information to your prospective customers on your website than you can in the print media. Spend a little less money on the print ad and drive people to your website. On your website you can tell them about you, your company, your products, your services, your hours of operation, your contact information. Basically anything the customer needs to know they should be able to find on your website. And that is so much more than you can cover in your print advertising.

Many people will also go online after they have seen a few ads in the yellow pages or print media to find out a bit more about your company - who you are and what you offer. It is important, therefore to have a website up and to be promoting it both online and offline in your advertising efforts. Case study... I operate a small service business. We cater to both residential customers as well as small commercial clients. I have a listing in the local yellow pages. The listing consists only of my business website address (which is also the name of my company). Here is what happens.

People need the service that we offer, they go to the yellow pages, they see about 15 companies listed there - just names and phone numbers. Nothing in that category means anything to the person looking at the listings. Mine has my website address. So right there, that already sets me apart. Now they hop on their computer and go over to my website (a very simple site I built myself a number of years ago) but right there, in that minute, I have taken that person to the next step in the sales process. They have already invested some of their time and trust into looking me up. That is further than anyone else listing there has taken them. Now on my website, they can see a bit about who I am, what my company offers and why they should hire us.

All this is much more than you can depict even in a yellow pages display ad. They call me and I close the deal. How do I know? Because I make a point of asking people how they found out about me and many times the answer is "I saw your website address in the yellow pages". Now that is an effective use of an online/offline advertising combo! Your website can do so much more than what a print ad can do. Take advantage of that and drive your visitors there.

Dominate your local search engine results and leave your competitors in the dust.
About the Author
Jonathan Hook works with small businesses to help them create an online presence in order to dominate their local marketplace and increase profits. A free report entitled "The 30 Day Marketing Makeover" is available at www.TheMarketersMind.com. Visit now and claim your free copy!
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