Do You Really Need A Website?
by: Janice Byer, CCVA, MVA
Having a website is the one form of marketing your business that just
keeps on giving! But how do you know if you need a website?
Well, with the amount of information that is available with just a
few keystrokes or clicks of the mouse, why wouldnít you want your
businessí information to be included?
More and more people and businesses use the Internet to find
information. Whether it is locally or internationally, the Internet is
the one place where they are likely to find what they are looking for.
Unless, of course, they are looking for you or your product and you
donít have a site.
Having a website allows your business to advertise 24 hours a day,
seven days a week and it is available whenever someone is in need of
information on your product or services. The elements you include on
your website are a determining factor for how successful a marketing
device it will be for you.
For personal websites, you can include everything that your heart
desires. You can have a site that shows off your favorite cat or a site
that includes everything you ever wanted to know about Limburger cheese.
The subject choices are unlimited.
However, a business site should be more refined. Get to the point and
provide a wealth of information about your product or service. But,
ensure that you leave a little to the imagination. Inspire them to WANT
to contact you for a little for more information and then make the sale!
And, on that note, make sure your contact information is readily
available on your site. There is nothing worse than peaking your site
visitorís interest and then making them search for a means to contact
you. Believe me, many people will simply give up if they canít find what
they are looking for and go onto another site in hopes of an easier
Navigation is another key element. Getting around your site should be
straightforward and painless for your visitors. Provide links from each
page to all your key pages. Some sites can become quite large, so links
from every page to every page would make the site quite crowded and
monotonous. But, make sure you donít leave your visitor at a dead end.
Limit the use of unnecessary graphics and pictures. Of course, if you
are selling a product that needs to be seen, such as clothing, these
pictures should be included but try to keep them as small as possible.
This will keep the loading time down on your site. However, if you sell
automotive aftermarket products, or any other large line of products,
donít put a picture of every brake line and fuse on your site. Including
too many graphics will slow down your site and waiting for pictures to
load is not something that most busy people have time for. Again, they
will go somewhere else for help.
As for advertising other pages on your site, there are many avenues
than can be used, including banner exchanges. These are a great form of
getting additional free advertising, but donít load down your site with
an infinite amount of banners or links. If possible, dedicate a page to
display your banners, webrings and favorite links. This will help reduce
the clutter on your information pages.
These hints are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more ways
to make your site appealing, more than can be listed in a single
article. Research and using an experienced web designer can make your
presence on the Internet appealing and informative.
Remember, above all else, make your site with your visitor in mind,
whether they are Internet newbies or seasoned surfers. Your site needs
to attract new visitors and it needs to keep them coming back.
|About The Author
Janice Byer is the founder of Docu-Type Administrative & Web Design
a professional Virtual Assistance and Website Design company,
specializing in helping small business owners get ahead. She is a
certified Canadian Virtual Assistant and Master Virtual Assistant
and winner of the Most Successful Start Up 2000 and Home Based
Business of the Year 2000 Awards