You’re Left Out
You would be surprised how many people have websites now days. A recent statistic said that a few million web pages are added to the Internet every day! Years ago it was a big deal to have a website but today it has become more then common. When you hand out a business card today people assume on it will be your name, address, phone number and your website. Even small, one-man proprietorship’s selling handmade items have websites now days.
When we originally published this article we commented that:
“there were some industries where websites are not so common as other industries”.
That today has changed. If you do a search for even the most abstract industries or niches you will find websites. Don’t believe us? Try to search for “mustache combs” on Google and marvel at the results. At the time of this post there were 111,000 results!
So What Does This Mean?
So why bring up mustache combs? Searches in niches and industries like these may not be the most popular search topic. Not everyone needs or wants to buy a mustache comb. So “mustache combs” might not fare as well as say “diamond engagement rings” or “iPhones” but the point is, people are still searching for mustache combs and your mustache comb competitor down the street is already in the results. Are you?
What is a Website’s Purpose?
Let’s go back and lets think about the purpose of a website. Most people think that a website’s only purpose is to attract new business off of the Internet. That’s a really great reason and that’s one of the goals that we here at Advertising Solutions, Inc. strive for, we must be honest and also admit that is not the only purpose nor is it the most important purpose in many cases.
“What?” You say? “An advertising and Internet marketing company is telling me that getting business off the Internet with my site is not the most important thing? Are you mad?” We know it sounds odd but lets stop and work this out for a minute.
Direct Website Traffic
Research has shown that businesses that advertise their websites in other ads such as your phone book, television, radio, newspaper / magazine, flyer, brochure, business card, or even your store’s window get more response. The reason? When many people need a service they want to learn as much about the company they will be doing business with as they can. Shoppers and consumers like to know that what they are getting is real and more and more are doing research. It is faster and easier to look at your website then it is to drive all the way down to your location. Likewise, in most cases it is also impossible to call you 2:00 am to find out if you have a specific product or a service. So you can see that while it might sound crazy to say that the primary goal of a website is not the get new business off the Internet… it’s better to say that the primary goal of a website is to reinforce and complement your business’ face and appearance and also to reach a new Internet market.
One of our clients once wrote and told us:
“A customer left his glasses in my store today. Did he call me? No. He went on my site and sent me an email from my contact form asking me to put them on the site for him. He could have called but he decided to go to my site and contact me there”
Even in a situation as dire as leaving your glasses behind, the choice was still to visit a website and send an email over calling over the phone. As a business owner consumers have come to regard a website as standard and expect it.
Shopping and Economy Makes It Necessary
Another factor why it is so important to have a website in today’s market and world can be best summed up in a study that recently came appeared. In early 2009 a report came out that looked at the number of retail sales over the 2008 Holiday Season. It found that while brick and mortar store’s sales fell, Internet sales went up. The fact is at this time it is very important to get a website out on the Internet and if you are selling products, to get those products on your site and for sale via online shopping.
Years ago when we first published this article we wrote:
“A physiological reason also takes effect. Most people think that ‘If this business has a web site… it must be a large business… therefore it must be better then the guy down the road that doesn’t have a site.’ This physiological reason works because the public does not know enough about website design to realize that their assumption is a mistake… a mistake that can be used to your advantage.”
Today this idea has changed. Many would think it has balanced out where people don”t care if you have a site or not. Instead what has happened is the consumer assumes and expects you to have a website and will actually raise an eyebrow when you don’t. One client recently wrote to us and told us about his time at a large product fair where he was selling his products.
“I was sitting at my booth all day and almost everyone interested in my products were asking for my card and my website address. No matter if people bought or didn’t buy from me that second, they still asked for my website. I had one guy to my left selling other items. People kept asking them the same question ‘What is your website?’, Do you have a site?’, ‘I want to check out your website.’ This poor guy must have said ‘no’ over and over again a thousand times. One of the other vendors selling there with me mentioned he does web design and the guy said he didn’t need a site. I was amazed that he still didn’t think he needed it. But then again I’m sure lots of businesses thought they didn’t need a telephone for 20 or so years.”
That’s just our point. You cant survive without a website today. A website has become another extension.. another way of getting in touch with you.. another enterence to your store, services or products. You have a mailbox. You have a phone number. You need a website.