Did you know that there are only three 'kinds' of websites?
- Websites you send people to.
- Websites that send people to you.
- Websites that collect internet dust.
These are the only kinds of websites on the Internet. If you already have a website, the only question that remains is "which kind of website do you have?" If you don't already have a website, then you need to decide which kind of website you want. Before you build your website, you will want to decide: "what you need, "why you need it", or "if you need a website.
Know what you want, and what you want it for
Unless you know what kind of website you want and or need, you are probably better off without one. Whoa! Did a professional web designer just say that? Yes. Getting a website just because "everybody else has one" – is not a good reason to get a website – it doesn't matter what kind of business you are in.Websites that you send people to, are
- Require comparatively little maintenance
- Are informative in nature
- Act as an online extension (or info brochure) of your business
This kind of website is an excellent platform for someone who wants to showcase their work in the form of before and after pictures and would like to tell more about their business than can be contained in a simple business card. They might want to have downloadable forms for their clients ready to print, or they have a client base that they want to periodically send information to.
This kind of website can be on page 500 on Google search and it won't make a difference to your online presence, because it is YOU who will send your customers to IT.
It's greatest value consists in offering more on your business and services in an appealing, easy to read formate. It also allows your potential clients to learn a little more about your company from the comfort of their home without feeling pressured into having to interact.Websites that send people to you. A website that sends people to you, is what most people have in mind when they first think about getting a website. They demand:
- Planning and research
- A fixed marketing budget
- Continual up-keep and updating
- Act as the online representation (or sales force) of your business
It is imperative to know that this kind of website needs to be considered part of your overall monthly marketing strategy, and needs to be treated as a department in your business, and integrated with the overall working of your business. It is ridiculous to think you are going to get it for free until it attracts new customers. That would be like telling your print shop manager you will pay him for the business cards you ordered when they produce results, or tell the newspaper agency you will pay for the ad you just placed when you have received new clients from it.
How much or little response you will receive from your website will depend on a number of factors which include: the nature of your business, its competition, the amount of time and money you are willing to invest in your advertising. Remember: if you don't do anything with your website, it will not do anything for you.
There are several ways to work your website to eventually make it a website that sends customers to you. The first is to make sure that your website is search engine friendly. This is called "search engine optimization - SEO", and it needs to be applied to every page of your website. [To read more about Search Engine Optimization - click here]. The second is by paying for advertising - like the ads that you see at the top of a search page on Google Search engine. This is called: Pay-Per-Action advertising, or PPA; (not to be confused with pay-per-click PPC which is a part of pay-per-action PPA advertising.) You can spend as much or as little as you would like - because you control your budget. Just be realistic about your goals and objectives and what you expect.
Markets with stiff competition will take longer to conquer than small niche site businesses. Having a website means nothing in this case unless it is seen, preferably in the top third of page one in the search engines.
The greatest confusion and disappointment arises when businesses have a site that was built for them to send their clients to, but expect it will bring business to them instead.
How it gets seen will depend on how you treat it. However, using your website as an advertising tool is much more effective than a generic business listing ad, because people will search specifically for the kind of work you offer in the area of expertise you have.Lastly, Websites that collect internet dust
- Because someone told you to
- Because your competitor had one
- Because it was cheap
- Because your uncle's brother's nephew knew how to fill in a template
Most likely this kind of site was made, and put aside, because you never knew what you wanted it for in the first place. Consequently, you never knew what to do with it afterward. Someone built it for you or you built it yourself; however, since that day it has rarely crossed your mind. This kind of website is silently lost in the vastness of the internet graveyard, and profits no-one, least of all you.
Anyone who has never made a mistake, has never tried anything new. --Albert Einstein
About The Author
Mathew Zupan has been serving the business community since 1998, developing websites, offering premium web hosting, creating reusable web templates and increasing business revenues through strategic Internet Marketing techniques.