The growth of the internet over the last fifteen years has introduced dramatic changes to the way in which the majority of business owners conduct their business, not least of which is the uprising in the huge number of businesses of all sizes and structures which now have their own websites.
There are a number of reasons why websites are such a vital part of the marketing of companies of all sizes and types.
Hours of business
In the past, many businesses have been limited as to what they can do within traditional “opening” or business hours. Whether those limitations were legal, in that they were only permitted to trade during certain times, or whether the practicalities of paying staff and other costs forced them to limit themselves, the loss of the time they were closed could cost their business.
However, the beauty of the internet is that it is in operation 24/7 and with no limitations; the business that has their website open and live on the internet is for all intents and purposes also open 24/7. What this can mean is that their customers can find them at their own convenience and trade with them without any traditional restrictions.
In a similar vein to the point made above, many businesses have been limited by their own location in the past. They might not have had the scope, the ability or the budget to advertise and trade on a national or international scale. The benefit of having a website is that the World Wide Web is of course world-wide meaning that they have a much better opportunity of reaching a wider audience.
In the past, a good business card or promotional information would have given a new or existing customer a good impression of the business; imprinting the idea that they were forward thinking and cared about their customers.
Nowadays, it tends to be the website design which gives this impression, whilst a business without a website is effectively telling their customers that they are not mindful of the future and are not moving with the times. This could seriously stand against them when it comes to making the best impression with customers and could lose them business in the long term.
Ease of reference
Consider which is the easiest to recall from memory – an 11 digit telephone number or a web address. Of course it’s the website and this means that customers are more likely to recall and pass it on. This is, in itself, a further form of free advertising for the business in question.
High return of investment
One of the problems associated with traditional advertising is the cost which is involved. An effective advertising campaign which is done with the regularity which it would need to reach the required customer base might set a business back thousands. For a much lower fee, the business in question can set up and maintain a website which can do a similar job for a much smaller up front cost, yet a similar result.
Henry Saxon is a web designer and blogger who helps companies with SEO issues.