What Can a Web Presence Do For You?
The benefits of an effective website are best outlined after mentioning there are essentially 3 kinds of websites:
- A bad website
- A good website
- An effective website
A bad website is easy to recognize. They are just flat out bad, and often ugly. They hurt your eyes, they have terrible navigation, and/or they are annoying, and they quickly send visitors away irritated, confused, or dizzy. If you could use a good laugh at the expense of some really bad websites, check out Websites That Suck.
A good website is the most common type, but harder to identify because it usually looks just like an effective website. A good website has what every website should have: professional appearance, sensible navigation, good content, etc. It is not difficult to create a good website, so most fall into this category. The problem is, well does not equal effective.
An effective website is a kind of the most benefits. The primary difference between a good website and an effective one, besides profit, is that it anticipates the needs of the customer/visitor and meets those needs. Ironically, these are rare. Most websites try to “sell” rather than address the needs of the visitor. Effective websites require more planning and effort to create, but the rewards are worth it.
Benefits of an Effective Website
A website provides an instant visual presentation:
Not every organization can afford television advertising, but a website provides a visualization element and is always available to anyone with Internet access. If a customer has questions that can be better answered on a website that over the phone, this is a valuable asset to your marketing mix.
A website can be found through search engines:
There is a good possibility that you found this website through a search engine such as Google. Between 80-95 percent of all website traffic usually comes from search engines. You can target visitors who are actively looking for you, your product, your service, or your information. A website is an extremely cost-effective way to advertise to those who are already interested in what you have to offer.
A website is always available:
No other medium for being available 24/7/365 even compares to a website. With the modest cost of developing a website and putting it online, there is nothing even close to being as cost-effective. Printed materials are easily misplaced. TV and radio commercials air at preset times. A website can be visited at a time that is convenient for the visitor, and it is more engaging when designed correctly.
A website is interactive:
Even just a few years ago, most websites were nothing more than an electronic brochure. Their real potential was not being realized. That has now changed dramatically. Website visitors have the ability to control and interact with a well-designed website. You can take a virtual tour, spin an object around to see all sides, provide direct feedback, and much more.
A website can target each visitor specifically:
Every visitor’s needs are met with an effective website design. With proper targeting, you have their attention because they are already interested. By strategically planning your website, you can customize each area to the type of website visitor who can benefit from it. It is even possible to customize web pages to individual users for added convenience.
A website is easily updated:
Unlike printed materials, websites can be changed on a minute by minute basis if needed. The expensive production costs of video, and the editing time needed for a good advertisement make websites even more attractive. Plus, video can be provided on a website, and printed materials can be made available for instant download on a website.
A website saves on printing and mailing costs:
By making printed materials available on a website, it benefits both you and your website visitors. They have instant access so they do not have to wait for your mail to arrive, and you save on printing and mailing. Your website can have even more impact because you can illustrate things such as movements and animation that printed materials alone cannot show.
A website improves customer relations:
Aside from the fact that when a customer asks you for your website address, they expect you to have one, there are numerous benefits a website can offer to your customer relations. These are only a few:
- Customers can make an informed buying decision. If they are deciding between you and a competitor, your website could mean the difference between who gets the business.
- It also provides a way for customers to benefit from a sale. If you provide information or support through a website that makes them happier about buying from you, it strengthens your business.
- By providing an opt-in mailing list, your customers and website visitors will give you permission to contact them about special offers or additional things they may be interested in purchasing from you.
There are a lot more benefits to having a website than what we have listed here but this is a good general overview.