U-C WEBS' founder Nardo KuitertBy Nardo Kuitert, U-C WEBS
[Published in The Wellington Advertiser, January 2009 for the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce]

Many small business owners pay too little attention to the web. Either they ignore the Internet altogether, or they think that their job is done once they have a website up and running.

This may be your reaction too:

  • “Statistics? Never look at them.”
  • “My website is doing fine. I never hear any complaints.”
  • “I would like to be found better in Google.”
    (but you don’t DO anything to make that happen)

A website is a tool, and without proper use the tool will likely never benefit its owners.
The Internet has taken the world by storm. A lot of businesses do try to go keep up and have a website, perhaps even an online newsletter. But the bulk of their advertising remains offline; they only focus on traditional promotion tools like print, radio and perhaps TV to reach their customers. But the Internet has radically changed one element in the marketing mix: the consumer. Consumers have a lot more control over their purchasing decision these days. People want to research products and services whenever and wherever they want, by visiting trusted websites or searching in the search engines.

Do you want to be part of their research, of their purchase decision?

Then you better be found.

For starters: remember to mention your website in all of your print advertising: on your business cards, in your newspaper ads, on your letterhead, envelopes, invoices and receipts. Send emails from an email address such as [email protected], so your email address helps to promote your website. Add your website address to an email signature and include that in all the messages that you send out.

But do not forget to make some changes to your advertising campaigns as well. Local ONLINE advertising is getting more and more important as well. Placing an ad on important local websites like the Chamber’s website is maybe a shift in thinking, but if more and more people are searching online, wouldn’t you like to be found where people are searching? You can have a nice banner created, and use it on several local online advertising outlets. Use a standard format like 125×125 or 468×60 for this reason. The graphic can invite people to call you, or you can direct them to your website. A website is not a prerequisite, but it increases the response rate.

Nardo Kuitert is an Internet Consultant with Fergus Website Development and Optimization firm U-C WEBS (www.u-cwebs.com). U-C WEBS also offers Internet advertising opportunities on www.ferguspages.com. (link opens in a new window)

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