Kick off 2013 with a bang online!

For many businesses 2012 was a challenge. Small to medium sized business owners call us often, and most are very concerned with how the economy has affected their income. These business owners know that even as their budget becomes limited, they need to get the biggest 'bang' for their advertising buck, and to reach as many potential customers as possible if they are to survive through 2013.

This is where the Internet can come to the rescue. With less initial outlay and ongoing costs than a physical premises or store, a professionally created online presence can reach a much wider potential audience than any single storefront can.

However, doing anything on the Internet is just like in the real world, except that online you not only get what you pay for, but you also look like what you pay for.

Even 20 years into the existence of the Internet, many smaller businesses still seem to think of a web site almost as an afterthought, not a serious advertising tool.

I regularly have people calling in, and their only reason for wanting a site is because their competitors have one. Often, they just want something cheap, and don't even care what it would look like. All of this when talking about something that would represent their business to the world.

A web site is not like a storefront. All an online visitor has to judge you by is their first impression based on how your site looks and performs. If it looks attractive on whichever device they are using, is fast, is not cluttered and is easy to navigate, you have a much better chance of making a sale than you do if something doesn't work.

Online, you can make a man selling
out of his garage look like the
largest retailer in the USA.
  Done wrong, you can make the largest retailer in the USA
look like a man selling out of his garage.

One of my most used analogies is this: Online, you can make a man selling out of his garage look like the largest retailer in the USA. Done wrong, you can make the largest retailer in the USA look like a man selling out of his garage. In my 15 years in this business, there have been two general complaints from business owners: either they don't get visitors or the visitors they do get never become customers.

If a business is getting visitors for free, lack of sales is concerning enough, but if they are paying large amounts per month to get visitors, they are spending but not making money, and no business can do that for long.

In most cases, if the company is getting visitors, it is probably a first impression issue preventing sales. Internet users, especially those who spend a lot of time online, are very aware of how a professional web site should look and function.

Psychologically, if a business sells high-price items but it looks like they made their site themselves, there is immediately an issue with the visitor at least subconsciously thinking "Well, either you have no money or you don't take your business very seriously. Why should I give you thousands of my dollars?"

If you add things like missing images, slow page loading, items going off the page, and pages not found or 'coming soon,' the chances of someone choosing you go down.

Any business needs to give a good impression, no matter what you sell or where you are located. Even a very small business needs to not only be easily found, but also look professional and worthy of the visitor's time and money.

Online, your site is one among thousands of others offering the same products or services. Believe it or not, you can look your best without breaking the bank.

If you have concerns with your web presence, 2013 is the perfect time to look into our WebUpdate system sites, which take advantage of advanced marketing, SEO and promotion features to give your business the best competitive edge online.

What our clients are saying ...

Leon Garber - Owner Dermacare of Chesapeake

After commissioning sites for other business ventures and being disappointed, I was surprised how easy the WebUpdate site is that Terry and his team provided for Dermacare. Best of all has been Terry's accessability and willingness to teach me how to get the most from the site! Along with dispelling some popular web marketing myths, he also taught me how to optimize my content and keywords, and now Dermacare's site is almost always at the top of the first page of any relevant search. Bottom line: Our web site is the number one source of leads for the company!

- Leon Garber, Owner

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