The internet revolution opened up a whole new world of communication. Easy access to information and resources, and the ability to connect and network with people around the globe. But one field that has been almost completely restructured by the introduction of the Internet is of course, the business world.
Internet marketing has evolved into one of the most powerful and most-used business tools for companies ever since “Google" became a synonym for “search". The internet has proved to be a weapon of the best and worst kind for businesses. It offers the opportunity to expand a company's client base from just its immediate geographical vicinity to networking connections and prospects worldwide. It's nearly impossible to fathom that any business still not online will remain so much longer. . .because their competition is already there and is profiting in ways the brick-and-mortar-bound business cannot.
Creation and promotion of even a basic website can increase profitability and visibility, and with the proper investment of creativity and money, can continue continued growth into the future. But the creation of any just any sort of website isn't enough. In order generate interest and create return visitors leading to business transactions, it's important to make sure your site is professional, easily navigable, and markets your product in a compelling way.
Professionalism is achieved through detailed descriptions of products and services, having multiple contact options for customer service and support (both online and offline), even making certain that things such as spelling and grammatical errors are nowhere to be found on the site. While that seems obvious, it's interesting to note that over 60% of websites contain significant spelling and grammatical errors. This is understandable on certain kinds of sites. . . but, for a business. . . this kind of issue can affect your credibility. A plethora of software tools are available for the sole purpose of making sure such mistakes don't find their way onto your website-so utilize them.
Making sure your site is easily navigable is another critical issue. If your potential customers are having trouble locating the product or service that they need, chances are they're not going to waste more than a minute on your site. . . after all, in most cases, there are tons of other sites offering the same thing. Utilize the basics of site organization with tabs, a search bar, and properly organized information, pictures, links, etc. Nothing is more frustrating for a customer than disorganization.
Finally product placement and marketing on the website is key. There are web designers, graphic designers and flash technicians who can take a simple website from decent to great. If a visitor is finds it a pleasant experience to visit your website, they'll stay longer. . . which increases the chances that they will purchase your product or service. A boring website reflects on the company and the product, and in the fast-evolving internet market a business has about 5 seconds to grab the interest of a potential customer, or lose them to the lure of another, more compelling site.
Suraj Anjaana is the webmaster of GettingYourBusinessOnline.com, a helpful guide to business web site design , from someone who's been there and done that.