Your website is your salesperson

Having a website as a business tool is something that everyone who has a business should give serious thought to. If someone has a business right now and does not have a website that promotes it, they are already one step behind the competition. There are many things to consider when having a business site on the web, not the least of which are getting the product known, how much time and money to invest in the site and treating the site like a natural extension of a business.

The first point here is the backbone of any business. Marketing and advertising are actions that every legitimate business takes, and this is essentially what a website does. The main page is going to give the viewer the basics of what the business is all about. Out of all of those basics, the specifics are going to be shown through internal links leading to other pages within the site. These links should be easily seen and accessible so the viewer of the site can gain as much information about the business as they can in a timely manner.

This is all part and parcel of advertising a business to an unlimited audience. If someone were advertising to a local audience through the print media, they would only be focusing on certain aspects that relate to the local community. The World Wide Web though is a different game. A person has to appeal to a much broader, and diverse, audience so the information presented has to be both all-encompassing and easy for anyone to understand. Not everyone has the skillset required to pull this off though, so this is where investing money to an outside party comes in at.

This is where a business owner is going to have to really watch their budget. Not that it has to cost a lot of money, but there has to be a tight financial correlation between what is spent and what is realistically expected in return. The first thing that should be expected is a higher amount of viewership. It doesn't take a long time to see that conversion rates go up in tandem with viewership. A conversion rate, simply put, is the amount of people who go to a site and then actually buy something as a result of that view. That view was converted into a sale.

The size of a business should go a long way in determining how much should be spent here. The first obvious in all of this is how much a business has budgeted for overhead costs. This is going to be a set percentage of the gross take and this is where a lot of people get frustrated. They want to grow a lot and do it quickly, but they just don't have the funds available yet because they are still a small business. This should not be a deterrent though because even if a business does not have a large and comprehensive web site yet due to budget restrictions, a business can still have it all presented professionally at a minimal cost. Let's face it, most people who will be viewing a business site are not doing so to see how many bells and whistles they have. They are viewing the site to see what it is the site has that they want or need.

And that brings up the second obvious, which is that a business does not want to over-burden their audience with too much information. Consumers want information that is easy to get and understand, and this is hard to do with a site that is cluttered with a lot of information. Text and images cost money and when on a budget, a business cannot spend a lot of money. A savvy business person does not want to either because they want their site to be as streamlined and informative as possible. This can be a fine line for some people so it is something to pay close attention to. This also leads to the last point as stated earlier in the article in that a site needs to be representative of the business in general.

This is especially true if the site is helping to sustain a brick and mortar business. Some people do business solely online while others use their site to help drive sales, get sales, and get people into their physical store. Whatever the case is, a business does not want to see their website as something that is separated from the business itself. Among other reasons, if this is the way a person views their own site, chances are the viewers will as well. It can help to see the site as a salesperson who doesn't actually work in the store. A remote worker if you will, who has a vested interest in seeing the business succeed.

This worker is not only charged with helping to drive sales, but also with giving the company a good public image. In this day and age, getting a message across over the internet is extremely important because more and more consumers are online doing their shopping. Many times, the first impression that a person is going to have of a business is going to be seen online on the business website. The website, the salesperson, wants to make the best impression possible. A business person wants to appear professional, knowledgeable about what they are doing and, most importantly, trustworthy. It is online after all, and people still have trust issues concerning their payment safety, anonymity, etc..., so customer testimonials on the front page would be a good idea.

These are just a few ideas on how to make a website help a business make money. There are many more little things that will pop up from time to time, but that's only natural. The main thing to keep in mind here is that slow and steady wins the race. Getting a website up and running will not guarantee immediate results. Getting it up and maintaining it though will help guarantee long term results.

Adrian Lawrence is the author of this article and is one of the webmasters at Discount Domains

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