I spent this past weekend at the Northeast Motorsports Expo in Augusta, Maine, just as I have for the past ten years. I looked over all the racecars, seeing familiar faces, catching up with others and doing business as usual. The older I get, the more I am paying attention to things that will help my business and web related ideas. One thing I noticed is how many of the businesses that were promoting at the show that do not have a website, or their website is outdated.
Basically what is happening for these companies, is someone will see their name advertised, whether it be on a poster, a card or on a racecar itself, look them up online and come up with either NOTHING, or a company with the same name out in Arizona (that doesn’t help them find you, by the way). I have yet to see a good argument to not have a website, every business big or small, should have one. I’m not counting social media as a website either. Social media is a great marketing tool, but from what judging by what people tell me, there are still a majority that will not take your company seriously if you just have a Facebook page and not a website.
Of course it’s not enough to just have a website, your website has to look professional and show relevant content to your company. A website can even give the image of your company being larger than it is. Since many consumers now search for information online prior to making a purchase at a brick-and-mortar store, your site may be the first chance you have at making a good impression on a potential buyer. If your site looks like it was designed by a barrel of colorblind monkeys, your chance at making a good first impression will be lost.
Now, where do you go to have a website made? I’ve had plenty of people ask me what the benefit is to having me or any other freelance designer create them a website as opposed to building one themselves. Sure, there are many great tools online that you can build your own website on, I work with GoDaddy every day and they have a tool to do it. To that same point, I can drive to the local lumber yard, grab some two by fours and start building a house. Is every small detail going to get caught and be just as you want with you doing it yourself instead of hiring a professional? I work in the building industry as well and can say 90% of the time it will not, same applies to your online web presence.
In the end, if you want to build business, the easiest way to do it is by having a website built. Having an online presence outside of just social media will solidify you in your market. This isn’t an article to just promote what I do, it’s also to help you and your business, and your future customer to find you easily.