How Small Business Owners Can Use a Website to Cut Advertising Costs and Get New Customers!

A website for small business owners is the perfect answer for a small business owner who is looking for ways to reduce their advertising costs without giving up on advertising all together. Let’s face it, radio advertising, magazine advertising, and most other types of print advertising are expensive and may not be delivering good results. The return on investment in advertising is very important for small business owners today.Here are some interesting statistics about consumer behavior to think about:
70% of US households now use the internet when looking for products or services. Rarely do they use the yellow pages today.
31% of commercial or business owners now use the internet to search for local services or products and that number is growing every year.
Product research and comparison shopping takes place on the internet, but purchases are made off line. In other words, people do their searching on the internet, but go to a local business 67% of the time to make their purchase. They still want to meet face to face with a human being.
90% of purchases are made within 50 miles of a person’s home.
In April of 2009 Google made it easier for consumers and small business owners alike to find local businesses to do business with. They highlight the top ten businesses in any given area that have websites that are optimized for search engines.Having your IT guy, brother in law or some other family member put up a website for you is not the answer. Here’s another statistic to think about. A recent survey indicated that 90% of websites are not effective at marketing the business. It is also reported that 90% of people that leave a website will never return. What this means is that you have to capture their attention and give them a reason to return.Most people who can put up a website do not understand marketing. This is true of professional website designers as well. Now I’m sure there are some who understand marketing, but most don’t. If your website is not designed to market your business and bring in new customers, what is it for? A website is not just an extension of your brochure.A website offers an opportunity to build a relationship with your customers and potential customers. That means you have to offer something of value and give people a reason to return over and over. You also need a call to action by getting your visitors to do something. Get them to buy something, call you or at least give your their name and e mail address. This isn’t as hard as it sounds, but it does take an understanding of marketing and relationship building.Offer something of value on your site. Offer a special or a coupon. Offer a report or e book in exchange for their name and e mail address. Make sure your site is kept current and offers valuable content. A website that is simply out there on the internet with no fresh content may as well not be out on the internet.