Many small businesses are resistant to putting up a web site and have a natural fear of social media and promotion of their businesses on the Internet. Frankly, this is not at all surprising!
Well, many small businesses had their ‘fingers burnt’ when they (or business friends) put up web sites a few years ago. The media was full of hype then about the magical possibilities of web sites and they were seen as the answer to all marketing problems. Indeed, expectations were probably almost as high as the costs of putting up a web site and it was not uncommon to spend $5-10,000 a time or a great deal more on putting up a web site.
And yet many businesses found that their new web sites, however attractive – did nothing! They rarely, if ever, produced leads, were frustratingly inert, expensive to alter and ended up being little more than libraries to which to direct existing customers – often more as a matter of prestige than anything else.
Needless to say, the return on investment on many of these web sites was often negligible.
In fact, scarred by the experience, many business people felt that web sites were more trouble and expense that they were worth and many left their original web sites in place, unaltered and inert, out of apathy – and an understandable reluctance to throw away something that cost so much. This is perhaps one reason why there are so many web sites on the Internet that are clearly useless – in the eyes of any web marketing expert.
The Laptop Entrepreneur: the book that shows you how to earn a living from the Internet
So, you may well ask, what has changed?
If I alter my web site or put up a new one – then can I get a return on my investment (this time!),
The answer is yes – you can now get a return on your investment.
In truth a lot has changed with, thankfully, web site implementation now often very cheap indeed. In fact, a basic five page web site using something like WordPress (a world class industry standard platform) can cost a minimal amount with some designers charging less than $500.
Meanwhile, along with the reduction in the costs of putting up a web site, there is a good deal more knowledge about how to make a web site effective. This is vital.
In fact, the wise business person (or web marketeer) will always do research before he ever puts up a web site – to see if it can bring in the business he wants and be worthwhile. If not then he will not put one up or aim for a different marketplace.
Certainly, excellent packages like Market Samurai make assessing whether a web site is worthwhile (and has the potential to provide a return on investment) quick, precise and easy – together with providing the information to target a web site into a viable marketplace.
In reality web sites can be extremely valuable for small businesses. They are, of course, not a one stop solution to all marketing problems but often if they bring in just one extra client a week they pay for themselves, time and again, and provide a superb return on investment. The secret is to make sure that you do not pay too much for your web site and that your web site is properly optimised from the start so that it works for you – rather than being an inert library!
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