I hate to say it, but there are tens of thousands of websites that are really just taking up valuable space. And I’m not talking about spam or get rich sites, or mom and dad blogs here. I am talking about legitimate businesses that have a physical bricks and mortar business, and there are plenty in almost every town in the country. Why do they take up valuable space? Because they serve no other purpose than to ‘have a presence on the web’. The business owners who have put these sites up would most likely admit to never having had a legitimate lead coming from their ‘web presence’.
So why do they do it? Why pay for hosting, a domain name, and perhaps even website design? Most likely it’s either because it’s the ‘in thing’, or because someone has convinced them of this need, and most likely walked away with a tidy profit for having done so. Now don’t get me wrong, I agree that most businesses do need an online presence, however, it does need to be more than just a basic website.
Let me change angles for a moment. Would you ever consider opening a branch office in the next town? And if you would, would that branch office sit in a corner of some old office block, or would you prefer a good location, plenty of passing traffic and nice large windows that can be dressed up? I know I would prefer the latter, and that is how your online presence should be treated.
The difference between the two is not that different. The main street or busy shopping mall is the search engine and social media like Facebook. Your web page is your shop front window, and like the inside of a shop, your internal pages are warm, inviting, and designed to promote and sell your business. Instead of local advertising, you undertake search engine optimization – the aim for each is the same, getting your business in front of people’s eyes.
Of course, the online world and the physical world do have their differences, however, if you want an online presence, treat it like you would a new shopfront – don’t do it because everyone else is. Your just wasting good money