“Does My Small Business Need a Web Site?”Tweet
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak at Freedom 55 Financial on how financial advisors can generate leads through social media and use social networks to grow their business. I couldn’t have asked for a better audience, especially at 8:00 am on a Friday! If you think that financial planners are nothing but stifled individuals with suits and ties, you only need to meet that bunch to change your mind. Laughs were had from both sides of the podium!
One thing that struck me almost immediately was that some financial advisors still don’t have a site. In fact, some of them even doubt the value of having one. What an eye-opener: here we are in the online marketing industry, presuming that every single business can take advantage of social media, when many don’t even have an online presence!
So, in true David Letterman style, The Online Strategy House presents you “The Top 10 Reasons Why You Need a Site”. Pretend you can hear Paul Shaffer in the background… and let’s go!
#10 – You prospects will very likely check you out online when deciding whether or not to become your newest client. A Web site is a perfect tool to build their confidence regarding your company.
#9 – If you choose to have your site built on an easy-to-use content management system, like WordPress, you’ll be able to effortlessly update it with new information. Imagine the possibilities: a new product becomes available to your clientele, and you can immediately let them know about its benefits. It certainly beats printing a new batch of brochures, doesn’t it?
#8 – If you don’t have a site, you can bet that your bigger competitors do. Which brings us back to #10: what if your prospects could not find you online, but saw a comparable business that offered tonnes of information about their offerings? That might create a little bit of doubt in their mind, no?
#7 – Because you want to take control of what happens if prospects “google” your name. If they find your professional-looking site in search results, with valuable content, they will likely feel more reassured — especially if they are in the information search stage of the purchase cycle. However, if all they see is the link to your Facebook profile and that comment that you left on a fishing forum long ago… that doesn’t look so respectable.
#6 - For referrals. People may not remember phone numbers, but they will recall a good domain name. Choose a memorable name for your site, and you’ll make it easier for your loyal clients to spread the word about you.
#5 – A Web site — specifically a blog — gives you a voice when there’s news that you’d like to discuss — related to either your own business or your industry. You can use this outlet to keep your clients “in the know”… which helps you to establish yourself as an authority in your field.
#4- You will probably look unprofessional if you DON’T have a site. Picture this: you’re enjoying a conversation with someone who’s taking an interest in what you do, and might even want to give you some business. He asks your Web address. You say… “I don’t have one”. See that blank stare on his face? That’s the look of disappointment.
#3 – Because it’s not as expensive as you think! If cost is what has kept you from having your own cozy home online, know that now it’s cheaper than ever to have a site created for you. There are many inexpensive services out there that you can turn to, and that make it child’s play to update it.
#2 – Because you can “SEO” (that is, search engine optimize) your site to target phrases that describe your products and services. If done correctly (shameless plug here… ask me how I can help!), your prospects will find you in search engines when they perform a query for those same terms.
#1 – Because it’s 2010! What are you waiting for?
The best time to optimize a site for search engine visibility is before it’s built. There are many design factors that affect whether your site will rank well on Google or Bing. Several of these elements should be considered when the site is planned — not after the fact.
If you’re considering finally taking the online plunge, contact me at The Online Strategy House. I’ll work with your design and development teams to ensure that it’ll help you get the online visibility to reach your goals.