Using websites and social media to grow your business

Back in the late nineties/early noughties, everyone had to have a website. It was the new gold rush… “just get me a website built” people would exclaim.   Domains were registered, often by people with no real claim to them and basic websites were thrown up with little regard to how they were to actually benefit the business.  Literally thousands of pounds could be spend on what was little more than a poster with basic contact details.

Moving on, technology allows us to create intricate and powerful websites that offer businesses a whole range of options to give to their customers.  This technology is often free to obtain and simply requires a little time and knowledge to install and use. But still there are web design companies out there who are willing to use this technology, freely available, and pass it off as their own work charging extortionate amounts of money for time that they claim they have spent on the website.

Now, don’t get me wrong – setting up even a simple website is time consuming, but this is mostly down to the research and writing of the good content or words rather than the “programming” aspect that it used to be based on several years ago.  Where once it would take some 3-4 weeks to get an e-commerce solution to a stage where you could add products to it or “stock the shelves”, this can now be done within 2-3 days.

Website design is increasingly becoming more about business and customer analysis, gathering of the requirements and end objectives and the targeting of these goals.

Rather than having to pay for website updates, businesses can update their own content and distribute this through social media such as Twitter, and Facebook automatically.

The world of websites is fast becoming the world of online advertising and marketing, and the website is simply a small, rapidly changing part of this.

When choosing someone to provide you with a website, you should look for a provider who will go into some depth about your business and what you want to achieve from your website. Is it simply a calling card to allow people to locate your business? If so, then make sure they offer registration of Google Local Services.

Do you want to be able to sell and supply services online? How will the website company suggest marketing and advertising these services? The adage of “Build it and they will come” is only partly true.

Beware companies offering Google Adwords services – they typically charge on a % fee of your total advertising spend. To ask them to put an advertising campaign together for you is in effect asking them to write their own cheque. A more transparent charging method is the one I offer which is a fixed rate charge per month – everyone knows and understands where they then stand.

Growth of your business through on line means can be very successful, as long as you take the right approach.

 

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