Reasons for a Website
The Internet is poised to help you sell just about anything. With the convenience and timesaving of buying from home or office at any time of the day or night, more and more buyers are shopping online. E-commerce provides an excellent opportunity to put an unlimited number of products online, e.g., Amazon.com! People can view products, get specifications, read reviews, and make purchases in the comfort of their home or office.
Selling online is becoming the most cost-effective way to sell just about anything without the overhead of a brick-and-mortar store, leases, payroll, and costs associated with keeping the store open (utilities, supplies, maintenance, etc.). Bad driving weather in snow or rain will not deter shoppers from you virtual store. While there are costs for the development and hosting a website, they are significantly less than having a physical store. Allow Graphic Studio, LLC to show you all the benefits and potential that exists.
If you have a specialty product or service, you probably know very well just how much work goes into finding that special customer. When you work within the boundaries of a geographic market, your marketing is geared toward reaching the elusive customer. The Internet changes that. For example, let’s say you are selling parts for classic Mustangs. Not everyone in your area owns a Mustang, let alone a classic one that needs parts. If you are trying to attract customers in your area, you may be wasting a lot of money promoting your business to an audience that is largely uninterested.
Now let’s say your marketing efforts shift from print and other traditional media to online advertising and promotions. On the Internet, there are special interest groups for virtually any subject. Since there are definitely Mustang enthusiasts online, it’s exciting to know that you can find websites where these enthusiasts meet to read, learn, chat, and seek information. By advertising exactly where your audience is located, every penny you spend immediately becomes more valuable. So when they see your advertisement or read about your products on a message board, they then go straight to your website. Never before has attracting a specialized audience been so direct and efficient as with a website.
The concept of using the Internet to serve a local market is easily overlooked. When most people think about websites, they think of the global audience it could attract. Sometimes this isn’t desirable. A business that is completely comfortable existing and thriving in its local market may not be interested in serving a larger market. For these people, a website is just as useful as it is for those who use it to expand globally. To serve your local market, a website is still a great means of serving and educating your audience. You can only stuff so much information on your business card and print materials. When you publish your website address on your cards and literature, you give them an easy way to quickly hop online and learn everything about you. More and more people continue to go online to search for local businesses, so it only makes sense to be where your customers are looking.
If you are paying employees to tend to customer support and feedback, a website can collect feedback 24 hours a day. Customer feedback forms are becoming an Internet standard simply because they give customers a great way to communicate without requiring you to answer a phone. Through a customer feedback system, you can provide a FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) section to head-off unnecessary phone calls and provide web forms for them to submit questions or comments that are not addressed within the website itself. The information that is submitted can be saved in a database for future reference. It can also be emailed immediately to anyone in your organization, such as a customer support representative for easy follow-up. This system allows your company to be more productive because you can respond quickly and conveniently.
Most businesses that choose to create a website do so in order to share information. Often that information can be straightforward, such as contact information, directions to the business, and a company description. A website is valuable for so much more. Consider the costs of handing out brochures and other company literature to your customers. The printing and mailing costs add up quickly, forcing you to be selective in the distribution of your materials. The cost of making that same information available for browsing or downloading through your website is insignificant. Instead of being charged per page as with your print material, file size and bandwidth matter on the Web. These figures are normally so small that they are typically covered in your monthly hosting fee without any additional cost. It is simply one of the best cost-effective ways to make any kind of information available.
Perhaps you have information to share but only want to share it with certain people. Areas of your website (or even the whole website) can be password-protected so that only visitors with special permission can access the information you want to share with them. There are numerous ways to take advantage of these password-protected areas. Use them to collect, display, and offer information for download from coworkers, salespeople, suppliers, patients, customers, and more. Let them enter important data or download a spreadsheet from you or access information from your database in real-time.
Some of the many reasons for having a website for your business or organization is that extensive information is available to your customers 24 hours a day 7 days a week, and you can sell your products or convey your message to people even when your call center or storefront is closed.
For some potential customers, initiating a conversation with you on the phone can be an intimidating experience. With the use of your website, not only will the customer have the opportunity to be educated on the services or products you provide, they'll also have the option to contact you via email or an online form and proceed building a business relationship with you at their own pace.
Remember, there are many people who are not on a nine-to-five work schedule or may be in a different time zone. These people do not have the convenience of making first contact with you on the phone if your business is open during the day or in a time zone different from their own. With the use of your information-packed website, your customers can easily correspond without deviating from their normal schedule.
Your website is a great place to post changing information. The moment you post new information, it is instantly live on the Internet. You may have sent out printed marketing materials only to have a date or location change at the last moment. You can’t take it back to make corrections. With your website, however, you can easily let customers, friends, salespeople, or the general public know when and where that event is to take place. If you routinely showcase new products or services, putting it on your website is the fastest and easiest way to make changes that are immediately accessible to anyone online.
Expanding your business through a website is geared toward companies that have something of value to offer, whether it be promoting or selling products or information. The Internet holds distinct advantages over running a physical store. The obvious advantage is that the geographic boundaries of a traditional business are not present. Online you will find that once you begin to market your business, people will show up from all over the country and often from around the world. Somebody always wants what you have to offer. Promoting through the Internet and having a website to draw them in will help you expand your business.
There is a fair amount of prominence to having a website. It gives people the impression that you are savvy and smart enough to take your business to the next level. Since a website is such a major convenience, it also tells people that you are interested in sharing more information with them. Businesses without websites should consider the opportunities and improve their image that having a website offers.
However, just having a website alone is not enough to improve your image. It needs to meet several criteria including aesthetic appeal, usability, relevancy, and more. Many websites that are slapped together have a cheap look to them. This can have an adverse effect on visitors’ perception of your business. If they feel your website looks cheap or amateurish, they may be inclined to think that your business is also cheap or that it is somehow less capable of meeting their needs. So while a website is a nice addition, it only makes sense to do so if the end product does your business more good than harm.
Graphic Studio, LLC believes client involvement in the web development process is extremely important, however we understand that busy, successful businesspeople have little time to devote to such activities, or may have the misconception that they have to do all the work: enter Graphic Studio. As you can see from our testimonials, once we have your commitment and understand your objectives, we will research your market and competition, make appropriate drafts for your review and modification. The drudgery of organization, copy writing, image selection, etc. will have already been done and you have only to edit and hone to your liking. See how it all works in From Start to Finish below.
- Professional Site Design
- E-Commerce Development
- CMS (Content Management System) Development
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Web Graphics
- Flash Application and Animation Development
- Copy Writing
- Assistance with Your Website Address (Domain Name) Registration and Implementation
- Web Hosting Plans
- Ongoing Site Maintenance
We will have an initial discussion to review website requirements, design, functionality, budget and timing requirements. We are available for face-to-face meetings, or if time is of the essence, we could accomplish the same tasks through email or telephone.
After the initial meeting, we will provide a detailed proposal, outlining key points from our initial meeting to include a navigational scheme or sitemap of the website and detail the production processes required to achieve our goals.
If you’re satisfied with our proposal, a contract is signed, appropriate up-front money is paid (typically 50% at time of contract signing and order placement, balance when project is complete) then we will begin the layout and design process.
We will prepare either a screen shot or sample web page to give you the “feel" of the site with all necessary graphics and images. When the layout and design is approved, we will begin full development of the website.
We will upload the completed website to our server and send you a link to review and evaluate the website that will have full functionality with the site’s copy content written completing the design phase.
When approval of the evaluation website is received via email to us, we will upload the site to its final host and connect to your domain name where it will appear live on the Internet within 24-48 hours (the time normally taken for propagation throughout the Internet).
Graphic Studio’s Maintenance Program is affordable and efficient. Along with manual submissions to open source directories on a monthly basis – especially when modifications have been made – we will make whatever changes requested via email typically within 24 hours. We also continually monitor web stats and make SEO refinements based upon a page’s interest (or lack of) and revise and submit XML sitemaps to search engines.
Graphic Studio, LLC is dedicated to your website’s success now and in the future. We are never more than a phone call or email away. Contact us for a fair and comprehensive quotation!