Just because the Internet exists and has become kind of a big deal for the last fifteen years, does not mean that you necessarily understand why web marketing matters for your business in particular. If you’re busy already and you get plenty of customers through word-of-mouth, traditional advertising and perhaps the odd web directory, then why should you bother taking the time and spending the money to establish a website and a web marketing strategy?
1 – People Are Searching Online
Let’s say you’re in the roofing game. So “mum’s taxi” comes home one night, with two tired school kids in tow, dinner to cook and a overworked husband due any minute. She did her time at the office earlier, there’s dinner to cook yet plus the usual evening routine of homework and bedtime and Mum just can’t wait to get past all that and kick back on the couch to “Netflix and chill”.
Only there was a storm earlier and wouldn’t you know it? A great chuck of the damn roof is sitting on the lawn – and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop raining any time soon.
What do you think Mum is going to do?
It isn’t get out the Yellow Pages. It isn’t go looking through a drawer for some junk mail she stashed away.
She’s going to whip out her phone, hit up Google and select from whichever local roofing companies are there.
So: are you there? Are you sure?
2 – Websites Are A Logical Step in The Word of Mouth Process
When someone mentions that they are looking for what you do and a friend or family member mentions your business, they probably don’t have a card. So what they will do is send a link to your website or Facebook page or they will just drop your name.
The next logical step in the word of mouth process from there is people go online and check your business out. They want a safe way to decide if you’re who they want to call. The web is perfect for this.
So if your website looks great (including on mobile phones) and gets the message across that you provide the service they are looking for, solve the problem they have and are a professional-looking operation that creates the right impression – then half the battle is won because you’ve already come recommended.
But if they can’t find you or your website looks like your nephew built it in 1998, then you might never get that call…
3 – Building A Database of Hot Prospects
Sometimes people aren’t ready to buy, but they know they are in the market and they spend time online researching. While they are doing this, they start to make decisions, usually based on gut feel, about who they are likely to choose when the time comes to pull the trigger.
How many times have you done this? I bet you have: you’ve started Googling whatever it is that you think you’re going to need later and as you have done so, there have been a couple of sources of information from providers that have stood head and shoulders above the rest.
Usually this is due to a winning combination of attractive, simple design and useful information.
Now – have you ever found yourself giving over your email address to download an information product from one of these websites? Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t – but even if you personally do not do this PLEASE don’t think that this means that other people don’t. Why? Because let me tell you they DO – in droves.
Most sophisticated web users these days know that if they give a reputable-looking company their email address in exchange for something of value, they can unsubscribe from their email list later.
So by offering something of value – a free report, a free quote or what-have-you – you can build up a database of hot prospects. And if you market to these people intelligently and respectfully, over time, you can convert some of them into paying customers. Nothing sleazy about it – it’s all about being helpful and establishing yourself and your business as the experts in your field.