Recently I’ve noticed that Web sites and online presence are an afterthought for many companies. They still use press releases and advertising as their main strategies of informing the public of their product and services.
In my opinion (which is final – this is my site and I’ll cry if I want to), a Web presence should play a major role an advertising campaign in this digital age. With younger people spending less time in front the television or reading newspaper, a Web site could be the only chance you have to reach your targeted demographic. A site is an integral part of your awareness campaign; money needs to be spent to make the site attractive and user-friendly.
You should think of your Web site as your storefront. When a person sees your store and it looks like crap, people will:
- Stop coming in
- Think poorly of your product
- Think poorly of you
- All of the above
Same thing goes for the Web. If your site looks like garbage and is frustrating to navigate, it turns people off and you’ve lost a customer.
To measure your site’s traffic and appeal use a web metrics tool, such as Google Analytics. Google Analytics is free, easy to set up and will provide a wealth of information in attractive pie charts (mmm, pie) or bar graphs. An important statistic is bounce rate. Bounce rate means a person visits your site and does not click on any other links before leaving your page. If your bounce rate is above 30 percent, I recommend some serious homepage revisions. Could the graphic scat-porn images and flashing banner ads with sound be an immediate turn off? Chances are yes, people don’t want to see someone taking a mouthful of excrement while listening to something worse than a flavor-of-the-week rap song ringtone.
Getting your page into the top 10 Google search results is important, but an appealing site that serves your target audience’s needs will do just that. If your customers like your site, they will link to it, pass it on to their friends and blog about it – all factors in seriously increasing your Google page rank.