Lately I have become extra aware that there are still many places of business that are neglecting their online presence. Recently, I was trying to find a place to meet my mother for lunch. We live a little over an hour apart, so we were looking for somewhere to meet in the middle. Not knowing the area very well, I relied on the internet to research potential restaurants. There were many names that I came across that had no web presence whatsoever, not even a basic Facebook page. There were some places that had a web presence, but it was so outdated or jumbled that I couldn't garner any information from it. In the end, I picked a place that had a decent website and featured their full menu online.
What does this story mean to you? It points out the importance of having a web presence for your business. It doesn't have to be glamorous and full of multiple links and pages. It does need, however, to have the important information on it. You will have to identify your consumer and what they are looking for. If you are a restaurant, you need to highlight what atmosphere you have to offer and what type of food you serve. If you are an amusement park, you need to highlight your prices and what makes you different from any other amusement park. If you are a freelance writer, you need to showcase your talent and tell your audience how you stand out from other writers.
If you want to succeed as a business, one of the most important things is to build yourself a web presence. Give your potential customers a place to come to for research. Let them learn more about you, what you have to offer, and how you are different. Give them a way to find out more from the safety of their computer and you will be rewarded with more customers and, more importantly, loyal customers.