In January of this year, I wrote a couple of posts about websites with outdated content.
The posts were obviously self-serving (since Bredemarket happens to sell services to update website text), but the second post backed my points up with data.
Specifically, a study noted that when people want to research a solution, 53% of them perform a web search for the solution, and 41% of them go to vendor web sites.
I used this data to make the point that your website had better be up to date, if you want your potential customers to have a good impression of your business.
An outdated website looks bad.
But I just ran across something even worse.
Worse than an outdated website
I’m not going to provide specifics, but I just saw a Facebook post in a local business group that promoted a service. This happens to be a service that is popular with individuals and businesses. The Facebook post stated that the service provider was the best provider in the local area, and was better than the competition. The post then gave the company name of the service provider, and…
…a local phone number.
You can guess what I did next. Like 53% of you, I searched for information on this particular company. I started on Facebook itself; since the individual made the post on Facebook, I figured that the company had a Facebook page.
It didn’t. The company had no Facebook presence.
So I got out of Facebook and went off into the World Wide Web and (like 41% of you) searched for the company’s web page.
I found no company web page with that name in California, but I did find a company with that name in another part of the country that coincidentally provided the same service. But I could tell that this was a separate company.
So I went back to the original Facebook post and asked a question.
Does [COMPANY NAME] have a website, or just a phone number?
I received a response from the original poster.
Bredemarket, no, just a number.
I made no further comment, but it got me thinking.
What’s worse than a website with outdated content?
No website or web page at all.
And I’m not talking about a fancy-dancy website. If you’ve seen Bredemarket’s website, it’s not fancy-dancy.
I’m just talking about a simple page. It doesn’t have to be on your own domain; it could be on wordpress.com (like my jebredcal site) or wix.com even facebook.com (Bredemarket has one of those too). Just something that ideally tells you the company name, the person who runs the company, the address of the company (yes, UPS Store addresses are acceptable; I know), a phone number, and an email address.
When all of these elements are available, and they’re present on a website, you have at least some assurance that the company is a viable concern. (I’ll grant that this can be faked, like Abdul Enterprises was faked, but at least a name, address, email, and phone number suggest that the company is real.)
A company name and a phone number with no website, no email address, and no company ownership information is…well, it’s sketchy.
So how does a company without an online presence establish one?
There are a variety of ways to establish a company online presence. You could pay for a website, you could set up a free website via a variety of service providers, or you could simply set up a social media page such as a Facebook page.
Now Bredemarket doesn’t create websites, and Bredemarket doesn’t create Facebook business pages. Facebook offers step-by-step instructions on how to create a Facebook business page, and there are guides on how to create complete websites such as a Wix site (and you can do it for free if you don’t need a custom domain and use accountname.wixsite.com/siteaddress).
Creating the site, however, is only part of the story.
Bredemarket can help you establish the initial content for a website or a Facebook page. (And if you desire, I can help you refresh the content also.)
Let’s look at the simplest example, where you just want to establish a presence with a few hundred words (say 400 to 600 words).
I’ll start by asking you a bunch of questions.
- Topic. Well, the topic is your business, of course, but how would you summarize your business in one sentence?
- Goal. What is the goal of your site or page? Do you want people to immediately buy something online? Do you want people to rush to your business location and buy something? Or do you just want people to talk to you about your product or service?
- Benefits. I’ve talked about this ad nauseum, but it’s important to explain why people should want your product or service. If your explanation results in a “so what?” from the potential customer, then you need to refine your benefit statement.
- Target audience. The message on your site or page is obviously affected by your target audience. A page intended for forensic scientists will have different messaging than a page intended for high school students who want an after school snack.
- Other questions. These are going to vary from engagement to engagement, but it’s important to ask these questions up front to minimize any misunderstandings later.
After you and I have talked through these questions, I’ll start creating the text to place on your website. By the time we’ve gone through the process and we’re done, you’ll have an initial website presence for your business. People will be able to find your business, find out what it’s about, contact you, and give you lots of money.
But that won’t happen until the people can find out what you offer.
And it won’t happen if they only have a business name and a phone number.
If you want Bredemarket to help you establish an online presence with the correct words to woo customers: