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Myths of business websites

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Myth #1 "Getting a website will be a gold mine for my business."

The truth is that the simple act of establishing a website for your business does NOTHING to increase your business. While it may have been true back in the early days of the internet that simply slapping together a website and getting your business online gave you some sort of business advantage, those days are over. Today, most of your competitors have probably already gone online.

The key to profit is not in merely having a website but in getting optimum performance FROM it, in a manner that surpasses your competitors. Put quality first.

MYTH #2 "The best website for my bottom line is the one that gives me the features I want and costs the least amount of money to produce."

This one sure SOUNDS sensible enough.

The price for developing your site correctly is a one-time expense. The revenue and maintenance liabilities that your site generates will be a consideration month after month for years to come and will dwarf the intial cost of the site.

Remember why you want a website, precisely because it will generate more revenue for your business than expense. The small business needs to focus on the revenue that a website can generate, since the revenue side of the equation far outstrips the cost. Cutting corners should NEVER cut into your profit.

How much is it worth to you to have a website that fails to generate as much revenue for your business as it could? Actually, not a dime. Think about it. Would you rather keep a website that misses, say, $200 in revenue on average per month, or would you rather dump it and pay several hundred dollars (again) to make it right?

The best website for your bottom line is the one that generates the most business without needless expense. The real savings is in getting the right website the FIRST time.

Myth #3 "People will respond favorably to my business website if it contains lots of clever script, animation, music, and other fun gimmicks."

People want content. Make it ridiculously easy for them to get to it. The person who leaves your site impressed with the website's developer is just a tourist. The person who leaves your site impressed with your content is a likely business contact. Hey, a little fluff here and there for fun is fine but...

Myth #4 People who come to my website will want to read all about the services that I provide, so I had best describe everything extensively.

People don't read web content the way one reads a book, but instead the way one reads a newspaper. The eyes seek out areas of interest among the large print before reading further. Most text never gets read at all. Website copy needs to be written in a way that is crisp, cutting, and concise, yet organized well enough so that the reader may quickly choose content of interest that is worth reading. Be prepared to make your point in about thirty seconds or less. With so many sites to visit and so little free time these days, many surfers are a bit jaded and impatient.

Myth #5 "If I have my site built by one of the large development firms, I will be assured of the upmost in quality work by people with alot of pertinent experience."

The truth is that most websites produced by companies both large and small are either ill-conceived or fundamentally mishandled. Quality is not prevalent in web design because we live in a world where most small and mid-sized businesses still fall prey to myth #1. Since far too many clients are prepared to pay good money for poor design, and because the demand for web development is huge, there is little incentive for many companies to strive for quality and custom service. Producing hit-and-run cookie-cutter websites for clients is more cost-effective for web development firms.

Best to find a company that specializes in just the sort of project you have in mind, one that also maintains a commitment to quality and performance in its design. The conscientious developer knows just how to make the site fit your company's needs. How does the developer understand YOUR needs? He asks.

Myth #6 "I know a good website when I see one."

Perhaps. You may be one of the few. Alas, there is so much that goes into a successful web endeavor that one cannot SEE by simply surfing the site. Looks can be deceiving. Words of praise about your site from your business contacts will ring true.

Myth #7 "I can't really compete with my larger competitors. They already have great websites."

The internet is the great equalizer. On the web, small companies can leap-frog past their competitors in just a few months in a way that is not conventionally possible offline. This is almost always acheivable because, most likely, very few if any of your competitors actually have great sites that produce optimum results. The web is LITTERED with sloppy work.

Myth #8 "Once I've got my site up and running, I'll be all set and can thank my developer for a job well done."

Well, not unless you have a professional on your staff who is knowledgeable in HTML, search engine optimization, and the like. Your site will need some maintenance and will not generate the results that it could if follow-up work is not done to ensure the best exposure of your site. Before deciding on a developer, be prepared to factor into your budget the maintenance time and expense you will need to invest. Find out up front what your developer will be doing for you one month, three months, six months after your site goes topside.
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