Websites have changed a lot since the days of “I need something so my customers can get my address and phone number.” In fact, if that’s all you’re using your website for, you might as well get rid of it. You can do all that with Apple Maps and a Facebook page. Really.

But if you have a website, why not upgrade it and turn it into a real online marketing platform? It’s not that hard, and the difference for your business can be extraordinary. Let’s look at some of the things your site can do for your business, when you design it right from the start.

 1. Your website can gather leads from every other kind of marketing you do.

We have had tremendous luck driving people to the website from newspaper ads, TV ads, radio ads, and direct mail. All of these outlets can be leveraged to drive people to your site, and then get them to engage in your content directly.

2. Move your prospects where you want them.

You can move your prospective clients through a process that leads them directly to your action page, whether that’s booking an appointment, buying your product for curbside pickup, or even signing up for your monthly newsletter or sales flyers.

3.  Capture their information

They don’t even have to sign up for you to “capture” their information and then advertise to them on social media. It’s as easy as including a tiny piece of code into your website header, and then anybody who visits your site will be tagged and can be located by you when you want to advertise to them.

 

4. Two-Way Communication. Perhaps the greatest tool in your website toolbox, though, is the ability to use content to create a relationship with your prospective customers, before they even set foot in your store, office, or restaurant. They can get a feel for the kind of services or products you provide, and discover right up front whether they want to do business with you or not. At first people are afraid they are going to “scare off” potential customers, but in fact what happens is that you reach more people, and the better customers end up being the ones that start coming into your store much more often.

And isn’t that what we’d all love to see?

So start using your website for more than a brochure. Turn it into a member of your sales team, and watch the results you achieve with a good plan and a little bit of effort.