Your $300 Web Site
Depending on where you live, a Yellow Pages ad can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a thousand dollars or more. These ads are popular for one reason - they work.
At least they used to work. Increasing the Internet, not the telephone directory, is becoming the first place to look for information about your business. However, to take advantage of this trend, you will need a website.
Many web developers, such as TIMR Web Services, are offering low priced websites to replace or compliment your business's Yellow Pages ad. These websites are not for businesses selling on the Internet, businesses wanting to support a large 'bricks and mortar' store, or those with an international clientele. They are, however, ideal for home businesses, small businesses, trades workers and local contractors.
These small websites, sometimes called 'brochure sites', should contain at least three pages. Each page contains one of the three elements that must be a part of the site.
The first page is for the product. Specifically, it should describe how your product or service will benefit the visitor. People have come to your page to find a solution to a problem. Too many businesses waste this valuable space talking about themselves and not their customer's needs. This page, called a 'landing page', is going to determine if the visitor to your site is going to use your product or service, or if they are going to look for someone else.
The second page, sometimes called 'About Us', is where you talk about your business. The visitor to your site has decided that you can provide the service or product they need. Now, you have to prove that you are the best person to fulfill those needs. Put any certifications, trade organizations and references here. Don't over do it. Saying you have been in business in your town for five years carries more weight that saying you are the 'Best Business in Town'.
You have a lot of options for the third page. It might just be more detailed contact information, hours of work, prices (make sure they are up-to-date), or it may contain more information on your product or service.
All pages should contain at least basic contact information and at least one page should have a 'call to action'. That is where you ask the visitor to contact you directly.
Done properly, a small website is an effective way of finding your clients.