Originally Published in Capital Region Home Builders Magazaine, 6/2003 “Builders’ Bytes” by Melissa Ward, NewWard Development, LLC “If you build it, they will come.” This phrase made popular in the late ‘80’s only holds true if they know about you! You can build the most spectacular homes and still remain a virtual unknown if your marketing is not as good as your development. Part of today’s marketing scenario includes a web site. Web Sites are as necessary as an ad in the yellow pages in today’s competitive market. A web site allows people to look over what you can accomplish in an unthreatening, anonymous manner. There is no real estate agents to deal with and no sales calls to fear. The visitor to the site will make the first move if your presentation of your building skills and company meets with their needs. Therefore your web site must not only be visually appealing and reflect your best works, but also easy to navigate and show off your company’s true image. I akin web sites to the face you put on your business for the world to see. It is a visual 2 dimensional representation of who you are, who your company is and how well you perform. People will view not only the houses you build but also how well you present yourself to a prospective customer. Writing for the Internet and Designing effective sites has become an art. Even harder is properly promoting the site to meet your marketing needs.
Many companies are reluctant to enter the world of online advertising because they are not aware of the advantages a good web site. Even if you are not looking to “sell” on a global level, a properly marketed web site can increase your visibility in your local markets tremendously. Doctor’s, lawyers, therapists and a plethora of other service-oriented businesses are jumping on the Internet bandwagon as they realize how the increased exposure increases their bottom line. Proper key word, tag placements and link exchanges help their sites to rank higher in the local markets.
For example, a woman living in Massachusetts is looking to move to Saratoga. She goes online and searches “Custom Home Builder Saratoga New York”. Well, wouldn’t you want you site to be the first one that pops up on her screen? Would she have even known about your company and your capabilities if you did not have a web site? (If you have the chance, try that search and see what comes up).
Why use a pro? Everyone has a cousin, neighbor, sister, who can design a web site. My response to this is, it may not cost you anything up front, but it could cost you a lot in the long run! An Internet professional is accountable for all aspects of the marketing and design of your site. They have the experience necessary to not only provide you with the look you desire but how to market it effectively. While some people think of a web site merely as a referral tool. In reality it is a company representative, sales rep and marketing tool all rapped up into one very neat bundle, working for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for virtually no wages, no union and few headaches.
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