PDA

View Full Version : Phones & Websites: Do we "get it" yet ??


mdvaden
05-07-2008, 09:59 PM
I've been on many forums, both green industry and website related. One thing is evident at this point: The place in culture for websites, is and aspect where we should "get it" - get it as far as realize the point of having one.

The question has come up so often about "whether" to get a site, that the question is almost the wrong question to ask anymore. If someone - especially in urban areas - does not "get it" now about websites, the same person if they had lived back in the 1950s or 1960s, may have been one who did not "get it" about telephones.

There was a time when people managed to communicate without a telephone. But after some time, to live in the transition and not own a phone, while the transition was full-speed-ahead, would not makes sense if planning to remain "phone-less". At that time, the question would no longer be "should I get a phone, and what do phones do for you?". It would not longer be the right question anymore.

And this applies even if we don't plan to get any new customers from it. Culturally, we are at the point where adding a website just fills in the blank dots on the electronic grid. At minimum, it's a businesses opportunity to help their trade become fully represented on the internet. With "www" showing up here and yonder, on signs, on cards, on trucks, for ordering, for banking, etc., etc., etc., we have come to the point where we need to respond to the question differently.

These days, when someone asks "should I get a website?", a question to be returned to the other person, rather than a litney of reasons. Instead of a detailed response, we should ask them a question. We should ask "why are you asking when websites are popping up everywhere you look like rain drops coming down in a rainstorm?"

This is not meant to say we should redicule someone inquiring.

But at this point, with our culture steeped in websites, we really have to ask ourselves what some other people have been ignoring, to ask the question "why me?". If half the houses in a city all of a sudden had telephones back in the 1950s, any person expecting that 50% would still be without phones by 1969 would need a serious wake-up call.

Seems that the best website questions now are those along the lines of "how quick can I get a website?" or "where is a good place to host a new website?" or "how much should I save to spend on a website?". Almost all questions now should be about getting a website.

DirtDawg
05-07-2008, 11:45 PM
MDV,

You are about 95% spot on. The only instance where I would suggest no website being a good alternative would be if someone were to put up a "bad" website.

By "bad" I don't mean that it needs to have all the bells and whistles/flash animations/rss feeds/live chat/professional models/etc. A bad website is one that looks amateurish (bad spelling, typos, runs over the right edge, pop ups and advertisements, etc.), has little or no relevant information and is difficult to navigate.

If a business puts up something like that they are probably better off to not have a website. Going forward a website is more and more likely to be your customers' first impression of your business, and we all know the old adage about first impressions.

The most important thing to do when putting together a website is to try to put yourself in your potential customers' shoes and make a point to get the information to them that they would be most interested in. Pictures of your work, your equipment and crews if you look like "pros", testimonials from clients go a LONG way, service areas and so forth. Publishing your prices or a rate sheet is a coin toss. I say go for it if your pricing is pretty standardized (you can always update prices) but definitely stay away if you bid each client differently.