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The words ‘credit crunch’ and ‘recession’ now form a staple part of the media’s daily mantra. Every day we hear the finance problems are apparently worsening and that if the newspapers’ sensationalism is even partly accurate then things won’t be getting better for the time being. This is indeed a difficult time where jobs are lost and marketing budgets are cut. So as you tighten the purse strings on your business, what will you do with your company website? Will you invest more money into it, or leave it on the back burner? Here I present five reasons why during this financial crisis you want to make your website your upmost priority.

More cost-effective than any other marketing

The knee-jerk reaction when funds are low is to reduce head count and cut spending. So it is natural that you want to get the most for your money. Websites are one of the most cost-effective (not to mention powerful) ways to market your business. When compared to more traditional advertising channels such as magazine advertising, Internet marketing is a bargain. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising programmes such as Google AdWords and Yahoo Overture can offer you measurable (see point 4) and instant results without forcing you to commit large chunks of cash at a time. In fact, it’s not uncommon to be able to fund a years worth of Internet marketing for the same price as a month of a costly advert or exhibition.

Search engine traffic is free

If you invest money in SEO (search engine optimisation) you can start appearing in the organic search engine listings – they’re the ones of the left hand side of the page. Unlike PPC-based Internet marketing this kind of search engine traffic is free. Yes, you have to pay a company in the first instance to get you to the top but once you’re there, there’s nothing else to pay. What could be better at this time than FREE traffic to your site?

Economy receding, Internet growing

Despite what the economy may be doing, the Internet is getting ever larger. There’s lots of talk of consumers spending less money yet sales through eCommerce continues to grow year-on-year. Even among the less computer-literate, the Internet has a reputation for offering better value for money so it’s the place your potential customers will turn to when they start feeling the pinch. Even if your business isn’t suited to having an online shop that doesn’t mean you can’t make money from your web site. Any website can serve as a cost-effective lead generation machine and advertisement of your services. In fact, if you aren’t making money from your site – directly or indirectly – then why have it at all? Fix it or ditch it!

Measurable results

Unlike advertising in magazines or sending out direct mail, a website lets you accurately measure your results. You can record all your online enquiries, install sophisticated website statistics software and track conversions. When every penny counts, it’s important to know what works and what doesn’t.

A website is your ideal employee

A properly built website works hard for you and your company. It functions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s never late for work, it will never call in sick and it will never take a day’s holiday. When budgets are cut and times are tough your website is arguably one of your most important assets. Neglect it at your cost!

So in this time of economic doom and gloom, if you want to make more of your marketing budget or you don’t yet have a site but want one that works, call me on 07843 483 078 or get a free quote.

Tim Bennett is a Leeds-based web designer from Yorkshire. He has a First Class Honours degree in Computing from Leeds Metropolitan University and currently runs his own one-man web design company, Texelate.