A few days ago as I retrieved the free phone book from my porch and headed to the trash bin I felt a mixture of frustration and guilt. In this era of environmental cautiousness, it feels so wrong to throw all of this paper in the garbage without a second thought. But really, who uses a print phone book any more? Does anyone?
When I need information about a business, restaurant or just about anything, I go to the Internet. I am pretty sure that most of us do. Small business owners may choose to spend thousands of dollars a year on paper phone book ads and have their ad on a page surrounded by their competitors. But again I ask, does anyone really use the bulky dust-catching phone book these days?
I will go ahead and answer that…..No. Most people use the Internet rather than the print phone book. When I enter my desire into an Internet search engine, it brings up a screen full of options for me to check out. If the business is new and unknown to me I will click to see if they have a website and continue from there. If the business, restaurant or service is listed but does not have a website, that ends my interest in them. They are a complete mystery to me and I would be smarter to use my time browsing through the websites of businesses that will give me some new information.
Even a very small business can create a simple website for little expense. The business website tells the potential customer your hours, address and even allows them to see photos of your product or services offered! Think of it as a store window in a huge world-wide MALL! Your website will draw new customers into your shop.
The activity and freshness of your business website will be enhanced by publishing regular short articles that compliment the purpose of the site. When a potential customer enters a word into a search engine they will be led to your site by the articles. Daily, weekly or monthly website articles keep a small business website alive and active.
The articles will stay in the archives of the site and continue to draw new readers and shoppers in every day. Studies have shown that most web shoppers will stay on a business website less than 4 minutes unless they are attracted enough to remain. The longer a shopper remains on your business page; the chances grow for them to become a paying customer.
Your small business will benefit from an active and fresh looking website. The Internet is the ‘go-to’ place for your customers when they need information about you. And the phone book is busy being a stepladder anyway.