Many people have websites (for their businesses as well as for personal use) and many people have blogs.

The issue is whether people truly understand the difference between a website and a blog. They certainly are not the same thing.

The following explains the basic differences between a blog and a website:

Website Overview

Blog Overview

Websites

A good way to think about a website is in terms of it being a virtual store that sells products and/or services. A website is the perfect forum to self-promote and advertise. Promotion and buying and selling are exactly what people expect when they visit a website. When they are at the point of making a purchase of some kind, they go to a website that will satisfy their needs.

Customers can either purchase something online directly from your website or they can use your website to find out exactly where your bricks and mortar store is located so that they can come and purchase products and/or services from you in person. Once a customer has bought something from you, there is a very high likelihood that they will not return to your store again.

It is also basically impossible to build relationships with your potential customers and existing customers on your website because the website is static. Once a person has purchased something from you, there is no potential for interactivity so the relationship will never have a chance to develop and grow.

 

Blog

A blog; however, is constantly supplying potential customers and existing customers with interesting and useful content and the blog enables them to interact with the blogger and the discussions that they have together can be potentially unending. Not only can you and your customers have discussions but they can also ask questions that you can answer.

Also, a blog provides a dimension to the content that you can’t get from your website content. Through your consistent and regular blog content, you will eventually be regarded as a subject matter expert in your niche and people will turn to you for answers. This will promote more and more discussions.

What is really being done in this case is that relationships are being developed and strengthened. Some of the people with whom you interact on your blog will never become your customers. That is perfectly acceptable. They can interact with you as much as they like and do not have to worry about any pressure to buy anything. A very important fact is that the people with whom you interact are getting to know you as a person, which includes your level of integrity, your passion for what you are doing and offering and your knowledge, knowledge that you impart to them.

Blogs have a lot of useful features that are very helpful in promoting interactivity. Blogs enable visitors to subscribe to them so they can receive updates on a very regular basis. They will always be informed when new content is added or there has been some update to the social media profiles of the people with whom they interact.

In order to really be effective, blogs should have new content added at least once or twice a month. Fresh, original content is very important. The content is exactly what attracts and retains people and many of those people will eventually become customers.

The true purpose of a blog is to provide helpful, valuable, informative and interesting content that helps other people and that they find interesting. A blog’s purpose is definitely not to advertise or to do a hard sell on anyone. If you try to use your blog in that way, you will be very disappointed with the results. You will not be able to build relationships with anyone and you most likely won’t sell very much. People don’t buy from people whom they don’t trust. The only way that they will trust you is if they get to know you.

All In One

One approach that has proven very effective is building your website with blog software, such as WordPress. This software platform has the capability of providing you with both static web pages (pages) and blog pages (posts). Since both are necessary for the success of your online exposure, this allows you to design a web presence that contains a traditional website and a blog using one tool.

Among the other benefits are:

 

Conclusion

So whichever option you decide to go for you should choose what is right for your business. The business world is changing and it is important to give due consideration to your businesses online presence and how you nurture customer relationships.

If you would like to discuss your website and get some ideas, email us on hello@itchyfingersdesign.com

Understanding the type of people who visit your site is very important because you can use that information to enhance your online presence to suit them.

As a result, you will gain more loyal, returning visitors who will come back.

The Internet reaches a worldwide audience and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For this reason, more and more potential customers are turning to the web for a variety of reasons, including researching products and services and making purchases.

As more and more consumers go online for these reasons, it is extremely important for businesses to establish an online presence. This is so important because failure to do so may result in their competitors gaining an edge over them when it comes to online visibility and ultimately sales.

While it is important for businesses to begin digital marketing campaigns, it is also important for those same businesses to realise that basic advertising principles still exist and they cannot neglect these principles.

Most importantly, those who advertise online have to be aware of who their target audience is and how to reach that audience.

How do you decide who to market to?

Narrowing your focus to one primary group of people is often difficult for small business owners.

They want to help everyone — and very often, their product or service can help a variety of people. It also goes against human nature to narrow your focus in order to grow a business.

Common sense seems to tell us that if we want to grow our business a great deal, we need to appeal to more people.

In reality, the opposite is true. When we narrow our focus to a particular group of people, we become experts in solving their particular problems.

We get to know them very well and we can develop additional products and services to satisfy their needs.

So how do you decide who to market to? The following are some tips:

Research your target market

As with any marketing campaign, business owners should do some market research before they launch their Internet marketing campaign. Ideally, this will involve hiring a research consultant with a great deal of experience in conducting and evaluating this type of market research. The results of this research should determine the basic demographic information for the target audience. The results should also include information on how to reach this target audience.

A business that cannot afford to hire a consultant to conduct this market research should still make an effort to obtain this information on their own.

This can be done through informal polls of current clients. This information may not be as comprehensive as the information obtained in a more formal study but it can still provide a great deal of insight into the best way to reach the target audience.

Designing your online presence for your target audience

Once this information is obtained, it is important to tailor the Internet marketing campaign to appeal to the target audience.

There are a number of different variables that can be modified to ensure that the right message is reaching the right people in a manner that they can understand and to which they can relate.

Some of the ways in which your digital campaigns can be tailored in this way include the aesthetics of your website or advertisements, the wording of your content, and the use of more advanced design features such as audio and visual or interactive tools.

Here are few things to be taken into consideration when designing for your target audience:

Goals

First you need a goal when you are developing a website for your audience.

If you do not know what you are looking to achieve, it will be very difficult to succeed.

Also, it takes a goal to drive your website to where it needs to be.

A goal is what allows you to develop an initial plan for your website and helps to guide you in developing your website as well.

Layout and Aesthetic Appeal

When you design the layout for your website, you have to take into account the characteristics of your audience.

Are they old or young people?

Are they looking for trends or are they just looking for information served without any icing on the cake?

The aesthetic appeal of a website can greatly contribute to how the website is viewed by the members of the target audience.

A website that is designed to attract the attention of an older generation with more conservative tastes should include muted colours, clean design, and conservative graphics.

This will help to ensure that the target audience enjoys the website.

Conversely, if you are looking to appeal to a younger audience with more liberal viewpoints, you might choose to design the website with bold colours, eye-catching graphics, and creative design features.

Demographic

What is the age level and what kind of knowledge does your audience have?

A layperson might spend time on a website about literature but a professional editor or writer might have very little interest in that particular site.

Content

The copy you include on your website should also take your target audience into consideration.

Consider the examples of a conservative and a liberal audience listed above to create a better understanding of how the copy on your website can appeal to the target audience.

When marketing to a more conservative audience, the copy should be tailored to use formal language and use facts to back up viewpoints.

However, when you are marketing to a more liberal audience or a younger audience, you may wish to consider using less formal language, which is likely to appeal to the target audience. You can also focus more on emotion to express viewpoints.

Audience’s Emotional State

Take your audience’s emotional state into consideration when building your website.

If a very irritated visitor searches for a solution and comes across your site, you will want to make sure that you offer the solution right up front and sell or promote your product to him as the second priority.

In this way, the visitor will put his trust in you for offering the solution to his problems first and is more likely to buy your product or service when you offer it to him after that.

Language

Try to sprinkle colloquial language on your website sparingly, where you see fit, and you will create a sense that your audience is on equal ground with you.

This, in turn, builds a trusting relationship between you and your audience, which will become useful if you want to market a product to your audience.

Updates

Another important tip for developing a website for your audience is to plan when you will provide updates.

This might seem like something you could consider down the road when your website needs updating, but it is really not the case.

You need to know when your audience will most likely be viewing your website and when they won’t so you know when to provide updates. A little bit of planning will go a long way.

 

CONCLUSION

Your audience is very important and should be taken into consideration as much as your goal when developing a web presence. Basically, you are developing your web presence for a certain audience and these are the people who will help meet your goal so this is very important to consider. Just make sure that you determine who your audience is before you begin developing your web presence.

If you need help defining your target audience, get in touch on hello@itchyfingersdesign.com

In today's digital age, the best way to find new businesses, products, and services is by searching the web for options.

It’s really of no great surprise that most businesses today have gone down the online route to connect with consumers in a way practically unheard of 30 years ago.


Now, only you can decide whether or not a website is right for you, but here are eight reasons to consider before making a change.

1. Your main competition is already online

While “everyone else is doing it” is not a valid argument that fits most decision making, choosing to get your business online with other businesses that have gone online is a no-brainer at this point in the digital age.

In 2019 not having a website for a business is rather like saying that you do not need the revenue and online presence for your business.

The simple fact is that if you are a business today most, if not all, of your competition is already online, and they’re getting customers that you’re not as a result.

Not having a website is a huge disadvantage to your own business.

2. It will increase your audience

Having a website opens up your business and your products to a global audience, which is especially important if you utilise your website as an e-commerce store.

Selling your products online is a great way to supplement your offline business, and even if you’re not selling a product even the simplest of websites offers exposure to a free market otherwise left untapped.

Plus, we live in a culture where “Google It” is a phrase uttered by almost everyone across the globe on a daily basis, and I think not having a website is a bit of an oversight for any business in existence.

3. 24/7 Customer Service

Having a well-functioning website is a great move for customer service, allowing your customers to find basic information online that they would otherwise have to call in about taking up the time of you or your employees that could be better spent doing other work.

Information requests by customers, or prospective customers, can be handled instantly.

A website can work for you while your business is closed, allowing customers to figure out vital information they would otherwise have to wait to have answered.

Your business can run online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. With some attention to detail and a solid SEO strategy, your website could become your most valued asset.

4. Allows you to create an impactful first-impression

First impressions count right? We are living in the genesis of the digital age where your customers can pull a tiny computer out of their pocket and access your website within 15 seconds.

You can likely see how this kind of instant gratification also results in a viewer making a judgment about your website and any service it offers. Unless your website is well designed, instantly informative, and user-friendly you’re likely to lose a customer.

Just like your business front, it is your job to create the first impression that passersby have of your shop.

Creating a new website puts you in pole position. A good web designer knows how to implement a style that evokes the impression you intend users to have leaving your business.

5. Great for recruitment

Your own website is a great tool for recruitment when you’re looking to fill positions within your business.

The classified ads have all but disappeared from traditional print, making the move to digital (like everything else).

Your website can be a direct hub for processing online applications, alleviating the hassle of collecting and sorting through endless piles of cover letters and resumes.

6. Having a website makes you more discoverable

Getting discovered online goes beyond search engine results, and having a website with well thought out keywords, proper coding, and appropriate classification aids in having your business information indexed on GPS devices, social media, and other websites that index your business’s information for users to access.

7. People are already talking about your business online

This comes as a surprise to many small business owners, but there’s a significant chance that your business already has a web presence. With websites like Yelp, Google, Facebook, Twitter and other websites that allow user feedback, you can bet that someone has already reviewed you.

It’s an unfortunate truth, but a customer who has had a bad experience with your business is considerably more likely to take to the internet to write a review than someone who had a pleasant experience.

Bearing this in mind, having a website and utilising search engine optimisation techniques allows you to push this kind of website further down the page of results.

Even with positive reviews, if the first thing that pops up when users search for your business name is a user review site like Yelp your credibility takes a steep slide into non-existence, even if you have more good reviews than bad.

Having a website gives you the opportunity to guide the conversation. While simply having a web presence won’t stop people from writing negative reviews about you, it does give you a voice in the game that would otherwise be lost.

8. It is your shopfront to the digital world

The web is a tool without geographic boundaries, it allows your business reach anywhere in the world so if you have a business that is focused on growing internationally, a properly designed and optimised website can provide really good results.

CONCLUSION

If you would like to discuss your project or just need some advice, comment below, get in touch via email us or call on 086-8710018.
 

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