If I’m local, why do I need to be online? My customers are all local based foot traffic, not international web surfers.

I can agree that is view is a valid argument, albeit outdated in this modern age of technology. These days you have to think of your web property as your technologically advanced business card. People today, local or otherwise want to do things on their own time, at their own pace. And that includes learning about you and your company. They are not searching for you and your business in the same fashion they once did and we have to adapt.

It used to be that you had to focus on first impressions of your business, that being your external image from the street perspective. But these days customers are acting in new ways to find out whether to trust your business. So how does it work when they first run across your company? Well they now go to look up your website to see what you are all about. From there they decide if they are interested in building trust in what you do as a business and whether they want to learn more about your products and services.

So your decision to build an online presence with your offline brick and mortar business is not if but when. And if you have already made the jump you now need to figure out how to leverage this valuable asset to your advantage. You cannot afford to let traffic walk by your business and not check it out. Well online is the same. Grab those visitors with a strong message of confidence and trust and build new customers out of them!

It doesn’t matter whether you are targeting only local prospects or if you want to branch out and sell your products or services to the world, a properly set up, SEO’d website can only help you achieve even greater success.

BUT, amateur looking blogs on blogger.com do not cut it. You need a real website, self-hosted with your own domain name, that works as a lead funneling system to convert your visitors into paying customers and capture their information via a lead capture system, so that you can continue to market your products and services to them on an ongoing basis.

As we all know, it’s much easier to sell to a current customer than to constantly track down and convert new ones. So a website that is set up properly does the job of both… converting new prospects, and keeping old ones a satisfied customer who comes back often.

By the same turn, it is absolutely unnecessary to spend thousands of dollars on a fancy website, full of flash and graphics that ‘looks cool’. In fact, you’d be wasting your money because a flash website won’t do you any favors when it comes to Google, and SEO.

That is where so many offline business owners muck up and get burned. But I’ll save that for another day!