Website “Advertising” vs. Media Advertising

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As a website designer, I find that a small percentage of business owners look at owning a website as advertising and immediately think of their advertising budget as the source for purchasing a website. They don’t realize that there are some major differences between a website and advertising.

Advertising, for instance, is when you, as a business owner, are trying to get in front of a lot of people (prospects) who might be buyers for the goods and/or services that your business offers. You place an advertisement through some form of media (eg. radio, TV, newspaper, circulars, coupon books, etc.) You expect your advertisement to reach a massive audience of potential listeners, viewers or readers. You hope that, out of the many people who actually do hear, view or read your advertisement, some will be inspired enough to call or visit your business location. Unfortunately, however, people never know if the items or services you advertise are truthful and it may be hard to convince them that they are, due to the limitations of time or space allowed for your ads.

A website, on the other hand, is when a lot of people (prospects) are searching online to find a business, like yours, for the purpose of buying goods and/or services. Sixty-three percent of people, looking for a local service or product, use the Internet as their first resource. You need to show up in their search results. They are looking for a business they can trust and feel fairly confident that they will be comfortable doing business with you, so your website needs to be impressive.

There are many reasons why your website can give them that feeling much better than an advertisement can. There are no limitations of time or space when you want to tell your story about your business. You can include unlimited pictures, videos, content and much more in your website, as well as menus, testimonials and other information that will lure people to your business.

Because of time and space restrictions, the advertisement can only list pertinent information such as the business name, location, phone number, email address and/or website address (if you have a website), as well as some of the features and benefits that your business offers. There usually is not enough room to expound on the key bullet points you want to emphasize.

In addition, the ad cannot express the ambience, atmosphere or personality of your business that a website can or tell the background or history of your business and its owners. These, as well as testimonials and videos, are things that instill the confidence and trust that the prospect would like to see in order to make them want to do business with you.

Also, each time the business owner wants to reach a large audience of prospects, there is always another, usually sizeable, advertising expense involved. Then, the ad is short-lived and quickly forgotten which makes it necessary to continuously repeat and/or create new ads with added expenses each time.

A website, on the other hand, once it is set up and hosted by a hosting company, usually provided by the website developer, continues to operate day-in and day-out. It is always there, 24/7, telling your story to your prospects, in pictures and words, any time they want to access it. Your website becomes your 24/7 salesman, constantly working to increase your profits.

You should expect a nominal monthly maintenance service fee which normally includes monthly hosting of the website and website support from your website builder but this is a much smaller expense than media advertisements.

In conclusion, a savvy business owner will usually invest in both, a website and media advertising. Any form of advertising that you do, including magnetic car signs and business cards, should always include your website domain name (address.) That way the viewer of your ads can always go to your website for the additional information (and confidence) they are seeking.

The reason most successful business owners maintain websites is not because they have extra money to spend or because they feel that it’s the trendy thing to do. It’s because websites definitely get results! A website will bring more traffic to your business and more traffic means increases to the bottom line on your Profit & Loss Statements.