This is such an important area for businesses to consider, and could impact greatly on the number of potential customers you gain through your online business advertising. As this area is so important, I am going to get straight to the point:
If you had a shop, would you stop passersby from entering unless they called you first, or alternatively expect them to have to ask around to find out how to get in? Of course you wouldn’t, however that is exactly what you will be doing if you do not place a link on your business advertising to your own website.
If you think about it, if you do not place a link on your business advertising you are only leaving a prospective customer with two options:
1. Call you on the phone:
Expecting someone to call you on the telephone immediately after viewing some key details on your advert is not only limiting the number of customers that will call you, but could also force your potential customers to your competitors, particularly if they have an advert in the same place as you but do have a link to their website.
A potential customer that is browsing an online directory is, at that moment, in the mindset of being “online” – why “force” them to have to go “offline” and make a phone call just because you haven’t given them the option of quickly and easily viewing your website?
When you walk into a shop after looking in the window, you rarely walk straight up to the store manager and demand to buy something. You usually like to take your time and browse the store looking at prices, dimensions, colours etc before you ask for help. Well – it is no different in the online world. Due to the limited content available on most adverts, a customer is likely to want to explore your business offerings further in their own time by easily clicking on a link to your website.
Your advert in effect is your shop window as it contains the key information / images etc that you feel will entice a potential customer to use you. You need a “door” on that advert that enables someone to go directly into your “online shop” so you can keep the customers journey focused, and hopefully from there, once they have had all the information you can offer, they will either purchase/book online or call you, or visit your premises.
2. Try to find your website on an alternative search engine:
This one amazes me! You would be surprised by the number of advertisers that waste valuable text space on an advert by putting things like “Google us to find our website”. Think about it from a prospective customers point of view… can we really expect a customer to leave the site they’re on, remember the company name they have just viewed, launch Google and search for that company, find the link in the results and then click on the right one to launch your website? Would you do that? Especially when the their competitors advert may be just below them, with a link to their website.
Or the other one we see from time to time is “visit A7aerialsdotcom”. Again this is expecting the potential customer to have to copy and paste or manually retype the text (correctly) into the browser and hit go. Again, will customers be bothered to do this, particularly when some of your competitor adverts will have a nice simple link button on their advert directly to their web site?
I hope this blog has made you look again at the importance of linking your advertising to your website. There are many online business search engines / directories out there, and they all offer a link to your website (free or paid), however the price business directories charge is usually very low due to the importance and commonality of web links. For example BT Tradespace offer a free web link, and here at Wampit we only charge £19 a year. However, other directories are still charging anyting up to £300 so be careful and spend your money wisely.
For the reasons mentioned above, a web link is a vital part of your online business UK advertising, and if you have a business website your business advertising should always link to it from as many online directories as you can….