Web sites don’t matter if you are trying to sell

Internet marketers are keen on establishing online brands. Some of them spend a great deal of time, money and effort in building their “mission control” web sites which are central to their brand. However, results from a survey of 115,000 people (an impressive number) suggests that this strategy could be the wrong direction.

The survey was commissioned by New Media Age and was run by the pollsters YouGov. The study showed that a “brand” website was not as important as many Internet marketing gurus would have you believe. Most people just didn’t care. Only 15% of people really strongly agreed that they would be more likely to buy something if the brand had it’s own web site. A mere 12% said they would believe the brand to be more reliable if it had its own web site.

What these results show us is the fact that building a “brand” web site is nowhere near as important as many people think in attracting sales. True it will help get those extra people on board who would trust you more, but the bulk of people are not that bothered.

Instead, people appear more likely to buy if the specific item they are seeking meets their particular needs at that moment in time. They also buy on the recommendation of trusted contacts, even if they have never heard of your brand. What this means for Internet marketers is that two things are needed.

Firstly, you need to ensure that each of your products and services has its own web site dedicated to highly specific customer needs and groupings. If you have an ebook on any topic that could be useful to half a dozen kinds of people, you need half a dozen sites specifically dedicated to those sub groups. One site selling one product is no longer viable.

Secondly, you need to network online and offline. Build up that group of advocates for your business. Their recommendations will bring you more sales than your central “brand” web site.

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