It’s 2012. Is this the year your website will work as hard as you do?

A well-planned, thoughtfully designed website that positions your business to grow like crazy using the power of the Web isn’t cheap. For a business owner or manager, it can be difficult to know just when to approve the investment in a new website. Below are some thought starters on when to pony-up.

How important is a website to your business? Savvy B2C and B2B buyers are starting their buying processes on the Web – from researching companies to gathering product information to searching for specific items to purchase online. A website is likely the first (and often ONLY) impression of your business that a potential client uses to form an opinion. A professional looking website is absolutely necessary. Beyond that, does your website quickly show a current or potential customer what problem you can solve for them?

What can your website do for you? Your website can do much more than simply live online as a company brochure. It is important to be found when people are searching online for the product or service you offer. But what if your business isn’t coming up on the first page of a Google search engine results page? It’d be a good idea to look into a new site. Are you selling online? If not, could you? Can your website save labor costs by having a robust FAQ or info request section, saving your people time on the phone? A good Web marketing partner will help you understand all that your website could do to boost revenue and save costs.

What are your competitors doing online? It’s hard to win online without a good understanding of what you’re competing against. Furthermore, if your competitors are growing market share by virtue of a strong online presence and your business seems to be lagging, it’s probably time to investigate improving your website.

How long has it been since your last website update? If it’s been more than a few years since your last major redesign, it’s a good idea to revisit your overall online presence. What your customers and potential customers expect from a website has changed drastically over just the past few years, and if your website isn’t delivering you’ll find yourself working harder to get the same results.

If you’re ready to look into having a world-class team help you grow your business by strengthening your online presence, let’s talk.

Erin Jones is a business development partner for MINDSCAPE at Hanon McKendry