Nolee-O Web Design In the Press

Web Site Design Becomes A Vital Component As Companies See The Value Of The Internet

Nathan Olson of Nolee-0 Web Design says a big part of his
work is creating a recognizable image for his clients.

As businesses search for new ways to attract customers, many traditional marketing theories have been modified or even discarded, as new methods are explored and developed.

The impact of the Internet has redefined how businesses go to market, and especially how they attract clients to traditional brick-and-mortar storefronts.The era of a business existing solely on the Internet, or solely on Main Street, has changed, as business owners begin to understand the dynamic relationship between the two entities.

When traditional businesses seek the expanded capabilities of the Internet, Web developers and online marketing firms stand ready to assist.

"A lot of what I do is creating a business image," said Nathan Olson, owner of Nolee-O Web Design. "From designing the overall Web site, through its content and how its going to look, feel, and navigate. Small businesses are our core market, and especially in the tourism industry, they understand that you have to be on the Internet to survive."

Many companies that have historically felt that the Internet would not aid their business, have rethought the view as Web development and marketing has changed over time.

"Building contractors are a growing market," said Olson. "Anybody who has a portfolio is an excellent candidate for a Web site. It's a great way to get your company out there, while adding to your traditional sales tools. The more work you have in your online portfolio, the more people will browse through it and hopefully give you a call."

According to Olson, businesses should not discriminate when deciding what information to post online.

In fact, he advised Internet newcomers to develop as much content as possible for the purpose.

"The bulk of my business is simply getting information to the prospective customer," said Olson. "In general, most businesses should try to put as much online as they can. I always tell companies to post everything they can, that your Web site wants to be a hub of information, it needs to have absolutely everything related to your business."

As Web developers cater to a growing demand for innovations, and Web users respond through their online activity, the perception of a particular business has changed in relation to its Web presence.

"New business owners are understanding they need a Web presence right away to get their name out there," said Olson. "Its almost to the point, from a business perspective, that if you don't have a Web site then you're not a real business. I always tell people to not think of their Web site as selling for them. It has to be a sales tool, to help them sell."

One of the unique aspects of Web development is a trend that has defied traditional Internet logic. The concept of "local search" has grown to become a driving force behind how a brick-and-mortar storefront develops its business, finds customers, and markets itself.

"I can remember several years ago when people said that nobody would ever search for a plumber or a hair stylist on the Web," said Sara Mannix, owner of Mannix Marketing Inc. "Its the new generation, and nobody bothers with the yellow pages anymore."

"Local search is really about finding things that are local to a community or local to a region," added Mannix. "When looking for a specific product, people often want to know who's local to them. Its outpacing all other facets of where people are getting their information and businesses are really picking up on this trend.

"When you look at the traffic that a Web site generates, business promotion through the Internet is a very inexpensive brochure that tells people all about you."

"A lot of time, you don't want something shipped, you want to find out who has it locally, so you can see it first," said Mannix. "That is what local search is about and they say it's the fastest growing sector of the Internet. Especially for retailers, people want to know that they can come back after they have visited a storefront to see more online, or show a friend something they found that was exciting.

"A Web site makes an impression, its much like your reputation, and you want your Web site to be as good as you are."

By: Brett Hagadorn
Glens Falls Business Journal
October, 2007