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Why should your business have a website? To connect with potential customers, right?

Now comes a tougher question. Who should you design it with, and what should its ultimate purpose be?

I’ve heard many different answers to this question.

“Make it as simple as possible. Its just a basic tool for people to have something to go to when they search for you online.”

“Be as creative as possible; it should wow people when they get there.”

“Just go with a free site builder. As long as they can get your phone number, nothing else really matters.”

Yes, your site has to look good when they get there. It has to answer the basic questions, like provide a phone number and tell what business you are in. But it’s actually a whole lot more. And that’s where most people become confused and don’t have a site that lives up to its full potential.

What’s the one thing most people get wrong?

They think of their website as a simple marketing tool, in much the same way as they regard their business card of a tri-fold brochure. Yet its much more complicated. In fact, it has the potential to be the only marketing tool you need, one that can drive clients and profits to you any time you choose.

Your website has the potential for two different audiences:

Audience #1: People that already know you. These are the people that learn about you through face to face networking and type in your URL to find you. They already know your company and your brand, and specifically look for your business when they head online.

Audience #2: People that have never heard of you but are searching for someone in your area of expertise.

The One Thing Almost Everyone Gets Wrong When Using A Website As A Marketing Tool

Most people create a website with the #1 audience in mind and give #2 very little consideration.

If this sounds like your marketing strategy, audience #1 source is probably bringing in close to 100 percent of your online business (which probably isn’t much). If you’ve ever said “I’ve never received a client from my website”, this is the reason why. You’re site is built exclusively for traffic you refer, and no one else in the online world is finding it.

Audience #2 source is where your greatest growth potential exists. And it’s also the one that takes a great deal of work.

People that think “If I build it, they will come” will only ever have website visitors that fall under the audience #1 source.

But when people begin to realize that there are hundreds, thousands, even millions of people out online right now looking for what you offer, that’s when they start exploring how to reach out to the #2 source. And that’s when the real work begins.

So you follow a little advice, and do a few things to improve your online presence. You build a profile on Facebook, and sign up for a Twitter account. And a couple of months down the road, there is still no change. “This online stuff doesn’t work” you begin thinking to yourself.

Does your Facebook or Twitter account have more than a few followers? Do you post regularly? Do you post things about your business? Or does it just sit there gathering dust like your website?

In many cases, I’m willing to bet your Facebook and Twitter account are extensions of your website problems. You’ve built it, even had a few people follow you – people you already know. People that again fall under the audience #1 source.

But your not reaching out to the audience #2 sources.

The only way to solve this problem is to take action and begin marketing in a way that attracts people to your site, or your Facebook or Twitter page. You must actively approach and make offers to start building a list of potentials that may do business with you. You have to grow your list with great audience #2 sources, or you’ll have grow your business within the online community.

If you recognize your online strategy here, maybe its time to move in a new direction.