What’s the difference between an online brochure and a business website?

There is quite a lot of difference, and each type of site can work well for your business, as long as you don’t expect one to do the other’s job. Most importantly, don’t expect your online brochure to act like a business website!

What is an online brochure?

Many businesses prefer to have an online brochure to display their business in an artistic, colourful and visual way. For some types of business this is perfect.

The benefits are that a visitor can see immediately what your business offers, what they might expect if you design their house, or airbrush a design on their car, or even give your body all over tattoo art! Your style is on display, or even a limited number of your products are on display.

The drawbacks are that this type of website can be very difficult to rank, and even more difficult to create steps for you visitor to take that will convert them into buying customers. For most businesses who want on online brochure this may not be important as they get traffic to their site via their off-line marketing, or a person-to -person approach. In other words, they have the budget to promote their business off-line and direct off-line prospects to their website just to impress them! They don’t need their website to do the prospecting for them.

What makes a business website different to an online brochure?

A business website is set up to encourage online prospecting, to find new customers via the internet. A business website offers people who search online for the things they are looking for, whether that is a product, a service or something in between, a means to find that from the comfort of their home.

A business website has contact details and forms, one or more calls to action, it can have landing pages, various forms of content that encourage search engine ranking, a sales funnel, possibly lead magnets that you give away in exchange for a person’s contact details (so that you can keep marketing to them), and reasons for people to come pack to the page to look again.

These types of websites are mush easier to rank in the search engines and are much easier for the potential prospect to find. Marketing a business website, and having the marketing dollars convert to leads, prospects and sales is also much more economical.

What is the problem?

Simply put, most businesses have an online brochure and expect it to behave like a business site!

Their site displays their products and services, with images and/or text, but just sits in cyberspace doing nothing for the business. The website design can be great, and for an online brochure is should be! Just don’t expect your website to find customers, don’t expect your website to get ranked in the search engines, don’t expect people who find your website to convert into customers!

Without the call to action, the incentive to get visitors to become prospects, or without the factors in place to help search engine ranking, your site is an online brochure. Remember, that is not a bad thing, so long as you are doing the work, and spending the money, in off-line marketing!

One of our clients had an old website that was not mobile friendly, and their website was no longer on the front page of the google search in their area. We did a new mobile friendly site, with all the calls to action, contact forms and layout to beautifully display their products. Most importantly we did all of the on-page elements required for the search engines, removing meta keywords, add the right H tags, headlines and descriptions. Ensuring all images had good alt tags, adding schema, and indexing every page to the search engines. Hey presto! Complete business turn around! From no calls to over a dozen serious prospects a day.

Can it be both an online brochure and a business website?

Well, no! The moment you take your online brochure and make the changes to get visitors to take action, or you add a sales funnel, or you make your site search engine friendly, you have a business website! You see, it is not the way the website looks! It’s the way it performs!

Decide what you want your website to be! And then pay attention to the manner in which you market it!

Gold Phoenix Group (of which Website Design Company is a part of) has all the tools to help you get the most out of your website.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch – it’s free to ask questions and squeeze information out of us!