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Effective Marketing Techniques - Are Company Websites Necessary? /
3

Effective Marketing Techniques - Are Company Websites Necessary? /

Effective Marketing Techniques - Are Company Websites Necessary? /

(OP)

I've been pushing for a website for the small civil engineering and land surveying company I work for, we specialize in land development. The owners feel that web-sites for a company like ours is a waste of Money and effort.  They would say something like:  "No one selects a civil engineer because of a stupid internet website...use the money for lunch or a round of golf with clients"

OK, Fair enough; but, while I may agree we might not get work as a direct result form having a website, I really do believe it would help support our other marketing efforts.  Surely potentially clients would check it out.  I look at everybody's website we do work with!   I equate it to not putting our name in the phone book.  

I'd very much like to here some of your thoughts about it. Has the website become a necessary part of business?  Am I reading in too much to our "Lack of a website"?

Also, what about some other other aspects for marketing engineering services: like the office appearance and vehicle signage, is that important?

What does impresses clients? Assuming we are otherwise highly competent engineers.

Thanks.

 

RE: Effective Marketing Techniques - Are Company Websites Necessary? /

3
More important than impressing clients with the glitz of your website is the fact that you have one.

To be an engineering firm and not have a website these days is akin to saying "I'm not concerned about keeping up with current technology....now where did I put my slide rule?"

A website only needs to have basic contact info, perhaps a bit of history of the firm, a little about the principals, and maybe a gallery or write-up of projects.  It's not expensive and gives you a hell of a lot more exposure than a round of golf.

You are right to push for it...it shows that you are progressive and can help push the firm (kicking and screaming apparently) into the next level.

RE: Effective Marketing Techniques - Are Company Websites Necessary? /

...and when people do a Google search on your firm's name, there's something that comes up rather than just a Yellow Pages address listing.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Effective Marketing Techniques - Are Company Websites Necessary? /

I totally agree with Ron.

If ever I am looking for a supplier or service that we do not have an approved supplier list for the web is the only place I look. I am not looking for a flash site just an overview of the company, the sort of work they do, a contact number and name or email address, I would not consider using a company without this.

Whilst your boss is probably correct no work is won through a web site, it is where leads are generated from. The deal will still probably be won or lost on the golf course or over lunch, but a web site will help you get that far.

If I were a prospective customer how am I more likely to find you, through the web or being invited to lunch or out on the golf course?

For the money it costs it is a must have these days for any company IMO.
 

RE: Effective Marketing Techniques - Are Company Websites Necessary? /

In the last couple of years my one-man engineering firm has gotten 10 new clients through my web page.  In 2008, nearly half my revenue came from people who found me through my web page.

The interesting thing is that many of them did a Google search, found me on eng-tips.com, and then followed the link in my signature to my web page.  Not many people have Googled "MuleShoe Engineering", but the site statistics say that a lot of people have Googled the stuff I talk about here.  When I look at the site statistics, a simple web page with contact info and my CV would not have worked for my business, the substantive material that I have placed on my web page seem to have enough meat to get people interested.

By the way, I built the web page myself using the tools that Earthlink provides and the only out-of-pocket expense is the $30.40/month I pay for the disk space and the annual site-name renewal.  I've had good reviews of the page, and it doesn't have much glitz at all.

 

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering
www.muleshoe-eng.com
Please see FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips Fora.

Remember, being ignorant isn't your fault; staying ignorant is.  

RE: Effective Marketing Techniques - Are Company Websites Necessary? /

I pay about $100/yr for site hosting (not including fees to keep the website name registered), but my website is a necessity due to the e-commerce portion of my business.  It's not expensive at all, and most of the cost is initial setup... if you're doing the work for them in your "free" time, they really have little to lose.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Effective Marketing Techniques - Are Company Websites Necessary? /

My thinking is along the lines of David's, if your name keeps bobbing up in google searches, it can't hurt.  My useless, unstylish, sporadically maintained,  website seems to be responsible for getting my name into some technical searches, to the extent that I can fend off inquiries towards people who do the subject matter professionally, rather than as a pastime.

But, my impression is that a website that is "all fur coat and no knickers" is not really going to impress people, or even score many google hits. I'd have thought that a professional looking front page, and a few good articles, would be the easiest way of getting good hits. (says greg, whose front page is a shambles)


 

Cheers

Greg Locock

SIG:Please see FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips.

RE: Effective Marketing Techniques - Are Company Websites Necessary? /

Put me down as thinking it's a good idea.  It doesn't take much to put up a simple site with contact information, some pictures, maybe an article or two about successful projects.  Up date it every now and then, put a few tags for Google to clamp onto, and put its URL on your business cards and print ads if you use those.

old field guy

RE: Effective Marketing Techniques - Are Company Websites Necessary? /

For a specialized company I can see the argument for not having a web-site, as there are probably only a small number of clients who would want your services, and those clients will probably be gained via word of mouth.
For attracting a more generalised client, or for attracting business from further afield, then a web-site is a must. It can work against you though if people see a badly designed web-site with links that don't work, or a site that is slow to open, or difficult to read ... or with curious ships and islands on the opening page (for example)?  

corus

RE: Effective Marketing Techniques - Are Company Websites Necessary? /

It is not just about clients. Think about the potential new employees.

"Do you want to work for this small company that you have not heard of?", "Mr Recruitment Agent, but I will do some research - I cannot find anything about them so I do not want to work for them"

The website is the cover on which the company is judged. My personal opinion is that it should have basic information and look as though it is cared for.  I can point you in the direction of many websites that have the "latest news" that is two years old.
PS I have visited Muleshoe Engineering's website on a few occasions, by following the link on Eng-Tips and I thank David for its presence and content.
 

RE: Effective Marketing Techniques - Are Company Websites Necessary? /

You know that saying about "dressing for the part"? A website may not be a direct revenue producing endeavor for most of us in the AEC industry but it helps your company in other aspects. It conveys that professional image that we all want our clients to see. It's not the holy grail of business development but you'd want to be at par with what the competition is doing. Besides, it's inexpensive and can be a convenient tool for new clients. Before my company had our website, I ran into problems when potential new clients will ask for work samples but our portfolio files are normally too big to simply attach to an e-mail. What I ended up doing then is uploading them to a file sharing site but the clients, most of the time will not bother to downlnoad them and look at it. Now, I can simply send them a web link and they're there.

Also, there are a lot that you can do with a web site. From a simple brochure type site to show just some basic info about your company to CRM dedicated site to take care of your clients. It can also be a lead generation tool. The question is how much you're willing to spend to create and maintain the site.

My company's website (www.dfoxonline.com), I did them on my own free time. I didn't even have any HTML abilities. It's just basic stuff and still a work in progress but it serves a purpose with what my company is trying to do.
 

RE: Effective Marketing Techniques - Are Company Websites Necessary? /

I do not want my name in the yellow pages because I am wary of unsolicited customers.  It is too easy to find bad customers!

But I do have a good professionally done website, mostly to assure existing customers that we are in the game.  It cost us about $4k to set up the first time, and about $500 to update periodically. It is due for a makeover soon.    

RE: Effective Marketing Techniques - Are Company Websites Necessary? /

I agree with all of the above.

Even when I was unemployed and desperately seeking a job, I would not consider companies that did not have a website.

My line of thinking was that if they didn't want to spring for the hundred or so dollars for a website, they were either financially strained or would try to low-ball me on compensation.

RE: Effective Marketing Techniques - Are Company Websites Necessary? /

There's a new by-law in Toronto and because of it our company is looking to sub work to a smaller structural firm.  We've been talking with peers to get some names and cross-checking with websites.

You'll be amazed how few companies bother to have a decent website and how difficult it makes in learning about them.

 

-
Syl.
www.aercoustics.com

RE: Effective Marketing Techniques - Are Company Websites Necessary? /

Not having a website to me is akin to not having bussiness cards.  It just looks silly and one extra client more than pays for all the cost.

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