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Web site identity crises: When a business advertises more than One specialty.

September 20th, 2013

Many are the companies, today, that have more than one specialty. This is both common and an excellent way to expand revenue to the enterprise.

However, there is one, common mistake made on the web by many that ends up costing them a lot of money in lost sales - And the thing is, the owners will never see those customers in the first place:

Having all the businesses on a single web page.

In my business, the most common example of this is an ISP who is also a computer store (or networking experts or web developers and so on).

Why is this a mistake, you ask ? When in a competitive industry, where pricing tends to be very similar amongst competitors (Free Market 101) the impression given is that the business is a "Jack of all trades" - While this, in practicality, is not necessarily a bad thing, the effect on the customers' thought process is this:

"Why would I go with someone who does many things at the same time, when I can go with someone who specializes in the service I am looking for - and the price is the same ?"

The solution ?

Different websites for your different businesses.

Web space is inexpensive. Domains are inexpensive. Hosting is inexpensive. There is no reason not to have separate presences for each business.

Now, if an ISP also happens to sell modems and routers - that's one thing; Having a page on the main business site that sells gear directly related to the service being offered is one thing. Having an entire site where Internet services are being offered alongside laser printers, mouse pads and graphics cards - That's "Jack of all trades, master of none" territory.

One must remember, especially in fields such as Internet provision - or really, anything IT related, that to the general, non-IT public, computers and related services can be complex, confusing and even frustrating - If you've ever worked in technical support for an ISP (and I have), you'll know just how true this is. Given this, you want to inspire confidence in the customer that you know exactly what they need, that you have not only the skills and abilities to provide them, but that you also have the time and focus to do so.

A customer who looks at an ISP who is also a retail computer store may end up thinking that if they call for technical support, they'll have to wait on hold while you're serving a customer or doing an inventory count. Never mind that this may not be true - that your ISP operations may well be in a completely separate building with its own, dedicated, staff, the impression being given from a website that intermingles both is that your attention and efforts are divided amongst several things.

It is important to remember one of the most important rules of advertising (and your website is advertising):

It is not always the facts that matter, but the presentation of the facts that count.

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