Why is a great website so important for horse-related businesses? For one thing, their customers and clients are spending a lot of time online, searching for products, horses, and other resources (see some statistics on equestrians and the Internet). Marketing websites are unique, and in many ways superior, to other marketing media. A well-crafted website is perfectly suited for an equine business.
While it has a place in a horse business marketing mix, advertising in print and other traditional media is expensive and offers limited space for your message. On a website, you can literally provide hundreds of photographs and volumes of copy, and tell your customers everything they could possibly want to know about your business.
But more important than quantity of information is the message you convey, and with a website you have the flexibility and space to make your point. Pictures speak thousands of words, video clips tell even more, and websites have room for all. The cost-effectiveness of a website often makes it the first element to be implemented in a marketing plan.
Unlike printed materials, websites are easily updated to provide current information. Your website can be changed quickly to reflect price changes, show wins, additions to your farm, and every other bit of information that is newsworthy and time-sensitive.
More than being a virtual brochure, your website is a virtual employee and business representative that is on the job 24 hours a day, every day. Your website can provide a wealth of information on your horses, equine products, and services, which is convenient for your clients to access and requires little ongoing effort on your part. Your clients have immediate access to your equine business, no matter where they are in the world and what schedule they keep.
A well-designed site will draw new customers, but the site must be correctly designed in order to reach it's potential in this area. Correct development of your website brings higher rankings in online directories and search engines, which leads to more people being able to find you when they are looking for horses, products or the services you offer.
Websites make the most of your marketing dollars. Because so much information can be provided online, "window shoppers" can satisfy their curiosity about your horses or services without contacting you directly. Your time, resources, and printed information packages are saved for responding to serious inquiries.