Originally published in the Boulder Daily Camera and the Longmont Daily Times-Call.

Many years ago, I attended an event hosted by the Boulder Chamber of Commerce.  It was held at the Boulder Theater. The purpose was to introduce businesses to something known as the “world wide web”.  As we sat in the dark, our facilitator took us directly to the Library of Congress. “What book do you want to look up?” she asked.  Someone called out an obscure title and in seconds it appeared. We couldn’t read it, but it was identified as being in the collection.  We were all amazed! At the end of the session, we were reminded to think about the “billboards” that would soon been appearing on the world wide web and how we could use them to promote our businesses.

I remember standing outside in the blinding sun with other business owners. We knew something big was happening, but we couldn’t wrap our arms around it at that time.  It was exciting and somewhat scary.

Flash forward to 2023.  Some question whether or not we still need websites, if the value is still there.  When I’m asked, “If I do only one thing this year to boost my marketing, what would you recommend?”  I recommend focusing on your website.

I know many of  you are working on blog posts, creating social media content, sending out emails and running digital advertising campaigns. That’s great!  It’s all important.  But you’re probably directing traffic to one place.  Your website.

Your website is the most powerful marketing tool at your disposal.  It is still your “billboard” in the internet galaxy. Your website is the place people go for more information, to make a purchase, to reach out for a demo, to sign up for an email newsletter, or to learn something new. Your website is your company’s online heart, your digital business card. It should pull in traffic, offer an elevated user experience, and provide you with measurable results.

Are you using your website as the powerful tool that it is? Let’s talk about why websites are the best digital marketing tool.

Having a strong website proves your legitimacy to your audience. You build credibility and grow your digital presence by having a website that connects your visitors with the information they’re looking for. As the digital storefront of your organization, your website should be inspiring, educational, and proof of the value of your brand.

Your site is your digital catalogue, your guidebook. It gives your customers a better idea of what they’re getting by working with you, hiring you, purchasing products from you or donating to you. Showcase what your business or organization stands for, and how you can meet your audiences’ needs.

Your website constantly collects data. From this information, you can learn more about your website itself as well as your audience. It clues you into the impact your site is making, the paths your audience is using to navigate your site, and the top conversion points.

This data informs you which marketing strategies are working and which aren’t. It can also tell you if your audience is engaged or if they’re quickly leaving your site.

Your website can be a great source of information for your audience. It positions your organization as a trustworthy, reliable source of information, and a helpful, knowledgeable partner.

Technology is growing faster than many people can fathom.  Certainly, those of us who attending that Chamber demo so many years ago could never have predicted where we are today.  I remember thinking as I drove away, “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades!”

Be sure your website shines brightly.  It’s your “billboard” in the universe.

Stacy Cornay is the owner of Communication Concepts Public Relations & Advertising. 
She may be reached at 303-638-7127; scornay@comm-concepts.com; www.comm-concepts.com; Facebook.com/Communication Concepts; X @CommConceptsPR; or Linked In.

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