More North Vancouver businesses need to get online if they want to improve sales and appear more credible to their customers, according to a local web designer.
"There's a lot of businesses that don't have a website," says June Kaminski, a North Shore resident who has been running her own web design company for seven years.
A Yellow Pages listing is often the only online connection between North Shore businesses and those who use Google.
When Kaminski is not teaching nursing at Kwantlen University College, or working on her PhD in education, she's dealing with web design clients from all over the world, but none from the North Shore.
"A lot of them are in the U.S. but it's global. I just did one this week from New Zealand, another one from Australia, some in the U.K. and another one in Belgium."
Kaminski says websites help businesses market their products and services to a wider audience and she's not sure why North Shoreites tend to stay off-line.
"If you look from a business perspective, it has been known to boost your sales."
And websites are not hard to set up.
"It's really quite easy if you find a designer you trust," she says. Costs can run from $200 or $300 to $2,000. And depending on a business owner's skill level, they may want to hire someone to maintain the site.
Most online sites are "pretty blase," according to Kaminski, who says aesthetics are important.
"You want to see more than text on a white background," she says. "It's good to have really good graphics. Make it a treat to go to your site."
When creating a website for your company, pick a metaphor for your product, she advises.
"If you're talking about something organic, maybe Mother Nature," she suggests. That image can be used throughout the site and tie into colour themes to create mood.
Text should be broken down into small chunks that are easier for the reader to digest. Navigation is also important; the site should be easy to move around in.
Small business sites, in particular, should have links, articles, advice, images and news related to their products or services.
People can check out Kaminski's website at www.visionsofadonai.com