Do you need a Website for your business?
Did you know that 97% of consumers use the internet to find a local business yet less than two-thirds (64%) of small businesses have a website?
Consider your personal search habits. When you need a product such as a laptop, or are on vacation and need to find a restaurant near you, what do you do?
You turn to Google, conduct a quick search, and see what shows up in the search results. Nearly everyone (97%) will look for reviews of the businesses that pop up in search results too. Having an online presence through a website, social media, and third-party reviews is becoming more important for businesses of all sizes. Particularly small or local businesses require a website for attracting a loyal audience and growing over time. However, 36% of small businesses do not have a website.
Undecided about investing in a website? Here are 5 benefits of having a website for your small business.
1. Show Up in Local Search Results
People rely on search to find local businesses, so to compete with large chains, you need to show up in local search results.
If your business isn’t online and relies on word of mouth or traditional advertising to attract new customers, you’re likely missing out on potential customers.
You can optimize a simple website to show up for near me searches in Google in 9 steps.
Let’s say you own a bakery in Charleston, SC. If you don’t have a website, you won’t show up when a tourist, wandering through downtown Charleston, searches for “bakeries near me.”
Local bakeries show up with reviews and links. Clicking on a bakery takes you to links for website (if it has it), information like hours, address, phone, reviews, directions, location on map and photos.
This shows that your business can attract new customers with a simple, up-to-date website that shows up for local searches.
2. Create the Foundation for Your Digital Marketing Strategy
A website is the foundation of your digital marketing strategy. It’s where customers go to find information about your business, products/services, and employees. It’s what journalists or bloggers link back to.
Why can’t a social media profile replace a business website?
While creating a Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram page for your business is a great idea, social media alone is not enough. If you only rely on third-party platforms to build your online presence, it becomes harder to control your brand’s visibility online.
Take Facebook’s recent algorithm change as an example. Now, all posts from brands will be played down unless they evoke engagements. This means your business has to change its strategy for engaging customers on Facebook.
Instead, create social media profiles and link to them from your website. Website visitors will know how to find you on social media if you feature linked social profile icons on your site. Best place is usually in the footer section of your website.
3. Showcase Your Products and Services
With more consumers preferring to find and buy products online, having a website that showcases your products and services is important. It creates two opportunities:
- Customers will find your products online and purchase them instantly
- Customers will find your products online and then visit your store to make a purchase
For example, Jackson Galaxy, is a small e-commerce business run by Jackson Galaxy featuring a wide array of cat products. Without a brick-and-mortar storefront, Jackson relies on his website to attract visitors and convert them into paying customers.
He pays special attention to his cat product descriptions. The description includes photos, video demonstrating product and reviews.
It’s important to showcase your products on your website.
4. Improve Your Business’s Credibility
Having a website proves your credibility. It reassures users that your business is legitimate and explains why your business is valuable.
For example, from the first content on its homepage, Ladies Choice Fitness tells website visitors they are more than just a gym.
Ladies Choice Fitness website explains their services, class descriptions, class schedules, specials and gives testimonials from its customers. These reviews show gym members had a positive experience.
5. Collect Customer Information
A business website is a platform for learning about your audience and potential audience. It opens an opportunity to collect information about your customers and then tailor your interactions to their preferences.
For example, collect email addresses of site visitors to learn who about who visits your website. Then, communicate with them through a regular newsletter. With your email list, you advertise special offers, promotions, new products or offerings.
Websites Are Worthwhile Investments for Small Businesses
They help you be found online by potential customers, connect with existing customers directly through social media and email, and market your products/services.
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