When establishing priorities in our business, we often go with what we know and what seems right. Traditional advertising like yellow pages, newspaper, TV and billboards “seem” like the right thing to do. However, the world has changed. Consumers are going online to research purchases and choose who to do business with. All local businesses, small or big should have a website. If your small local business does not have a strong presence on the web, you are missing out.
Here is my list of the top 7 reasons why a quality, optimized website is key to your small businesses success:
1. Consumers are influenced by search results
Most consumers will use the web to search for products and services they are looking for. Although, your small business may appear in the organic search results due to directory listings, your goal should be to get your own website to appear high in the search results. This way, clients are exposed not only to your business, but to web pages on your site that are specific to what they are looking for. Without owning a local business website, you cannot do this.
2. Own your content
Your business might get found online through your social media accounts or through directory listings, but you do not truly own that content. If the business directory company went out of business or social media service takes down your account, you will lose whatever presence you have built. Creating a website where you own the domain and the content is the only way to make sure that your internet presence stays constant. Having ownership also means that your marketing can be flexible and you can react to events quickly, which helps you stay ahead of your competition.
3. Brand yourself as an expert
If you use your website properly, you will develop a resource of information about your sector or industry and therefore demonstrate your expertise within your field. Enough cannot be said about branding yourself as an expert. When you add quality content to your site, not only do you improve your chances of being found, but your prospective customers gain confidence that you are the best in your market.
4. Your website is a huge digital business card
Owning a local business website is like your new digital business card. Even if your customer loses your business card, they easily find your website. In addition, customers will be able to get more infinitely more information about you and your business than you could never fit on a printed business card.
5. An inexpensive form of advertising
Having a small business website can be a very inexpensive form of advertising. You can provide more information about your products and services to your customers than any other form of advertising. While a quality web presence is typically not as expensive as traditional advertising, there is a higher cost in the form or “sweat equity.” Your website is a reflection of you and your company and nobody knows you better than you do. Even when you hire a company like 1sixty8 media to handle your website design and marketing, you still need to take part in the process. Don’t let that scare you. We make it easy!
6. Answer your customers questions
A website will answer all of those questions that customers routinely ask:
- How do I get to your location?
- What are your hours?
- What credit cards do you accept?
- Do you have references?
- What brands do you carry?
With proper execution, a website will offer your customers convenience and show that you care.
7. Simply put: A small business website is expected
You are expected to have business cards, brochures, a sign in front of your business, even a vanity phone number. More than ever, customers demand that you have an online presence. I cannot think of a bigger signal that a business is out of touch than if it does not have a website. A growing segment of buyers will not do business with a company without first checking them out online. And that my friends is the cold, hard truth. Like it or not.
I hope this was helpful and presents a strong case for having a website for your small business. It is never too late. The nice thing about online marketing is that you can go from zero to sixty in no time at all. If you haven’t invested in a website (or if you know that your current site isn’t cutting it), please call or contact us to discuss your situation. Initial consultations are always free. I look forward to hearing from you.