Have a Business? Get a Website.

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It has been reported that in  2018, 35% of small businesses do not have a website. Although a small business can survive, and in some cases thrive without a web presence, the benefits of a business having a website far outweigh any negative aspects. Today across the U.S. 85% of consumers find local businesses online. Additionally, consumers trust businesses that have websites more than they trust those that do not. The following are 5 top reasons why local small business should have a website.

A website allows small business to define and control its web presence

The internet has added a new dimension to the modern-day business that our predecessors did not experience. Whether one likes it or not the internet is here to stay and has dramatically changed the face of traditional business. 

Creating your own business website gives you a voice and allows you to control your online image. Google “my business” and a facebook business account are valuable online tools, but with both of these entities, businesses are portrayed according to how a third party platform perceives them.  A business website allows you to control your business’ online presence which is necessary so you’re not defined by google or Facebook.

A website will grow your brand, expand your consumer base, and increase your revenue.

Before I delve into this topic,  let me say that there are very good do it yourself website building platforms that are designed to save you money. Essentially, anyone with a laptop and a credit card can design a website. However, a professional web designer will not only tailor-make your site to your needs but will also work with you to create and implement a digital marketing strategy to drive traffic to your site. Because let’s face it: the trick to online anything is getting people to know about you.

A well-executed business website should reinforce and grow your brand. Professionally designed logos, websites, social media pages, and social media marketing campaigns should meld together in such a way that a consistent brand image is effectively constructed increasing consumer and industry awareness of your brand. Depending on the specific type of small business, expanding one’s customer base is usually a top company priority. A well-constructed website and a strong marketing strategy will automatically expand your target market beyond your local community (if appropriate for your specific business type.) Consequently, increased brand awareness coupled with the expansion of a business’ customer base should grow revenue, especially if the business website has the capability of generating product sales.

A website provides an opportunity for small business to showcase its product and services.

If everyone is on the internet playing with their cell phone, tablet, or wearable, shouldn’t you as a business be trying to reach them?

Although the specific requirements of a top-ranking product page include high-quality photography (the more product angles shown the better,) an original and thorough product description, as well as a call to action button, a product page is an extension of your physical showroom and should be treated as such. With 85% of consumers conducting local searches online, a well-designed product or services page allows for potential clients to review your offerings, and in many cases, these pages are the first point of contact with a potential customer.  Without a website, business is losing out on potential revenue with an entire segment of the consumer base that likes to conduct online research before making a purchase.

Without going into too much detail, product pages should adhere to the following best practices: 

Each product should have its own page. Perhaps more work initially, a page per product not only helps the consumer focus on one item at a time but each product page also benefits the business, allowing for each product offered to become a high ranking page in search results. Multiple high-quality photographs, an original written description, and a clear call to action guiding the customer along her path to purchase are all components that contribute to a successful product page.

Service pages are constructed a bit differently than product pages. Service pages should be written and designed to instill trust in your readers. Proof and a second opinion from a third-party source in the form of a client testimonial should be used and should be easy to find on the page.  Also, your service page should lead your clients into a natural conversion. Finally, as with product pages, a clear call to action guiding your visitor from reader to client should be clear and boldly marked.

A website helps to validate your business and instills trust in your customers

I think Warren Buffett says something the to effect of, it takes years to build up trust and only a few minutes or seconds to destroy it. I’m fairly certain that was him.

Having a website as a business makes your company appear up to date and culturally aware.  It demonstrates a level of professional intelligence and is a reflection of a company that is willing to use digital business tools for self-promotion and growth.  Even if your business will not be selling anything online and your customers do not use computers regularly, a website is still beneficial. 

In today’s professional climate, consumers are on their phones several hours per day and use their phone to conduct local searches via the internet. Having a website is a trust builder as it makes your business appear both more legitimate and transparent. Moreover, a business site gives potential customers a means of obtaining information about your business without making direct contact. Recent studies suggest that listing company name, physical address, and phone number on your site further build trust with your customers. 

Also including customer reviews and testimonials on your site really helps potential customers to trust your business. Knowing that other people who used ur product or services had a great experience can be extremely beneficial for all parties involved.

One of the really helpful aspects of having a business website is the ability to track and collect information on both site visitors as well as customers.  

With tools like google analytics or monster-insights, small businesses can see how visitors arrived at their site (referral source.) Analytic tools also collect important data like what pages your customers visited.  Analytics reveals the path taken by visitors who converted to customers. Furthermore, small businesses are also able to see the age, sex, and location of customers.

All of this data is itself a return on your company’s digital investment.  Proper analysis of the data collected allows businesses to see what efforts are providing results. Future marketing strategies can be developed that save your company both money and time. Also, lookalike audiences can be created and marketed. Analytics if analyzed properly not only provide insights on your customers but also increase your return on investment.

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