“Over 80% of business takes place online”. Nowadays, even small businesses can benefit, in some really big ways, by having an online presence. Marketing professionals are amazed that any business owner would still choose to operate without a website. Each day, more and more commerce is being done through the internet. Many small businesses are benefiting from e-commerce, online shops, blogs, mailing lists, etc. – which are all a part of a fully engaging website. Any business that does not have a website is missing out on one of the most powerful business tools available to them. Below you’ll find some answers as to how any business, like yours, can benefit from having a web presence.
Everybody is Online & Everything is Online
Without a website or presence on the digital superhighway, people searching for your products and/or services will not find you. Your business might be in some listings or directories, but those rarely provide enough information about all the products and/or services that you might offer. In a world where more and more people go to the internet first, to decide who to do business with, you can’t afford to miss this chance for exposure. Your business might have done “OK” before, without a website, but times have changed. I understand that many small businesses feel they can’t afford a website, but with a platform like WordPress (the one that I have been using for years), the cost is more reasonable – and nowadays, you can’t afford to be without a website because you are losing business!
Here are 10 Reasons Why You Need a Website for Your Small Business
- Your website is your best tool for providing all the important information about your business. Those seeking to do business with you are going to be looking for reviews, and seeing what kind of web presence you have as well as all the information about your products or services you offer before they ever make first contact with you. Every business has competitors. Your website can speak about you and your business. Your website is a place where you can really showcase your competitive edge and help your prospective customers have an informed decision.
2. Your website is how your future clients can find you even on their smartphones. Why do we need a Responsive Design for your website? The report from Cisco shows that mobile data traffic was up by 81% in 2013as more and more consumers are using mobile devices to search online. Also, SuperMonitoring.com, a monitoring and testing service for websites, reports that 50% of mobile phone users search online primarily through their phone. It is very crucial that small business websites are coded in a way that consumers can still easily browse, click, and access the same pages, articles, photos and videos, blogs, contact forms while maintaining the integrity and feel of a normal website though in a varying look depending on the device they are using.
3. Your website helps establish credibility as a business. Most people just assume that you have a website since the vast majority of businesses do. A website will not only give you credibility but it will also help to give the impression that your company is bigger and more successful than it may actually be. One of the great things about the internet is that the size of your company does not really matter. There is no reason that you can’t get your site to rank in Google ahead of a large multinational competitor and funnel off some of their traffic. This is a big part of the reason that a website is even more important for a small business than a big one, it tends to level the playing field.
4. Your website is your online traffic hub. With WordPress, we can always incorporate all the social media sites where you have an account with. Your posts on your social media sites can be pointing to your own website and vice versa. This way, you are building strong online presence also. Your website is like your “Grand Central Stations” where all trains begin and ends.
5. Your website is your electronic storefront. With the development of different e-commerce solutions and platforms, your website is a powerful tool where you can showcase and sell your products and services and cater to a greater audience.
6. Your website is your own place where you host your blog. There are some sites where you can sign up for free and post your articles. The problem is you don’t own these sites such as Blogger, WordPress.com, etc. Wise businessmen say “your blog should reside in your own self-hosted website.” By doing this, you will reap all the benefits of SEO for your own website and more traffic to your site. Having your own blog provides you an avenue for a healthy interaction among your clients, prospective clients and other readers which in turn can give you some feedback and updates about your kind of business and or your products/services.
7. Your website is how major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo know your business exists. If you don’t have a website, the only thing that might show up for your business, when somebody is searching online about the products and services that you offer, are directories/listings and some review sites. Consumers nowadays always want more information. Content is king!
8. Your website is your own online property. We don’t deny the fact that you can still always have your business presence on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Pinterest, etc., The fact is we don’t own these sites and they can disappear tomorrow or they can just delete your page before you know it. Even if they are online forever, the things that you can do on social media sites are very limited and we have to follow strictly their policies.
9. Your website is a powerful tool for keeping in touch with your clients. Many businesses these days have opted to build an email list through their website. This is often done at the time of purchase if it’s being done through your website, or you can offer to have them sign up for newsletters, special promotions and new products or service being made available on your site. These opportunities to keep in touch with your customers and provide up to date information about sales, discounts, and new service offerings helps to build a relationship with your customers. Without a website for them to sign up through, you’re sacrificing one of the most effective advertising tools available to you today.
10. Your website can move you from local to global – This is really powerful. Because of the power of the world wide web, your readers are not only from the local area but also global. At a minimal cost, your website can increase the size of your potential market and can bring you customers from around the world.
These are just some of the ever growing list of ways how a website can benefit your small business. There are so many things you can create and control if you have your own site for your business. It is so surprising how many small businesses don’t have a website yet – maybe because of the cost, time, or the technical aspect of it. It doesn’t have to be a hundred or a thousand-page website. Even just a simple website, that tells people a lot of information about your company and your products or services, is more than enough so they can learn about your business and you are not missing out online. If you don’t have a website for your business, now is the time to seriously consider what it takes to get one. Once you’ve taken this step you can really benefit from investing in a high quality professional website for your business for long term.
Photo credit: medithIT / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Photo credit: Michael Loke / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)