The digital age has reinvented the ways small businesses reach new customers and compete with bigger businesses. It all begins with a simple, elegant and compelling small business website.
If you have been on the fence about whether or not a new small business website is a good decision, 2017 is the time to commit. This article was written to help you to overcome your objections and help you to position your small business for success. Here are seven reasons why you need a small business website in 2017.
1. Small business Credibility
A 2015 study performed by Verisign reported that 84% consumers believe that small businesses with websites are more credible than ones without an online presence. To take it one step further, the study also concluded that 65% of consumers consider a company branded email to be more credible than a generic email account such as Gmail, Outlook.com, AOL, or Yahoo mail.
The days of matchbook advertising and the yellow pages are long gone and to remain relevant, credible and trust worthy small businesses must invest in a small business website. Looking at it another way, if all your competition has a website and your business doesn’t, who do you think looks more credible?
2. Business Discoverability and presence
The same study also reported that 9 out of 10 consumers rely on the internet to locate and evaluate local goods and services. Understanding these numbers and the online habits of consumers makes it difficult to understand why 46% of small businesses do not have a website. But for the 54% that have developed their business website, they benefit from a clear advantage when considering discoverability and getting in front of new customers.
Additionally, the same survey found that 83 percent of the surveyed businesses that do have websites said “their online platforms gave them a competitive advantage over businesses without websites.”
With over 3.5 billion Google searches occurring each day, your customer could be seconds away from locating and reaching out to your small business. Small Business websites allow potential customers to access your business and learn about your products and services 24/7. As well as give them a way to reach out to you via phone, email and call to actions on your website.
The ability to relate to a defined audience and build relationships adds to the benefits of creating and maintaining a small business website. Using your site to tell a story about you and your business begins the relationship.
Understanding your audience and how your product or service could provide a benefit to their lives continues to strengthen the relationship. Using your website to earn and retain a customer is the ultimate goal and the result of successfully relating to and serving the customers needs.
Although it may not be what you want, it is a fact that consumers are more likely to visit your website to learn about your business than they are to pick up the phone and call you, it’s just easier. Replying to emails and social media comments is a great way to build trust and personalize your small business experience, and it makes it that much easier for someone to want to pick up the phone and call you. For many small business’s if the phone isn’t ringing then your not making money.
While your business may still have a need for printed advertising materials, these items tend to be costly, especially when they need to be updated yearly or quarterly. In today’s digital world consumers expect to see fresh marketing campaigns and reliable business information on a daily basis. Small business websites open up the doors for targeted advertising via demographics, services offered, business hours, time of day etc. Small business websites also can be edited at any time vs. print advertising which once its there its there.
Easy to use website platforms, such as WordPress, are user friendly even from mobile devices and allow for ongoing updates to your website. Having the flexibility to keep your audience informed encourages strong relationships and keeps your customers coming back.
5. Business Sales Tool
Although a small business website serves many purposes, the main objectives are:
The most effective ways to use a business website to this end is to provide high quality information, learn about who your audience is, what they want, and create a sales funnel that nurtures them through the sales process. Small business websites allow for automation of the sales process and for sales to be converted at a much higher rate than traditional sales methods.
6. Market Expansion
Perhaps your business began by serving a very small area. Maybe your business has a brick and mortar location in that area but you would like to expand to a larger market. The ability to expand the market of a small business is one of the most lucrative benefits of creating a small business website.
Making your products or services available across time zones and even across the world can grow your business and revenue exponentially. Regardless of their geographical locations, the people who visit your website are there because they have expressed an interest in what your business offers. Use that to your advantage.
7. Web Analytics
Unless you are specifically asking each customer who comes through your door how they found you, you dont know the way the customer found you. Using your small business websites analytics tool will provide real time data about the following:
Demographics of your website visitors
How visitors find your site
The number of monthly/weekly/daily visitors to your website
Which website pages are most visited
How many pages visitors access per visit
How much time they spend on each page
How frequently visitors return to your website
More in depth analytics data will also be available depending on whether your site is utilizing pay per click advertising.
Gone are the days of people pulling out their bulky copy of the Yellow Pages to find what they need. Having a website for your business is a “must have” and not just a “nice to have” element of being in business in 2017. Not having a website puts your business at a competitive disadvantage automatically.
If you already have a small business website, but are not receiving one or more of these seven benefits, it may be time for a refresh of your current website to help your business get the most of it’s website. If you need a new website or are interested in getting a small business website created then don’t hesitate. Contact me today for a free quote